Civil engineering is the practice of designing and developing infrastructure objects, on a large scale, developing nationwide transport systems or water supply networks, or on a more minor scale, developing roads and buildings, for example.
A civil engineer is responsible for all aspects of building structures – comprising the planning, design, budgeting, construction management, surveying and analysis – and civil engineers should expect to use all these skills regardless of their specialisation. Civil engineering is a rapidly advancing industry, constantly adapting to contemporary developments and concerns, such as pollution, water shortages and sustainable energies.
A degree in civil engineering covers a plethora of scientific topics; mechanics, hydraulics, materials science and statistical analysis. These foundation subjects will be complemented with the development of design skills, computer-aided design in particular. The final years of any degree will involve the conception of several personal or team projects.
Specialisms within the course might be in structural engineering, transportation engineering, architectural engineering, geotechnical engineering or hydraulic engineering.
Field trips and industry placements are an important part of most civil engineering degrees, to provide further on-the-job training and real-life application of knowledge.
A career in civil engineering is satisfying, challenging and offers promising prospects for upward progression – as well as the lure of earning an above average. The demand for civil engineers all over the world will only grow in the coming years.
The most common paths for a civil engineering graduate are as a chartered civil engineer, a contracting civil engineer, a maintenance engineer or a building control surveyor.