What do civil design engineers do?
Civil engineering may well be one of the most exciting career choices. For one, it includes so many specialties and sub-disciplines that the aspiring civil engineer is spoilt for choice, Running through the alphabet from A to Z, you will come across diverse examples such as architectural engineering, hydraulic engineering, structural engineering, and water resource engineering. Secondly, it is a job that involves a lot of outdoor activities, such as walking along a riverbed to determine how best to divert it and prevent flooding balanced with office work using the latest, and ever-evolving technology available in the field.
The birth of civil engineering
Civil engineering is one of the oldest professions in the world and certainly the first engineering career. Before civilization, people lived nomadic lives, wandering from place to place in search of food sources and settling for short periods at these settlements, Gradually, they started to acquire winter homes where they could be protected from the elements during the harshest months and would build up supplies for this time of the year. While staying in these winter homes, they could catch up with other chores like fixing and making clothing. Their homes would be repaired, and stories of the tribe would be shared.
Once nomadic people discovered agriculture they were able to construct and live in permanent homes all year round. Using local materials to build with, they made some impressive dwellings. This is the birth of civil engineering. Groups of people living together needed waste disposal, a consistent, clean supply of water, and walls for protection from other tribes. As trade routes expanded, there was a call for roads. Water had to be stored, irrigation provided for crops, and floods averted. Although they were not called civil engineers, these are the tasks they were occupied with.
Examples of modern civil engineering tasks
You probably already know that civil engineers build bridges, roads, hydroelectric dams, and stormwater systems. But you may be surprised to learn that they also design space stations and jetliners. The crash resistance of your vehicle and the ability of your car’s chassis to withstand a load can be attributed to civil engineers.
Some commonalities for all civil engineers are project management, project design, site visits, construction plans, budget assessments, planning, feasibility studies, project meetings, calculations and cost estimates, engineering software, keeping their clients informed, and working with big teams. These teams of experts could include urban planners, landscape architects, construction managers, local government representatives, and surveyors.
Some types of civil engineers
Architectural engineers work with four integrated principles. These are aesthetics, functionality, design, and sustainable construction.
A civil design engineer takes a set of unique requirements and designs a solution that incorporates all the required elements.
Construction engineers focus on residential and commercial projects designing e.g., skyscrapers, industrial warehouses, and homes. They need proficiency in math, project management, and CAD.
Earthquake engineering is a branch of geotechnical engineering. Countries that experience a large number of earthquakes will employ these experts to determine areas that are at high risk and design structures that can survive an earthquake largely intact.
If you have the aptitude for it, a career in civil engineering is worth taking up.