Structural Engineering Reflection Paper

Structural Engineering Reflection Paper
Katie Nolan
October 11, 2007
CEE 100
So finally I found out what structural engineers actually do. I guess I knew that
structural engineers built buildings, bridges, ports, but I didn’t know they could write software
for other engineers to use or work in the aerospace industry. That is what I like about
engineering, it seems like there are so many possible career choices. They could work for
contractors, private consulting firms, the military, in the aerospace field, for counties, even
teaching at colleges. I found out the structural engineer is responsible for the designs of the
building lateral system, gravity framing system, and the foundations of a project. The structural
engineer is always on a design team when in the process of a structure. The design team can
consist of all different kinds of engineers and consultants, but the main components for the
team are the architect, the structural engineer, and the civil engineer. With the design team
there is always a construction team. It was nice to get all this background information on what
structural engineers are all about.
The two presentations that were given were very helpful and I liked how different they
were. Dr. Jeff Dragovich explained what structural engineers do, what it takes to become a
licensed structural engineer and what structural engineering actually is. However, I did feel
like the lecture was a little long and all he went over were things in the packet that we could
have read, but it was very informative. It was also nice of him to bring in actual plans to show
us what we could be doing very shortly. Mr. Doug Loesch of Magnusson Klemencic Associates
showed us some of the different projects he has worked on and explained about what it took to
build them. He seemed so happy to be sharing his experiences with us and I think that is so
great that someone in the engineering field will take time out of their busy schedules to do that
because we all know engineers are also busy (at least that’s what I’ve heard on the grape vine).
I really enjoyed seeing all the pictures, he showed us of different places, like the EMP, the tower
on that campus and the bronze tree in that building in California.
I can’t say that those two presentations made me want to become a structural engineer,
but that may be because I not as interested in building bridges or ports. At least I know that the
option is there. The presentations were very helpful though in understanding the different
features of structural engineering and I can’t wait to hear all about the other four branches of
civil engineering.