About steel and concrete engineering - Structural Engineering - Civil Engineering Department- University of Canterbury - New Zealand

About structure engineering

The Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering at University of Canterbury has gained worldwide recognition for its extensive theoretical and experimental research in the behaviour of reinforced concrete, prestressed concrete, steel and timber structures over the past 30 years.

We have eight active academic and eleven technical staff members involved in structural engineering research and laboratories.

What is Structural Engineering?

Structural Engineering is the art of economically designing buildings, bridges and other structures to support their contents and protect them from extreme environmental events such as wind, snow, fire or earthquake. To do this, structural engineers are responsible for:

  • Assessing the loads that will be applied to a structure throughout its lifetime.
  • Working out how the structure will support those loads.
  • Selecting materials, components and connections for the structure that will carry the loads both safely and without excessive deformation.
  • Planning a safe construction sequence.
  • Preparing drawings and specifications for the complete structure.
  • Supervising the construction to ensure the plans are followed.

Structural engineers work closely with architects, contractors, quantity surveyors and regulators. They also consult building service, earthquake, environmental, geotechnical, hydraulic, roading and traffic engineers for specialist advice.


The following academic staff members are involved in structural engineering research. Their international expertise as well as collaboration with other departments and top-level overseas visitors provide exceptional laboratory research.