The new structural engineer barks and bites | Column UN constructors

18 February 2020

Paul Rijpstra's column below recently appeared on the website of UN constructors.

On Thursday 20 December 2019, I sat at the table with the OVV, together with representatives from Bouwend Nederland, the Client Forum in Construction, the Governance Code for Safety in Construction and Royal Dutch engineers. Opposite me was Jeroen Dijsselbloem, chairman of the OVV, flanked by several employees. I always enjoy sitting at the table with engineers.

We talked about structural safety with the highest goal: no more unsafe structures. Due to the fragmentation and lack of clarity of roles, tasks, responsibilities and powers, constructional safety has come under considerable pressure in recent years. We note that one structural engineer must be responsible for the entire structure. This manufacturer must be able to guarantee structural safety in order to prevent calamities and collapses. We call him the coordinating structural engineer new style.

This is a major system change. The coordinating structural engineer new style will be the first point of contact for the whole, from design to elaboration, of the main supporting structure, the structural structures and the auxiliary structures. He becomes responsible for results through his testing role.

In addition to strengthening his role, the position of the new style structural engineer will have to be strengthened. Qualified manufacturers will be engaged and given a mandate. Relevant requirements will be set for his knowledge and competences and he will have to be able to give professional contradiction. The qualifications must be secured by certification and / or registration. The Constructors Register is being considered.

The new style structural engineer will become a professional, whose expertise is assured and will act if necessary. In addition to barking, the new style structural engineer can also bite!

Paul Rijpstra
President of UN constructors

Paul Rijpstra


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