Becoming a bridge engineer


Becoming a bridge engineer

What you’ll learn
  • The most important steps for the design, analysis and construction of a bridge.
  • The required knowledge is the one a civil engineer acquires during the university studies.

Bridges are part of our world and constitute one of the most interesting fields of structural engineering. They serve us tirelessly, causing awe and admiration to those who cross them. They stand silent and proud in a delicate agreement with nature, daring to challenge it, while respecting it. Bridges are high-demanding engineering projects, requiring the application of the most recent technological achievements and dictating the close cooperation of many disciplines, among which surveying, transportation, structural, geotechnical, hydraulic, mechanical engineers and geologists. Without a doubt, bridges are captivating projects, a pure temptation for us engineers.

This course invites young engineers in the fabulous world of bridge engineering, presenting them the basic steps a bridge designer follows for the analysis and construction of such a project. In this course, the basic terminology is mentioned and the behaviour of bridges is explained according to the materials they are made of or the way they are built. Furthermore, details for their simulation are discussed, along with the guidelines to follow for their analysis. The design criteria that determine the geometry, the structural system and the erection method are studied. Finally the design procedure is presented through a specific example of an actual bridge, and snapshots from its construction conclude this trip.


The intention of this course is to present concepts and issues that are not often taught at the Universities or cannot easily be found in the books, as they are based on the professional experience of bridge designers. Emphasis is given on the conceptual design of a bridge; how its structural design begins, which structural system and erection method should be selected; which are the design criteria that determine the form of the bridge; which are the construction phases that should be taken into account during the structural analysis; which are the deliverables that should be included in a design study and the information that should be transmitted to the construction site. In other words, how a bridge designer thinks and decides. Other issues, such as loads, required checks, analysis procedure and results are mentioned in the course, but they do not constitute its main scope, as they can easily be found in a vast variety of several other courses, books, University lectures, or codes and regulations.

Thus, the course is for those who want to reply to the assignment’s question with certainty, providing solid and reasonable arguments for their choices.

Who this course is for:
  • This course is prepared for young civil engineers who would like to build a career as bridge engineers, or are just fascinated by bridges.


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Author: Ho Quang Dai

I am Ho Quang Dai, from Vietnam – A country that loves peace. I share completely free courses from major academic websites around the world. Hope to bring free knowledge to everyone who can’t afford to buy

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