A bridge engineer is someone who helps pedestrians and vehicles crossroads, valleys, rivers, and other obstacles. He or she is a civil engineer who has specialized in bridge design and construction. The bridge engineer is responsible for the inspection and rehabilitation of existing bridges as well as the design of new ones. He or she may also work as a project manager and oversee the actual construction of the bridge.
A bridge engineer usually works in a for a design or consulting firm, although he may also work for a highway construction or heavy construction company. Bridge engineers can also work for government agencies in charge of the oversight of infrastructure projects.
The bridge engineer’s task is to design various types of bridges such as beam, cable-stayed, arch, suspension, and truss. A bridge engineer also responsible for the preparation of plans, cost estimates, and construction specifications.
A bridge engineer considers each type of bridge during the designing and planning stages. This is so the most suitable design for the site can be utilized. All constraints of the site must be met by the chosen bridge type. The engineer performs stress analysis and load rating calculations so that he can guarantee the efficiency of the structure.
The engineer must ensure that the structure can withstand all applied loads due to the self-weight of the structure, as well as any traffic that may cross the bridge. It is also necessary to ensure that any environmental constraints are considered and designed for. Bridge engineers must also national design specifications, as well as local and regional building codes, as applicable. In addition to following the design specifications, it is necessary to ensure the safety of the traveling public by utilizing the appropriate government sanctioned safety features as required by the roadway and the site.
If you want to become a bridge engineer, a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from an accredited college or university is a necessity. This degree path will require courses in math, geology, and physics – as well as engineering specific classes – to learn about the factors and physical limitations involved in bridge planning, design, and construction.
You also need to take classes in computer-aided drafting so that you can become familiar with the drafting, which is necessary for this field. As a future bridge engineer, you will be required to use bridge design software and other computer applications. In addition, you have to learn good communication and spatial skills. Bridge engineers should be able to communicate well with clients, coworkers, and construction crews.
Before you can become a bridge engineer, it is also helpful to work as an intern at a construction consulting firm or government organization to gain practical. After graduation with your Bachelor’s degree, it is necessary to work as an engineering intern for four years prior to taking the professional engineering exam. With your professional engineering license, you will be able to sign and seal bridge plans as the engineer of record on projects.