What Does a Structural Engineer Do?

Structural engineers need to have excellent problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work as part of a team. They also need to have strong technical knowledge, and a good understanding of the latest design standards and practices.

Earthquake engineering involves designing structures to withstand hazardous earthquake exposures. This includes determining seismic building behaviour, structural systems for low-rise buildings, and design of timber and timber framed structures.


Structural Engineers design new structures to be safe and stable. They often work for engineering or construction companies, and their job involves a combination of office-based and on-site activities. They start by carrying out initial studies and calculations to ensure that the structure will be suitable for its location and that it will be structurally sound. They also continue to monitor the project during construction and review it once it is completed.

To become a structural engineer, you should have a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. You can also pursue a postgraduate qualification to boost your career opportunities. You should also join a professional body such as Engineering New Zealand to enhance your credentials and to enjoy ongoing development opportunities. You should also have strong communication skills to work well with other teams.


If you want a structure that will not only stand the test of time but also look good, you need to get in touch with structural engineers. These professionals can provide structural designs that work in harmony with architectural plans and fit seamlessly with your building. They can also carry out seismic assessment and strengthening to protect your buildings from potential damage.

Edward Dowdall is a highly experienced structural engineer based in Auckland. He specialises in residential, low-rise commercial, and industrial projects. He has experience designing railways, motorway sign gantries, underground engineering design, and earthquake strengthening of existing structures.

Kevin Vranjes is a highly skilled structural engineer with 36 years of experience. He has worked on a variety of projects, including complex new builds and sensitive heritage restorations. He has extensive experience in design, analysis, and reporting using REVIT Structure and AutoCAD.


SENZ’s team of engineers and draughtspersons has extensive experience in commercial, industrial and high-rise buildings as well as detailed seismic assessment and strengthening of existing structures. They also have experience in structural analysis and design for temporary works to carry out repairs and restorations.

Structural Engineering involves the initial studies and calculations to ensure that load-bearing structures are designed properly and safe so that they can be constructed and remain stable throughout their lifecycles. These engineers typically work with construction or engineering firms and perform a mix of office-based and on-site tasks. Often they specialise in specific types of projects and may hold a postgraduate qualification in the field to boost their employability. Originally established in 2004, SENZ started out by focussing on residential design engineering projects including renovation and extension of existing dwellings and new-build single and multi-dwelling units projects.


The Auckland Harbour Bridge is a classic example of the value of staged infrastructure development. This approach allows a huge increase in transport capacity to be provided at a reasonable cost, in parallel with the development of Auckland’s suburbs.

When the original tender went out in 1951 it specified five general traffic lanes and basic footpaths (only 1.8m wide – narrower than the footpaths in front of your local dairy).

In the 1980s the bridge was upgraded with clip-on box girder extensions, increasing the overall bridge height and adding two more traffic lanes. The bridge’s movable barrier system, electricity and water pipes, and the northern busway were added in the 2000s. Fatigue management is now a vital part of the maintenance programme for these extensions, with detailed analysis and inspection intervals.


The best structural engineers in Auckland are capable of designing structures for both commercial and residential buildings. They can handle everything from complex new builds to sensitive heritage restoration projects. They also work with highly skilled civil engineers and architects to deliver cost-effective designs for their clients.

Whether you’re building a residential home or a commercial structure, a structural peer review is a necessity. These professionals can make the process easier and more efficient by ensuring that all of your structural requirements are met.

Founded in 1976, Brown & Thomson is a well-established engineering firm that provides high-quality structural design services. Their staff includes 12 engineers and draughtspersons. Their expertise is complemented by their commitment to first-class customer service. They have designed a variety of buildings and complexes, including hospitals and multi-story office buildings.