What Is Civil Engineering? and does a Civil Engineer do?


Civil engineering is arguably the oldest engineering discipline. It deals with the built environment and may be dated to the primary time someone placed a roof over his or her head or laid a trunk across a river to form it easier to urge across.

The built environment encompasses much of what defines modern civilization. Buildings and bridges are often the first constructions that come to mind, as they're the foremost conspicuous creations of structural engineering, one of civil engineering's major sub-disciplines. Roads, railroads, subway systems, and airports are designed by transportation engineers, another category of engineering . then there are the less visible creations of civil engineers. whenever you open a water tap , you expect water to return out, stupidly that civil engineers made it possible. ny City has one among the world’s most impressive water system systems, receiving billions of gallons of high-quality water from the Catskills over 100 miles away. Similarly, not many of us seem to stress about what happens to the water after it's served its purposes. The old engineering discipline of sanitary engineering has evolved into modern environmental engineering of such significance that the majority academic departments have changed their names to civil and environmental engineering.

These few examples illustrate that civil engineers do tons quite design buildings and bridges. they will be found within the aerospace industry, designing jetliners and space stations; within the automotive industry, perfecting the load-carrying capacity of a chassis and improving the crashworthiness of bumpers and doors; and that they are often found within the ship building industry, the facility industry, and lots of other industries wherever constructed facilities are involved. and that they plan and oversee the development of those facilities as construction managers.

Civil engineering is an exciting profession because at the highest of the day you will see the results of your work, whether this is often often a completed bridge, a high-rise building, a terminal , or a hydroelectric dam.

What does a Civil Engineer do?

The field of engineering is one among the oldest branches of engineering, dating back to when people first started living in permanent settlements and commenced shaping their environments to suit their needs.

As populations grew and bigger groups of individuals began cohabitation in towns and cities, there was an increasing need for reliable sources of unpolluted water, the means to eliminate waste, a network of streets and roadways for commerce and trade, and how for people to defend themselves against hostile neighbors. Early civil engineers, therefore, were called upon to create walls, roads, bridges, dams, and levees; and to dig wells, irrigation ditches, and trenches.

Among the foremost well-known engineering projects of past are the roads of the Roman Empire , the good Wall of China, the Pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge, the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde; and Mayan ruins at Copan, Palenque, and Tikal. the development of the many of those wonders by pre-industrial societies remains mysterious and therefore the names of the engineers who designed them are lost to antiquity.

More recent history is additionally marked by famous engineering marvels including the Eiffel Tower , named after Gustave Eiffel, the French engineer whose company built it; the Golden Gate Bridge, designed by Joseph Strauss and Charles Ellis; the Panama Canal (John Frank Stevens); the Hoover Dam (John L. Savage); and therefore the Brooklyn Bridge , designed by John August Roebling and his son Washington Roebling.

Civil engineers do tons quite design buildings and bridges. They add the aerospace industry, designing jetliners and space stations. they will be found within the automotive industry, calculating the load-carrying capacity of a chassis and improving the crash resistance of bumpers and doors. they're a part of the ship building industry, the facility industry, and multiple other industries requiring constructed facilities.

Civil engineering may be a particularly exciting profession, because people who add this field can see the results of their work: a completed bridge, a high-rise building, a terminal , or a hydroelectric dam.

The civil world is extremely diverse. It follows, therefore, that civil engineers have particularly varied career options. this suggests that the solution to the question, What does a engineer do?, is additionally varied, counting on the specialty pursued. no matter their chosen sub-discipline, however, there are some common tasks that the majority civil engineers will undertake on a day to day .

Civil engineers are often liable for large teams that are involved in project design, planning, and construction processes. this needs that they frequently meet, collaborate with, and manage these team members, composed of surveyors, construction managers, architects, landscape architects, and concrete planners.

In addition, they themselves will spend significant amounts of your time designing and planning projects and presenting proposals, needs assessments, budgets, and amendments to clients.

