Introducing: Chris Truter
Chris Truter is an energetic engineering leader who loves to bring his positive charisma to any project’s team. He enjoys collaboration, especially working with others on new ideas.
He believes that engineering should be about people, not just about calculations. Essentially, engineering remains a people-focused endeavour all the way from the developer crafting a vision which the professional team execute, to the people who finally inhabit, use and experience the resultant spaces and structures.
“Good engineering practice serves a central function in enabling the owner’s vision. The engineer should facilitate the architect’s large spans with its aesthetic detail and assist the quantity surveyor in unlocking potential savings while ensuring the builder is supplied with practically buildable plans. Engineering is like electricity in that it works best when no one is aware of it except of its outcomes,” he says.
For Chris, personal involvement, lateral thinking and swift turnaround times are indispensable priorities which drives a project to completion. These three key elements are the fuel which excites the people of STRUXIT Projects to find new, practical and cost-effective solutions to a wide variety of engineering challenges.
As the technical expert of STRUXIT Projects, he is on the forefront of concrete and structural steel design, especially concerning cost-effective structural steel roofing. This expertise leads to interesting and novel projects for the company.
Chris’s finely-honed designs can easily save 5 kg/m2 of structural steel on a typical shopping centre or warehouse roof.
Such sparing design work translates to a financial saving of approximately R160 m/2 – multiplied for a 10 000 m2 roof, the saving amounts to R1.6 million on the roof’s structure alone.
The guiding design philosophy here is based on the principle that the structure’s strength should be gained by optimising the structure’s form for its intended function. In addition to more efficiency in ensuring structural soundness, this principle enables the construction of structures that are not only lighter and less expensive, but also have longer spans, thus resulting in larger, more useful spaces. The same holds true for concrete buildings, such as office blocks or hospitals, where the aim is to balance the rhythmic grid of the parking structure with the extended grid of the open floor plan above. Such balance is achieved either by the smart use of the optimal overlaid layouts or by a cost-effective transfer slab.
Chris has the scarce ability to alternate between planning with high-level, blue-sky vision, and realising plans with the technical expertise required to execute this vision of brilliance with attention to detail. Also, he loves mentoring and teaching young professionals to use their technical and problem-solving skills creatively with lateral thinking in designing safe, cost-effective and functional structures.
“I would love nothing more than to see up-and-coming engineers develop a never-say-no attitude, innovate further with designs and use their expertise to successfully design challenging and specialised structural systems or critical feature elements. My door remains open while I challenge them to this.
My career goal is not only to be the best structural engineer, but also to develop a platform on which to network so that people and companies across many sectors can connect, in order to collaborate with the goal of forming lasting partnerships. As engineers, we deal with many different sectors that would otherwise not have contact.
My aspiration is to promote lasting change.” – Chris Truter, STRUXIT Projects COO.