SECOPT, a program developed especially to help designers of automobile, bus body, aircraft and other structures where non-standard geometrical shapes of beam sections are encountered is discussed. The program integrates optimization of beam section with automatic calculations and satisfaction of constraints on section properties. Coordinates of the points (nodes) on a beam cross section that define its geometry are necessary for computation of section properties. Transformation of design variables into nodal coordinates without changing the geometry of the section is a key to the integration of the two components of the program. Need for introducing generic beam element of any prescribed shape in structural optimization programs and SECOPT's role in developing such a program are also discussed.