What Does a Structural Engineer Do

Nathaniel Lauer shares a typical day, why he chose Nexus, and how project variety and regular collaboration with other disciplines keeps him engaged and learning new skills.

What’s it like to be a Structural Engineer at Nexus?
Nathaniel: I’ve been working at Nexus full-time for more than a year since graduating from Cleveland State University in 2021. I typically get into the office around 7:15 a.m. and begin my day checking emails and messages. I pull up my current project in CAAD (Computer-aided architectural design) software. Updating the 3D models and drawing steel plans is usually my responsibility in a project.

I’ll touch base with my mentor engineers and discuss any questions I have. Greg Moore has been a fantastic manager! A typical question may be whether a steel connection requires welding or bolting, or I may work with an engineer from another discipline to analyze if the support is adequate and what type of support instrument is needed.

Lunch is an opportunity to talk with team members. They make it easy to collaborate on important projects. After lunch I investigate 3D analysis models of the structure I’m working on, apply section and material properties, and analyze how well the structure would support appropriate loads or other extenuating forces, such as wind or snow. At this point, I am usually finishing up my work and catching up on any communication to prepare for the following day.

Why did you choose Nexus?
Nathaniel: At CSU I was interested in structural engineering and enjoyed taking on new challenges. As a intern for Nexus I saw that there was great variety in the projects I supported, and that gave me an opportunity to work regularly with other engineering disciplines.

I’ve gotten more responsibilities as I’ve transitioned from an intern to Structural Engineer 1. That’s been exciting and has helped me develop into a stronger young professional. It’s been challenging, but I have learned a great deal already, and I enjoy a good challenge.

In my role I’m able to continually learn and apply new concepts, which keeps me interested in what I am working on. Everyone at Nexus is extremely friendly and helpful, especially the structural group that I work with daily. My team members are a joy and have been instrumental in helping me develop the skills needed for success in my career.

What has your favorite memory been while working at Nexus?
Nathaniel: I really enjoyed attending Intern Day. We participated in a charity walk, lunch, and fun activities with team members. Intern Day helps build and foster relationships with the team, and events like it help promote a more comfortable and collaborative work environment!

Learn more about Working at Nexus and explore our current job openings, including electrical engineers and designers in Cleveland and Toledo.

Follow Nexus on LinkedIn to keep in touch with our team and company updates.


About Nexus Engineering Group LLC

Nexus Engineering Group LLC, headquartered in Cleveland with offices in Maumee and Canton, Ohio, extending into Michigan and Houston, Texas, is a full-service, independent engineering firm focused on supporting clients’ specific project goals from concept to startup. Since 2005, clients have recognized Nexus as the engineering firm of choice in the refining, petroleum midstream, chemical, manufacturing and utilities industries.

With nearly 200 professionals on staff, Nexus is made up of experienced process, instrumentation and controls, civil, structural, electrical, mechanical, and piping professionals with decades of hands-on conceptual and detailed system design and construction and project management experience.

Nexus delivers project designs that reduce overall risks, resulting in safer work environments. By utilizing state-of-the-art software and innovative design tools, Nexus consistently meets client project and investment requirements.  Get to know us and you will agree that Nexus is not your typical engineering firm.