Power Query meets Structural Engineering

Tools used in this project
Power Query meets Structural Engineering

About this project

This real-world use case in structural engineering aims to facilitate the creation of customizable outputs for connection forces in unique projects.


Scia Engineer - A calculation Software for Steel Structures

Beams - In this case Steel parts that are part of a structure

Nodes - nodes where single beams like Steel beam meet

connection forces - the forces you need to design bolts and plates for assembling two beams together

The Business Case:

Scia Engineer lacks a flexible output for connection forces, hindering easy, well-structured, visually appealing connection designs. To address this gap, we must develop solutions tailored to the unique demands of our special projects.

The BI Approach:

I designed an Excel File with Power Query for transforming and analyzing Connection Forces to meet user requirements. Considering it's copied into each project, I addressed some user needs:

  1. Simplified usage for non-BI individuals.
  2. Guided export of SCIA Engineer data into Power Query's source files.
  3. Dynamic data source definition by users.
  4. Ability for users to specify a connection force increase factor.
  1. Easy Use

Easy usage is facilitated through Power Query and Excel, familiar and accessible to all. Users can adjust input values independently, eliminating the need for a BI specialist. Since projects are the basis, file sizes remain manageable, rendering advanced solutions unnecessary.

  1. Export from SCIA Engineer

To ensure consistent data structure for Power Query transformation, I developed User Templates for SCIA Engineer. These templates, imported into Scia's Report Section, consistently generate output for

  • connection forces (Schnittkraefte)
  • nodes and (Knoten)
  • beams (Stäbe)

without user intervention, guaranteeing data uniformity.


  1. Changing Data Sources Manually

Each project requires file assignment, necessitating user-enabled file path customization. Input fields in Excel were created, named, and manipulated using M in Power Query to modify the source code.

undefined4. Users should be able to change the increase Factor manually

An input field was created for this purpose. The table was then linked to Power Query through a new Query from Range. Bridging structural engineering with data analysis offers significant advantages. Engineering processes yield ample data for intelligent utilization. Many use cases demand custom table styles or documents beyond standard software capabilities.

I hope you liked the project as much as I did. And like always, I am open to any discussion or feedback!

Best, Jasmin

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