Civil Engineering

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Structural Engineer

Structural Engineer

Blair Lindsay, Beca

Earning: $48-52,000
In a nutshell: Designing buildings so they stay standing up.
Why?
“I love my job because I draw up a design and see it come to life.”

Pathway Rangitoto College, Year 13: Calculus, Physics, Accounting, Statistics Chemistry
University of Auckland: Bachelor of Engineering, majoring in Civil Engineering

Being interested in big building structures and enjoying maths and physics at school were important factors in Blair’s choice of career. “But my father had the biggest influence,” he says. “Growing up on a farm, I became familiar with using machinery and power tools, and building things from a young age.”

As a structural engineer, he works with the client’s architectural design to come up with a sound structural concept for a building. “I do a lot of calculations to figure out the right sizes for the steel or concrete beams to make sure the building remains standing,” he says. “There is also a creative side in coming up with a structural design that is functional and makes the architect’s ideas work in real life.”

The new Westgate Library is Blair’s favourite project so far. “It’s been very exciting to be involved with this project from the beginning,” he says. “The architects have come up with a really exciting look which is quite challenging from a structural point of view. They want all sorts of different shapes and large cantilevered overhangs, so it’s a cool project figuring out how to make it structurally sound.”

“I love my job because you draw up a design and then see it being built,” he says. “The design comes to life, and then it can be enjoyed by the people who use it.”

There’s not really a ‘typical day’ for Blair, as his work is a mixture of design work in the office and going on site. “Another thing I like about my job is that I have responsibility for my part of the structure but we work as a team to co-ordinate the whole project.”

“I’d like to stay on the technical side of structural engineering rather than moving into management,” he says. “I could be a technical director one day, or maybe become a specialist in a particular area.”

Blair’s advice about choosing a career is pretty straightforward. “Make sure you find something you enjoy doing that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning.”

Posted October 2011


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