The area of structural engineering includes technical design of supporting systems in buildings for residence, work, industry, transport infrastructure etc. This subject area plays, therefore, an essential role for many of the key questions about the built environment that can be considered important in the long and medium terms. Key problems where competence in the subject of structural engineering is central for developments are:
- Future climate change and energy utilization have a great influence on how our buildings and other infrastructure are planned and used. Through efficiency measures and innovative thinking, energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced and a more sustainable society created.
- Increased risk of terrorist attacks and other unforeseen events have led to growing demand for robust buildings and facilities. Current research questions are: How can a building’s resistance to damage be evaluated? How should a building be designed in order to withstand impacts that are not known in advance?
- To sustain and maintain an aging infrastructure securely, extensive research is needed about issues of life span and materials, methods of surveillance and repair, handling of risks and methods of analysis for structures.