Engineering Degree Guide: Civil Engineering
The pyramids of ancient Egypt, Stonehenge and the Great Wall all evidence the power and importance of civil engineering to society. While these early engineers were also master builders, today the term refers specifically to planning and oversight of the actual construction. Civil engineers understand the loads, stresses, risks and environmental factors of their jobsites and use this knowledge to make decisions on how the work should be accomplished. A great engineer can create lasting edifices that withstand the onslaught of erosion, disaster and time. They must also assess the needs of the project and its expected use to anticipate these factors in design.
Civil engineering is a unique field because it deals with public need rather than military technology and corporate production. Professionals build the structures that allow the rest of civilization to carry on their daily lives. In light of this, civil engineering is a fascinating study for anyone who wants to know the many systems that support the conveniences of modern life. Aspiring and current engineers will also benefit from diligent research in the field to stay on top of current trends and develop new solutions to the challenges that face them. The information found here is designed to help these people grasp the wonders of modern construction and its importance in the development and perpetuation of engineering.
Civil engineering is arguably one of the oldest professions in human civilization. Ever since mankind moved out of caves and began an agricultural existence they have needed buildings and infrastructure to store and transport goods. While early engineers were simply builders that worked on military, civillian and spiritual constructions, the practice of civil engineering today focuses on civic advancement. These sources explain the history of civil engineering and its current principles.
- The History & Heritage of Civil Engineering captures the great works of the profession across civilizations through their gallery showcasing innovations from the Roman aqueducts to America’s highways. It tells a little about each project through short blurbs on its construction and quotes by famous figures.
- ConcreteBasics teaches new and aspiring civil engineers the fundamentals they will need to know to operate cranes, pour cement, use engineering software and more. In addition to their instructional articles they feature videos, jokes and software helpful to professional builders.
- Civil Engineering Design Knowledge is some general information on the standard materials used in construction and their properties. It has estimated calculators for materials with odd dimensions.
A civil engineer, like most professions, needs employment to apply their skills in the real world. Luckily jobs in the field are increasing as developed communities grow and require additional resources for upkeep and continued expansion. These listings allow aspiring engineers to browse the choices available in the profession and certified professionals a look at who is hiring.
- EngineerJobs offers career opportunities specifically for those in the civil engineering field. The jobs are from all over the United States, Canada and even a few international locations.
- The job board at Civil Engineering Central lists open positions from all over the world and features reputable employers in the industry. The search can be narrowed down to specific fields within civil engineering to find your interest.
Professional societies are a way for people involved in the field to discuss their ideas and promote the continued advancement of their craft. Since engineering relies heavily on principles of math and science, they need constant updates on current standards and new practices. You can find many professional organizations below which provide conferences, support and research to their members.
- Civil Engineering Organizations helps professionals find their peers by listing the major institutions in civil engineering around the world. These groups help professionals find the information they need and typically publish research in the field.
- The American Society of Civil Engineers is the largest group of its kind in the United States. They publish multiple journals on different aspects of engineering, host conferences and have job listings.
Structural engineering involves the evaluation and adaptation of existing designs to the loads they must support. As buildings and constructions grow older this process becomes necessary to prevent disaster. The concerns of the time, such as earthquake proof and flood resistant designs, are taken into account to build a safer society. The following resources explain the practice and theory of structural engineering.
- Structural Engineering and Design Magazine is a print and electronic publication committed to providing engineers the knowledge they need to assess, design and implement structural changes. Their internet features include current events, educational material and guides on career options.
- A Beginner’s Guide to Structural Engineering covers everything from the challenges of situational loads to instruction on design. It is meant to give students and professionals a place to find answers to their structural questions.
- The daily duties of a structural engineer say a lot about the responsibilities of the profession and its opportunities. This video follows a structural engineer through her daily rounds while she gives her insights and advice to individuals with similar goals.
More specific than it may sound; environmental engineering addresses problems that pose a threat to the surrounding environment. These include water and air quality, waste disposal and analysis of planned projects for their impact. These materials go into depth on the processes of environmental engineering.
- Environmental engineers keep our cities and infrastructure safe and ensure that toxins are disposed in a careful manner. This is an overview of their duties, how they perform them and the requirements of the job.
- The Environmental Engineering Overview looks at all aspects of environmental engineering, the necessary education and job prospects. Professional organizations are also listed for a view of the different areas of concern for environmental engineering.
- Bentham Open Press publishes the Open Environmental Engineering Journal, a free publication with articles on specific aspects of the profession. While the articles are short and not numerous, they do succeed in highlighting important concepts and suggesting what engineers look for.
