What is Civil Engineering?
Civil engineering is a dynamic and challenging profession that plays a vital role in shaping the world around us. From designing and constructing infrastructure to developing sustainable solutions for our communities, civil engineers are responsible for a wide range of projects that impact our daily lives.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at a day in the life of civil engineers, exploring the tasks they undertake, the challenges they face, and the skills required to succeed in this exciting field.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Civil Engineering History
- Civil Engineering Job Duties
- A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer
- Civil Engineer Career Summary
- Becoming a Licensed Civil Engineer
Civil Engineering History
To give you a better idea of what all of these civil engineers actually do, let’s take a look at a few famous civil engineers from history. Benjamin Wright was declared the Father of American Civil Engineering by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Wright was the chief engineer during the construction of the Erie Canal. Squire Whipple is another important civil engineer in history, credited with designing and building a weight lock scale that possessed a 300-ton capacity and was used to weigh boats on the Erie Canal.
Civil engineers have also played major roles in improving our world, including assisting Haiti in its recovery after the 2010 disaster, constructing the Panama Canal, and designing the Burj Khalifa, the world’s second-tallest building.
Civil Engineering Job Duties
Civil engineers help shape our cities by designing transportation systems, creating school buildings, and figuring out how to turn natural resources into power for our homes. Their typical roles include managing teams, creating CAD models, and designing structures that meet particular clients’ needs. Other civil engineering tasks include:
- Analyzing survey reports, maps, drawings, blueprints, and aerial photography in order to plan projects efficiently
- Computing load and grade requirements, water flow rates, and materials’ stress factors for design specifications.
- Inspecting project sites and monitoring progress
- Estimating quantities and material costs (to determine project feasibility)
- Compiling public reports (bid proposals, environmental impact statements, and property descriptions)
- Testing soils and materials to determine their strength in different conditions for use in large projects
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A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer
2. Contract writing
3. Understanding government regulations
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4. Project management
5. Construction management
6. Creating proposals
7. Meeting with clients
In-person, on-site client calls are critical to any project. Not only does this ensure that the CE understands the client's needs, but it also solidifies their relationship. Of course, regular phone calls are also part of the job to keep clients up-to-date. However, nothing beats the results that meaningful face-to-face interaction can provide. Together, the parties involved can hammer out the details for a quality, cost-effective project that meets the client's needs.
Civil Engineer Career Summary
Civil engineers design, build and maintain the infrastructure we rely on every day, from roads and bridges to airports and water treatment plants. They work on large-scale projects, often collaborating with architects, contractors, and government agencies to ensure safety, sustainability, and compliance with regulations.
Civil Engineering positions require a strong background in math, science, and technical skills, as well as excellent communication and problem-solving abilities.