We raised this question to our campus users last month and the results are in.  24% use Tekla Structural Designer, 19% mentioned Sap2000, 14% worked with ETABS or Robot Structural Analysis, 12% mentioned STAAD.Pro and then 1-2% fell on a mixture of others.  

For most engineers, working with a number of different analysis and design tools for a single project is standard.  An engineer may need to model a steel frame in one package, then a concrete slab in another and after various models are generated they then need to combine them into a new BIM model. With all this combining and creating, much time is wasted and it also raises the potential for errors.  As BIM is becoming mandated and growing throughout the building project ecosystem, schools are beginning to integrate BIM cross-curricular. More and more structural & civil engineering modules are incorporating BIM in their curriculum and finding tools that help students solve the engineering quandaries needed, understand the makeup of the structural systems, make sure the structure is safe whilst still meeting  the architects design.   

Structural engineers are still struggling too, as Dan Kilbert of GRAEF mentioned in a recent case study, “We were using multiple analysis and design tools, but couldn’t successfully pass the model from those tools to the BIM software being used by the architect”.  

Interoperability between structural design packages & architectural design packages is critical, especially when projects require BIM. There needs to be a fluid transfer of data and information between all parties involved. Luckily, students are becoming more aware of these tools and using them throughout courses, often on cross-disciplinary project work.  

Tekla Structural Designer model    Tekla Structural Designer model

Are you studying or teaching structural engineering?  How are you learning about BIM or teaching BIM?  Tekla Structural Designer is available for schools who are wanting to incorporate multi-material modeling, loading & analyzing, structural design, BIM integration and documentation in their structural engineering curricula.  If you are a professor who would like to gain access to Tekla Structural Designer in your program contact a member of our team here.

Learn more about Tekla Structural Designer here.

Dive into how Graef, Hollis & Miller and Leigh & O’Kane used Tekla Structural Designer to simplify their workflows.