Structural Engineering and our members


Objectives of the SESOC

  • To promote the science, art and practice of structural engineering;
  • To ensure the advancement and dissemination of knowledge relating to structural engineering; and
  • To provide a forum for structural engineering practitioners to communicate amongst themselves and to the public at large.

Affairs of the Society

Affairs of the Society are managed in accordance with the Rules of the Society (PDF, 107kb) by a Management Committee of 10 to 13 elected and nominated persons. Relationships with our parent organisation, Engineering New Zealand, and parallel institution, The Institution of Structural Engineers are detailed in the Engineering New Zealand/CTS agreement (PDF, 81kb) and the MoU SESOC/I. Struct. E (PDF, 187kb).

SESOC Membership

SESOC Membership is now over 2000, primarily from New Zealand, but also a number from Australia, the Pacific rim and other overseas locations. Membership is targeted at persons having an interest in all aspects of structural engineering, across the range of construction materials (timber, concrete, structural steel) as well as aspects of construction management and education.

Activities and General Information:

  • Forum: hosted on our website, this facility allows members to actively participate in discussions on all current topics. New threads can be suggested and are authorised by the Site Administrator.
  • Searchable Database: for papers: search criteria is on the Abstract, journal reference, title and author(s). A similar search is established for Letters to Editor and supplementary items including Newsletter items.
  • Website: new features include Events by Date and Current Issues. Find anything you need to know, or a person to contact who you can ask.
  • Journals: Published twice a year, covering items of interest to structural engineers. Includes, technical papers, project reports, materials information, code reviews, computer applications, historical engineering articles, humour, seminar/conference advice/reports, general interest articles. Back Issues available here.
  • Newsletters can be found via the searchable database.
  • Seminars: SESOC has held a number of seminars on a wide range of subjects topical to structural engineers. These are held in four centres across New Zealand so as to make them accessible to all engineers, members or otherwise.
  • Regional Groups: The local structural groups in AucklandHamiltonWellingtonNelson, and Christchurcharrange speakers or project visits of interest to local structural engineers. These groups are largely autonomous but have a formal relationship and inter-linking with SESOC.


Engineering is the profession in which a knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences gained by study, experience, and practice is applied with judgment to develop ways to use economically the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of mankind. In New Zealand an Engineering degree (BE) will take 4 years and engineering degrees accredited by Engineering New Zealand are recognised as meeting the initial academic requirements for professional engineers

Structural Engineering

  • Structural Engineering is the art of economically designing buildings, bridges and other structures to support their contents and protect them from extreme environmental events such as wind, snow, fire or earthquake. To do this, structural engineers are responsible for:
    • Assessing the loads that will be applied to a structure throughout its lifetime.
    • Working out how the structure will support those loads.
    • Selecting materials, components and connections for the structure that will carry the loads both safely and without excessive deformation.
    • Planning a safe construction sequence.
    • Preparing drawings and specifications for the complete structure.
    • Supervising the construction to ensure the plans are followed.

Structural Engineers

Structural engineers work closely with architects, contractors, quantity surveyors and regulators. They also consult building service, earthquake, environmental, geotechnical, hydraulic, roading and traffic engineers for specialist advice.

Engineering New Zealand-recognised Engineering degree courses are available at The University of Auckland, Auckland University of Technology, Manukau Institute of Technology, The University of Waikato, Massey University and University of Canterbury. For information on Engineering education visit The Engineering New Zealand Foundation also award scholarships on an annual basis.