New graduate program equips structural engineers to excel as industry leaders

Posted: March 7, 2023

A new master’s degree offered by The Ohio State University College of Engineering prepares civil engineering professionals to effectively lead innovative and challenging technical projects within their organizations.

Prof. Anthony Massari works with students in a computer lab.
Associate Professor Anthony Massari works with students.

Designed for early-career engineers and students who wish to advance to technical leadership positions in industry, the Master of Structural Engineering program equips graduates for increased responsibilities.

“This degree prepares industry professionals to succeed,” said Faculty Director Anthony Massari, an associate professor of practice in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering. “In addition to advancing graduates’ technical expertise, it builds their business acumen and prepares engineers for positions in project management, business development and beyond. It truly provides a great core skill set to have as a professional.”

The 30-credit-hour curriculum combines advanced technical education in structural engineering with professional skills development and an integrated, hands-on engineering project. Students take core technical courses in steel design, concrete design and structural dynamics, and a choice of advanced elective topics, such as structural reliability, earthquake engineering, and durability and concrete assessment.

The program also offers a choice of professional development courses like organizational behavior, accounting and decision making, leadership and team effectiveness, and technology strategy and innovation management.

Technical material in the Master of Structural Engineering program is taught by Ohio State’s preeminent engineering faculty, augmented by industry professionals. The professional development courses are provided primarily by content experts in Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business.

A multi-term, real-world engineering project develops applied skills, while also creating an understanding of its relevance to the community and the business of an engineering organization.

“The project further develops students’ technical expertise in their field of interest, while also building project development, management and assessment skills,” Massari explained.

Structural engineering master’s student Cameron Androw is learning how to automate bridge design for a complex structure as he tackles an arch bridge parametric modeling project. He also manages a team of undergraduate students who are working on a related bridge design capstone project.

“It's really been the highlight of my year,” said Androw, who earned a bachelor’s in civil engineering from Ohio State in 2022. “You can use your creativity and go in the direction you want to pursue in your career. It's been a fun and cool experience, and I’ve learned a ton.”

Androw decided to pursue a Master of Structural Engineering at Ohio State because of its affordability and the program’s practical curriculum that aligns with his goal of becoming a bridge engineer. Planning to graduate with his master’s in May, he has already accepted an engineering position with Burgess & Niple in Columbus.

“The structural engineering [field] is looking towards students that have their master's degree,” said Androw. “It's a really nice thing to have nowadays.”

Full-time students can complete the degree program in one academic year. A part-time program is also available to accommodate working professionals.

The Master of Structural Engineering is offered by the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering. The deadline to apply for autumn 2023 enrollment is July 29. Students wishing to begin their studies spring 2024 must apply by December 1, 2023.

by Candi Clevenger, College of Engineering Communications,