This requires that they regularly meet, collaborate with, and manage these team members, composed of surveyors , construction managers , architects , landscape architects , and urban planners. In addition, they themselves will spend significant amounts of time designing and planning projects and presenting proposals, needs assessments, budgets, and amendments to clients.
The specific activities of a civil engineer change from subfield to subfield and, as described below, the career is composed of a wide spectrum of sub-disciplines:.
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Architectural Engineering Architecture is the design of buildings and structures with an emphasis on aesthetics. Architectural engineering combines building design and aesthetics with a focus on sustainable construction and functionality. This broad discipline is a mix of many other disciplines and it tends to vary from country to country.
Architectural engineers have both structural knowledge and creative awareness and skills. Graduates in this area may specialize in one aspect of commercial building design, such as heating, ventilation, fire protection, electrical, or acoustics.
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Supervision of the construction process is another fundamental skill that architectural engineers develop. 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 responsible for compiling reports which detail project feasibility and cost estimates. Computer Aided Design CAD is common in this discipline, although not to the same extent as in structural engineering.
Construction engineers are called upon to apply both project management skills and mathematical expertise to their work. Some may specialize in residential projects, skyscrapers, bridges, industrial warehouses, or other specific types of infrastructure. While demand for these specialists is driven by the health of the construction industry where they seek to be employed, their unique skill set generally means that they are highly sought after in most countries. Earthquake Engineering Earthquake engineering is a specialised field in geotechnical engineering.
It is a small niche that provides opportunities in a limited number of countries susceptible to earthquakes. They identify areas that are at risk of earthquakes and use design and construction techniques to strengthen buildings. They also perform simulation and failure mode analysis to design structural elements that can 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 is a specialized field of environmental engineering that is about the construction and maintenance of these ecosystems. Engineers in this discipline can focus on either natural ecosystem maintenance or the construction 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 any other type of ecosystem.
Environmental Engineering The emphasis of this branch of civil engineering is maintaining the quality of air, water, and land through sustainable practice and methods. Environmental engineers create plans to protect and improve the environment; that is everything created by nature: air, water, flora, and fauna. They implement strategies to deal with pollution, waste management, and noise levels. They conduct case studies and then determine ways to prevent natural disasters and pollution.
Much of their work is conducted in an office and is focused on data and statistical analysis. These engineers rarely use design or simulation software.
They must understand complex environmental laws and related ethical and social issues. Environmental engineers are sought after to lead government projects administered by parks departments. Private companies may enlist the services of these specialists if their activities have the potential of exerting an adverse effect on the natural environment. Environmental engineers may also be employed as consultants or as researchers at universities. Fire Protection Engineering This is another specialized field of environmental engineering.
Fire protection engineering relates to all factors that affect the safety of humans in the event of a fire. 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 design 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 may become inspectors, who determine the causes and ways to prevent fires. Geotechnical Engineering Geology comprises the dynamic and physical history of the earth, including rocks, minerals, and elements it is made of. Geotechnical engineering is the practical application of geology.
Engineers in this field understand construction materials and techniques. They investigate the quality of land and how structures can be constructed within and upon it. They use their knowledge and understanding of earth materials to determine the appropriate supports and foundations needed for massive 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 place to mitigate the effects of natural hazards such as earthquakes.
Geotechnical engineers must consider sustainable practices when investigating and planning any construction. They often work for mining and petroleum companies and tend to have a broad skill set that includes economic and project management. Highway Engineering Highway engineering is a specialized field within transportation engineering.
The discipline considers the design of roads, as well as their relation to pedestrians. Highway engineers study traffic volumes and patterns to come 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 envision and design intelligent transport systems that will eventually revolutionize how humans travel.
Hydraulic Engineering Hydraulic engineering is another specialized field in environmental engineering.
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This discipline addresses the technical challenges involved with water infrastructure and sewerage design. It deals with fluid flow in large quantities and focuses on the design of water storage dams, channels, canals, lakes and transport facilities. Hydraulic engineers also design machinery which uses hydraulic power and structural elements that can withstand intense water pressure.
They use fluid dynamics theory to predict how flowing water interacts with its surroundings.
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These specialists are often employed by utilities companies for storm water and sewerage maintenance. Mining Engineering Mining is 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 may be required to visit a site to supervise or inspect the progress of a project. These specialists sometimes have to travel for extended periods. Railway Engineering Railway engineering is a specialized field in transportation engineering. Railway engineers apply mechanical design skills and knowledge of propulsion systems to design train vessels. Structural Engineering This engineering sector focuses on the design of structures — houses, buildings, and monuments — that are required to withstand loads and environmental elements.
Structural engineers collaborate closely with architects. With their knowledge of building codes and regulations, they execute drawings and specifications of structural elements. Based on their in-depth understanding of materials and their properties, they select the most appropriate ones for each 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 is concerned with the movement of people 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 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 at improving transport of people, goods, and structures in industrialized countries. Engineers in this sector plan and manage all of the elements that jointly make transport happen.
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They look beyond the present and contemplate and envision the transportation needs and challenges of future societies. This work often demands an understanding of vehicle propulsion and maintenance and may entail specialization in air, road, rail, or pedestrian transport.
Government agencies and private transportation companies commonly employ transportation engineers to maintain efficiency, reduce system costs, manage safety initiatives, and conduct investigations. Water Resource Engineering The study of water throughout the world is at the centre of water resource engineering.
This includes drinking water and any water that must be stored or distributed or transported from one place to another. Unlike hydraulic engineering, which focuses on the technical aspects of storing and channelling water, this discipline considers the quality and logistics of water systems. The ultimate goal of the project was to develop a method for visually representing the human capital of a community to assist in the preparations for and response to disasters and civil emergencies. In this presentation, we discuss how the project progressed over three years and two phases, reviewing the results and the process of conducting interdisciplinary community-level analysis, as well as efforts to broadly convey findings in multiple formats, including community events, scholarship, and the creation of a Human Geography Mapping tool to assist communities in responding to similar events.
During post-disaster reconnaissance missions, engineers and researchers collect perishable data in affected geographical regions. A typical post-disaster reconnaissance mission consists of a preliminary survey followed by a detailed survey. The objective of the preliminary survey is to develop an understanding of the overall situation in the field, e.