or, Structural Engineering in a nutshell.
“Structural engineering is the art and science of developing load resisting systems capable of supporting itself, other systems and superimposed loads such as to provide load path(s) with demand-capacity and load-deformation relationship satisfying desirable performance criteria.”
Mikhail Gershfeld, SE
This definition focuses on five essential aspects of structural engineering:
- Force Resisting Systems – the selection of appropriate system to is as much an art as it is a science
- Structural Modeling – the art of structural modeling involves an attempt to digitally replicate the behavior of a real system
- Load Path – the essential requirement of any force resisting system is to ensure a load path(s) for force flow through the system.
- Demand-Capacity Relationship – the comparison of demand and capacity at of every component of the system and aggregate system is an essential part of structural design
- Load-Deformation Relationship – the recognition of material characteristics and behavior is essential to proper desig
The mastery of structural engineering requires deep understanding of these concept and ability to apply them in a creative way to variety of applications.