Structural Engineering centers about the conception, design and construction of structural systems that are needed in support of human activities. A beginning point for structural engineering would be at about 500B.C. where human began to plan and construct structural systems using stones, masonry, trees, and bamboo to form lintel and post structures. During the Roman until about 500 A.D. the new structural forms such as arches, vaults, domes and wooden trusses were introduced.
However, the golden age of structural engineering is considered to be 1800-1900. During this period, most of the present day theories of mechanics of materials and structural analysis were developed. These developments led to new structural forms. The 1900s saw a host of new materials, techniques and structural forms introduced. Material developments brought forth aluminum, high strength steels, lightweight concrete, special cements, plastics, laminated and composites. New advances in structural forms include the long span bridges, tall buildings, membrane, floating structures and shells.
Structural engineers today are capable of planning, design and construct various configurations and record-breaking height structures, either to fulfill the aesthetical emotional sensitivities of humans or to meet the demand of basic needs of society.
Structures such as KLCC, Sear Tower, Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Tatara Bridge are the unique structures built to meet the functional requirements whilst structures such as Jefferson National Gateway Arch St Louis, Millennium Dome London, Eiffel Tower Paris are the structures built to fulfill the emotional demand of humans.