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Structural engineering is a subset of civil engineering dealing with the design and analysis of buildings and large non-building structures to withstand both the gravity and wind loads as well as natural disasters. Besides, it may also cover design of machinery, medical equipment, vehicles or any other objects where structural functionality or safety are involved. Structural engineers must ensure their designs satisfy building codes.
Structural engineering came to existence when the humans first started to construct their own structures. It became a more defined profession with the emergence of the architecture profession during the industrial revolution in the late 19th Century.
Entry-level structural engineers may design individual structural elements of a structure, for example, beams, columns, and floors of a building. More experienced engineers would be responsible for the structural design and integrity of an entire system, such as a building.
Structural engineers often specialize in particular fields, such as bridge engineering, building engineering, pipeline engineering, industrial structures, or special mechanical structures such as vehicles or aircrafts.
- "History of Structural Engineering". University of San Diego. http://structures.ucsd.edu/index.php?page=structural_engineering/about_us/history. Retrieved 2007-12-02.