Structural Engineering

Buildings and structures take careful planning in order to ensure that they don't collapse or fail in any way. Structural engineers analyze and study the way in which buildings support loads.


This year's London Design Festival features a long wooden tube that shows the potential of hardwood as a versatile building material.

First, there was only mud. Now there’s transparent aluminum, self-healing concrete and a swarm of nanobots to build your home. Meet your dwelling of the future.

Architects design buildings. Civil engineers build bridges. Structural engineers keep it all from crumpling and shaking apart. What happens when you mix all three and throw in a green twist?

Some architects and engineers go big. Others get fancy. And yet others aim squarely for the completely bizarre. These imagination-bending, gravity-defying products may induce more than a few OMGs.

Underwater tunnels are so commonplace that we rarely think of the great dangers -- and extreme construction techniques -- these modern wonders require. With the opening of the Marmaray Tunnel in October 2013, it's time to take a second look.

You know the story: Lowly intern at huge company climbs the ladder to become its CEO. Or maybe you don't because it never really happens. But it did for one Ursula Burns. Meet her and nine other black engineers who have blazed an amazing trail.

In 1950, 60 pioneering American women formed the Society of Women Engineers to support and encourage each other in a field not very welcoming to them. Sixty years on, the fight continues, as women are still underrepresented in engineering.

A national tragedy in Japan was the catalyst for the construction of the world's longest suspension bridge. But it took 40 years to build, and required inventing new technologies along the way to make it happen. Do you know its name?

Underground mining has come a long way from the days of men with pickaxes and canaries. It relies much more heavily on machinery that makes it much safer than in the past. Which techniques are used in mining today?

Why are blueprints blue and not some other color? There's a specific chemical process behind it, and its discovery has all the elements of a dark fairy tale.

You might consider it a feat of strength when you haul a particularly weighty and cumbersome armful of groceries into the house, but that's a drop in the bucket compared to the dramatically heavy loads these powerhouses can handle.

It's always been a dilemma for humans: how to move that super-heavy object to a new place. But we always seem to find a way, don't we?

One of the most travelled stretches of U.S. highway was designed by a woman who loved mathematics and wasn't interested in being a teacher. Who was she, and where is it?

Sometimes it seems as though Earth has been hitting the caffeine a little too hard, with all the shakes from earthquakes. So, how do structures stand strong amid all those quakes?

The Bay Bridge is a wonder of structural engineering. Find out how multiple architectural styles were incorporated into the bridge that unites Oakland with San Francisco.

Steel-framed skyscrapers are common sights in any city skyline these days. But someone had to be the first to build up, up, up. Find out where this architectural standard was born.

A soft-story building has a first floor that's more flexible than the ones above -- think apartments over a department store that's mostly open space. How does soft-story retrofitting keep such buildings from collapsing in a quake?

Steel is getting more expensive because the prices of iron and coal are rising. Are there alternatives to steel that can do the same job -- or better -- for less?

You might associate green architecture with plastic rain barrels or ugly solar panels, but green design has come a long way. Green architecture can be gorgeous, as we'll see in this article.

If you think regular old domes took the world of structural engineering by storm, you should meet their geodesic cousins. What is a geodesic dome, and who first came up with the idea of building triangle-covered spheres as practical structures?

Bridges span the gap and help us get from point A to B, but who knew they could float, too? Find out what the deal is with floating bridges in this article.

Jenga seems like such a simple game -- all you have to do is keep a tower of wooden blocks from toppling over. It may be simple, but it's anchored by several complex structural engineering concepts.

Playing with Lego blocks isn't just child's play. In fact, these blocks and products present a hands-on opportunity to learn the basics of structural engineering.

You may see most bridges as those things you cross on your way to somewhere else, but where would you be if one collapsed? We've figured out 10 reasons why the worst happens.

The World Trade Center employed several new approaches to skyscraper construction. From slurry walls to sky lobbies to "tube within a tube" design features, what made this project distinctive from an architectural engineering standpoint?