The structural engineering program in Civil Engineering at Mississippi State University offers an in-depth, well-rounded education that prepares students to enter engineering practice upon graduation, or to continue advanced study of structural engineering at the graduate level. The undergraduate program offers a rigorous coverage of engineering basics and skills, with an introduction to computer methods. The graduate programs allow the student to participate in research in several areas of structural engineering, or to concentrate on additional higher-level skills applicable in practice.
Structural engineering is one of the oldest areas in Civil Engineering, dating from the ancient Greek and Roman cultures. Modern structural engineering has its roots in the late 1800's, as shown in John Roebling's calculations for the design of the Brooklyn Bridge. Today, the means for performing design calculations have been vastly changed by the computer. The modern structural engineer is much better equipped to mathematically model the effects of forces on structures in order to more efficiently select structure types, shapes and materials to withstand these forces.
Structural Engineering research includes application of structural mechanics, finite element analysis, structural reliability, and physical testing of steel, reinforced concrete, timber, and composites structures. Recent research projects include: finite element analysis of wave impacts on bridge superstructures; experimental evaluation of the static and dynamic mechanical response of damaged limestone; numerical and experimental evaluation of the mechanical response of damaged structural magnesium alloys; allowable vibrations on green concrete; sustainability of concrete homes; and the performance of residential safe rooms and shelters in a violent tornado.