Civil engineering is a complex field with many specializations. Most civil engineers will work for local government departments or private engineering companies. Some provide a consulting service offering multiple types of assistance. We have put together a list of the seven main types of civil engineering to help prospective students determine where their interests lie.
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Structural engineers design infrastructure such as bridges. Therefore, they need an excellent grasp of how these structures will perform under pressure, the amount of weight they can hold, how they are affected by gravitational forces, the effects of shock waves, and how to construct them to withstand natural disasters such as flooding, earthquakes, gale force winds, and fire. Structural engineers will design a bridge, for example, with columns and beams to strengthen and enable it to endure any situation it will be exposed to. Other projects structural engineers may work on include aircraft engineering and designing skyscrapers, to name a few.
Construction engineers typically work with projects involving commercial and residential buildings, hospitals, schools, roads, and water treatment plants. They will need to be familiar with building code regulations as they apply to any structure and how zoning works. Additional knowledge that is required is building construction, sustainability, safety, and functionality.
A geotechnical engineer undertakes design projects for restoring historical monuments, sewer tunnel systems, natural embankments, water tank reservoir systems, roads, and pavements. This specialization requires in-depth knowledge of different types of soil, rocks, and other materials used in construction, how these interact with each other and water, as well as building techniques.
Construction projects design infrastructure and buildings that may have a negative impact on the natural environment. Environmental engineers are chiefly involved with sustainability. These engineers must find solutions to minimize these effects and simultaneously improve pollution. Environmental engineers require knowledge of the properties of various substances such as air, soil, and water. They will undertake the design and construction of renewable power and greening projects, crop irrigation, drainage systems, water treatment plants, systems for recycling waste, and solid waste management. Environmental engineers may contribute their input to environmental policies.
Transportation engineering is involved with all transportation networking systems inclusive of railway lines, seaways, airways, subways, artificial canals, and roads. These engineers will also work with traffic management and monitoring, public transport, bicycle paths, and pedestrian bridges. They will determine bus lanes, traffic signals, road markings, and signage.
Water Resources Engineering
This specialty completes projects dealing with water sanitation, hydraulics, artificial ponds and lakes, flood protection, plant nurseries, waterways, fishing areas, water distribution systems, and irrigation systems.
Civil Engineering Consultants
Civil engineering consultants form private businesses for the express purpose of providing engineering services to their clients. Clients can range from commercial or residential property builders to government departments requiring specialized expertise. Engineering companies like Civil Design Services deliver inter alia, site or land development, technical auditing, design and construction management services, post-construction assessments, and feasibility studies.
Most civil engineers choose a specialization and complete additional studies in their chosen areas.