Architectural engineers apply engineering principles to the construction, planning, and design of buildings and other structures. They often work with other engineers and with architects, who focus on function layout or aesthetics of building projects. Architectural Engineering often encompasses elements of other engineering disciplines, including mechanical, electrical, fire protection, and others. The architectural engineers are responsible for the different systems within a building, structure, or complex. Architectural engineers focus several areas, including:
- the structural integrity of buildings
- the design and analysis of heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems,
- efficiency and design of plumbing, fire protection and electrical systems,
- acoustic and lighting planning, and
- energy conservation issues.
More detailed information about Architectural Engineering is available on the Career Cornerstone Center's Architectural Engineering site. Another good way to explore the field is to examine the Architectural Engineering Institute within the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Career Guidance Suggestions for Pre-University Students: Pre-University students should take as many math and science courses as possible, both during school and as part of after-school programs. Students aged 5-9 should do additional math, puzzles, and building or design projects. Students aged 9-12 should take extra math, and if inspired, explore pre-algebra and geometry. Students aged 12-18 might consider taking advanced algebra, chemistry, calculus, geometry, trigonometry, physics, building, design, and engineering concept courses. There are also several lessons and activities, and projects and competitions that can help provide students with an interest in engineering first hand exposure to electrical engineering principals. Students who implement these activities and participate in projects or competitions have a better understanding of engineering and its impact on society. They'll be better able to determine if engineering is the career path for them by sharing their interest with other students, and experiencing hands-on applications of engineering. Summer programs and internships are another great way for students at the pre-university level to explore engineering.