The specific activities of a engineer change from subfield to subfield and, as described below, the career consists of a good spectrum of sub-disciplines:

Architectural Engineering

Architecture is that the design of buildings and structures with a stress on aesthetics. engineering combines building design and aesthetics with attention on sustainable construction and functionality.

This broad discipline may be a mixture of many other disciplines and it tends to vary from country to country. Architectural engineers have both structural knowledge and artistic awareness and skills. Graduates during this area may concentrate on one aspect of economic building design, like heating, ventilation, fire protection, electrical, or acoustics. Supervision of the development process is another fundamental skill that architectural engineers develop.

Construction Engineering

Construction engineers manage and deliver residential and/or construction projects. They plan construction activities, supervise structural elements, and perform building inspections upon project completion. They work very closely with architects, architectural engineers, and engineering technicians on building design and on-site problem solving.


They are also liable for compiling reports which detail project feasibility and price estimates. Computer Aided Design (CAD) is common during this discipline, although to not an equivalent extent as in structural engineering. Construction engineers are called upon to use both project management skills and mathematical expertise to their work.

Some may concentrate on residential projects, skyscrapers, bridges, industrial warehouses, or other specific sorts of infrastructure. While demand for these specialists is driven by the health of the development industry where they seek to be used , their unique skill set generally means they're highly wanted in most countries.

Earthquake Engineering

Earthquake engineering may be a specialised field in geotechnical engineering. it's alittle niche that gives opportunities during a limited number of nations vulnerable to earthquakes. Earthquake engineers are, of course, concerned with the vibrations within the Earth’s crust which will potentially cause immense damage to the Earth’s surface.

They identify areas that are in danger of earthquakes and use design and construction techniques to strengthen buildings. They also perform simulation and failure mode analysis to style structural elements which will withstand exposure to earthquakes without sustaining major structural damage.

Ecological Engineering

Ecology is about the interaction between organisms and their environment, called ecosystems. Ecological engineering may be a specialized field of environmental engineering that's about the development and maintenance of those ecosystems.

Engineers during this discipline can specialise in either natural ecosystem maintenance or the development of artificial ecosystems. A tropical rainforest is an example of a natural ecosystem, one that possesses a greater diversity of plant and animal life than the other sort of ecosystem. An ecological engineer will consider the health of the rainforest’s trees and therefore the animals that sleep in their canopy.

Environmental Engineering

The emphasis of this branch of engineering is maintaining the standard of air, water, and land through sustainable practice and methods. Environmental engineers create plans to guard and improve the environment; that's everything created by nature: air, water, flora, and fauna.

They implement strategies to affect pollution, waste management, and noise levels. They conduct case studies then determine ways to stop natural disasters and pollution. Much of their work is conducted in an office and is concentrated on data and statistical analysis. These engineers rarely use design or simulation software. they need to understand complex environmental laws and related ethical and social issues.

Environmental engineers are wanted to steer government projects administered by parks departments. Private companies may enlist the services of those specialists if their activities have the potential of exerting an adverse effect on the natural environment. Environmental engineers can also be used as consultants or as researchers at universities.


Fire Protection Engineering

This is another specialized field of environmental engineering. Fire protection engineering relates to all or any factors that affect the security of humans within the event of a fireplace . Fire safety or fire protection engineers develop plans and identify tactics for reducing smoke and fire damage in houses, commercial buildings, and cities at large. They liaise with architects and builders throughout the planning phase of a building, and pay particular attention to alarm systems, stairwells, insulation, and ventilation.

These engineers are typically employed or contracted by construction and development companies. they'll become inspectors, who determine the causes and ways to stop fires.

Geotechnical Engineering

Geology comprises the dynamic and physical history of the world , including rocks, minerals, and elements it's made from . Geotechnical engineering is that the application of geology. Engineers during this field understand construction materials and techniques.

