You don’t really know what structural engineering is like until an engineer has told you their stories. The stories of their successes, their set-backs and how they went about finding solutions. The stories of the people behind the places. The stories of the politics behind the possibilities. The stories of perseverance and hope. Definitions of structural engineering are full of facts but engineering stories also capture the feelings. Structural engineering text books are full of equations but engineering stories also capture the emotions. Structural engineers products show the final decisions but engineering stories also capture the drama that led up to them.
If you know someone who’s a structural engineer maybe you could ask them sometime. There’s also some good structural engineering stories you can read in these books or in particular this one, which I’d recommend.
But if you’d like to read something short and easy, not too technical but that give an idea about structural engineering and what it feels like, then maybe these might interest you…
Firstly you might like to read a story about Emily the Engineer on a first date, trying to explain what her job is and why it’s important.
Or you might enjoy imagining this story where Emily saves a Beyonce concert, when it looks like the show may have to be cancelled.
Or you might like to put yourself in her shoes as she rushes to St Paul’s Cathedral to stop it collapsing.