While many engineers work in the design and planning phases, they are just as necessary in the execution of construction efforts. Unforeseen problems are often encountered during the process of building and construction engineers must work quickly to solve these problems and ensure that the techniques used on the ground fit the goals outlined in blueprints. Take a look at some of the difficulties these engineers encounter on a daily basis and the strategies used to solve them.
- Construction Engineering Technology is a video clip examining the different tools used during the construction of many types of artifice. It briefly explains how to use each tool and what they achieve for a project.
- Construction Engineering is an interesting career that entails all aspects of problem solving while a structure is being built. This article explains the demands of the job and the skills needed to succeed.
Surveying is a preliminary step in almost all construction operations. By getting the lay of the land, engineers can then determine what steps need to be taken before building begins. Surveyors identify possible complications with the site and may even recommend a specific layout to minimize the risks involved. Below are descriptions of surveyor’s duties and importance to civil engineering efforts.
- The Land Surveyor Reference analyzes the tools, meteorological considerations, education institutions and businesses that help map the land to prepare a site for development. It provides legal codes, professional organizations and white page to connect engineers with each other and the guiding regulations of their profession.
- The experiences of a professional surveyor are the best way to get a feel for the profession and its challenges. This surveyor gives a general overview of the career and describes a few of the technologies and techniques regularly employed.
Transportation has become a multibillion dollar industry and is central to the movement of goods through the economy. Engineers work around the clock to ensure the function of roadways, train tracks, runways and other systems vehicles utilize. Here are some insights into the problems encountered in promoting transit and the innovative solutions of engineers.
- The Transportation Research Board includes reports and research on the challenges facing today’s transportation systems. It contains materials from all over the world so finding a solution to a similar problem is simple.
- In an effort to help students and professors Portland State University, Oregon State University and the University of Idaho developed the Transportation Engineering Online Lab Manual. It includes problems on transportation design and implementation to inspire students to think about the many factors of mobility.
Cities are complex, sprawling monuments of human progress and it is up to municipal engineers to ensure their proper functioning. These builders work to maintain the lighting, surface streets, sewers, green spaces and utility infrastructure. Millions of individuals depend on the skills of these individuals in their daily lives and you can see their importance through the following information.
- The Museum of Municipal Engineering is a Polish landmark documenting the theories and innovations in city planning and urban management over the years. They have electronic exhibits to view some of the tools used by engineers of the past; however the entire museum is in Polish and does not have a readily accessible translation.
- Green Municipal Engineering is the future of city planning as construction becomes more focused on sustainability and conservation. Elements of design including parks, drainage, transit and resource management are described as they apply to the neighborhood of East Clayton in Surrey, Canada.
Water is one of the most precious natural resources and is necessary for all forms of life on earth. It also has the power to erode manmade constructions and threaten human safety. Hydraulic and coastal engineers work with water to capture it for use or diminish its potential for destruction. The following information helps engineers understand the complexities of working with fluid materials.
- eFluids is a premier destination for information on the mechanics and manipulation of liquids. In addition to their knowledge base they offer job boards, a fluids white pages and listings of reputable publications.
- Coastal Engineering Resources includes reference guides, analytical programs, site surveys and current projects to protect our coastlines from erosion. These essentials are invaluable to apprentice and experienced hydraulic engineers to predict and address the problems presented by tides, tributaries and swamplands.
An important part of construction is determining what materials to use, both for aesthetic and practical purposes. The composition of a structure determines its load and reaction with different environmental factors. You would not want to build anything that degrades with exposure to salt near the beach, for example. The resources below allow engineers to find the material information they need and suggest methods for evaluating different substances.
- MatWeb is the foremost provider of material property data on the web and allows engineers the opportunity to look up detailed information to assess their designs. Materials are searchable by composition, qualitative properties, name, manufacturer and identification number for easy access to specific information.
Structures are built from the ground up, the ground being the resting place of their foundation. Countless projects throughout history have fallen victim to poor evaluation of the site and are washed away by mudslides or simply sink into the firmament. Geotechnical engineers will find these sources insightful for evaluating and manipulating terrain to ensure a lasting edifice.
- GeoPrac has applicable information for geotechnical engineers including news and articles on ongoing construction. Material on assessing geological hazards and addressing them through design shows engineers the current methods and risk factors of the field.
- The U.S. DOT has extensive insights for analyzing geological foundations for their suitability and developing plans to create these when none is available. While most of these address specific problems of road and rail design, many principles are equally applicable to any construction effort.