They investigate the standard of land and the way structures are often constructed within and upon it. They use their knowledge and understanding of earth materials to work out the acceptable supports and foundations needed for enormous structures. This process begins with a feasibility study of a site by testing for soil quality, ground slope, and rock features. They design foundations and put measures in situ to mitigate the consequences of natural hazards like earthquakes.

Geotechnical engineers must consider sustainable practices when investigating and planning any construction. They often work for mining and petroleum companies and have a tendency to possess a broad skill set that has economic and project management.

Highway Engineering

Highway engineering may be a specialized field within transportation engineering. The discipline considers the planning of roads, also as their reference to pedestrians. Highway engineers study traffic volumes and patterns to return up with strategies that prevent collisions and damage to road structures.

They design highway systems with the intention of optimizing traffic flow and vehicle safety. More recently, this field has begun to see and style intelligent transport systems which will eventually revolutionize how humans travel.

Hydraulic Engineering

Hydraulic engineering is another specialized field in environmental engineering. This discipline addresses the technical challenges involved water infrastructure and sewerage design. It deals with fluid flow in large quantities and focuses on the planning of water storage (dams, channels, canals, lakes) and transport facilities.

Hydraulic engineers also design machinery which uses hydraulic power and structural elements which will withstand intense water pressure. They use fluid dynamics theory to predict how flowing water interacts with its surroundings. These specialists are often employed by utilities companies for storm water and sewerage maintenance.

Mining Engineering

Mining is that the act of extracting coal and metal bearing rocks and minerals (ore) from mines. Mining engineering, a specialized field in geotechnical engineering, deals exclusively with the extraction and processing of ore.

Mining engineers, who are multi-skilled in many areas of engineering, analyze data from drilling and geological reports before planning and designing mining sites. they'll be required to go to a site to supervise or inspect the progress of a project. These specialists sometimes need to travel for extended periods.

Railway Engineering

Railway engineering may be a specialized field in transportation engineering. This discipline centres on the planning , construction, and operation of trains and rail systems to move people and/or freight. Railway engineers apply mechanical design skills and knowledge of propulsion systems to style train vessels.

Structural Engineering

This engineering sector focuses on the planning of structures – houses, buildings, and monuments – that are required to face up to loads and environmental elements. Structural engineers collaborate closely with architects. While architects conceive the external design and aesthetics, these engineers design a structure’s internal skeleton and foundation to make sure that it doesn't collapse.

With their knowledge of building codes and regulations, they execute drawings and specifications of structural elements. supported their in-depth understanding of materials and their properties, they select the foremost appropriate ones for every project. Not surprisingly, structural engineers often find employment or consulting contract opportunities with commercial and industrial construction companies.

Traffic Engineering

A sub-set of transportation engineering, traffic engineering cares with the movement of individuals and vehicles, usually on roads and highways. Traffic engineers consider, review, and modify aspects of road design to optimize traffic flow and reduce congestion. They also analyze and assess traffic and accident reports and therefore the impacts of traffic lights, road signs, and pedestrian walkways to ultimately create safer roads.

Transportation Engineering

The focus of transportation engineering is twofold. The discipline manages existing transportation systems and also researches new and emerging technologies aimed toward improving transport of individuals , goods, and structures in industrialized countries.

Engineers during this sector plan and manage all of the weather that jointly make transport happen. they appear beyond this and contemplate and envision the transportation needs and challenges of future societies.

This work often demands an understanding of auto propulsion and maintenance and should entail specialization in air, road, rail, or pedestrian transport. Government agencies and personal transportation companies commonly employ transportation engineers to take care of efficiency, reduce system costs, manage safety initiatives, and conduct investigations.

Water Resource Engineering

The study of water throughout the planet is at the centre of water resource engineering. This includes beverage and any water that has got to be stored or distributed or transported from one place to a different .

Unlike civil engineering , which focuses on the technical aspects of storing and channelling water, this discipline considers the standard and logistics of water systems. Common projects for water resource engineers include wetland restoration, also as storm water and sewerage system design and planning.

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