Civil/Structural Engineer

Alvaro Mejia

Hello, My name is Alvaro and I am a Ph.D. graduate in the area of Civil and Structural Engineering. My specialty is in wind engineering affecting building structures and I have experience in the analysis, design, and testing of new and existing main building envelopes.

My work consists of analyzing and determining the structural adequacy of building components and cladding. This is achieved by conducting a series of job site investigations and plan reviews of various projects with their unique scope of work (SOW) and performing testing, photographic logs, building code reviews, article reading and discussions with other colleagues experienced in the construction trade. The work also includes determining the cause and origin of structural defects, cracks, or other imperfections found in the materials. Typically, such problems occur because of excessive loading, aging, moisture intrusions, and natural hazard damages from high-velocity winds, heavy rain, or hail.

To do this work effectively, it is essential to understand the physical behavior of different structural materials when exposed to different adverse weather or loading conditions. Each different material has its unique mechanical properties and composition and behaves differently. Examples of these materials include concrete, steel, wood, aluminum, fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP), cementitious wood fibers, ceramics, and gypsum. The fastening of components is also essential to understand how pieces go together and be able to prepare hand calculations or Finite Element Analysis (FEA) where the design capacity of a connection will exceed the demand loads occurring from the adverse condition and maintain a high factor of safety.

There is a lot of work available in the area of structural engineering and the construction of buildings and bridges. There is a large demand for Civil and Structural engineers for the improvement, rehabilitation, and retrofit of any infrastructure in any city in the world. Both, Industry and Academia have their hands full. It is always important to keep each foot on both sides to maintain job security, stability, and most importantly, financial freedom. Structural Engineering is a very dynamic field and very noble. The career has its difficulties at the start because of too much mathematics, formulae, and laboratory testing involved. It constitutes a lot of sacrifice. However, in the end, it pays off well.

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