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About Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design and construction of society’s infrastructure. Bridges, roads, dams, buildings, and water distribution systems are among the many structures that civil engineers are responsible for designing and analyzing. Civil engineering is traditionally broken into several sub-disciplines including: geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, water resources engineering, environmental engineering, construction management, and surveying.

Geotechnical engineering is primarily concerned with the interaction between structures and earth materials, as well as, structures constructed from earth materials. Geotechnical engineers analyze site conditions and design foundations and earthworks. Geotechnical engineers deal primarily with soil properties, and soil mechanics.

Structural engineering is concerned with the structural design and structural analysis of buildings, bridges, and other structures. This involves calculating the stresses and forces that act upon or arise within a structure, and designing the structure to successfully resist those forces and stresses.

Transportation engineering is concerned with moving people and goods efficiently, safely, and in a manner conductive to a vibrant community. This involves specifying, designing, constructing, and maintaining transportation infrastructure which includes streets, canals, highways, rail systems, airports, ports, and mass transit.

Water resources engineering is concerned with the flow and conveyance of fluids, principally water. This area of civil engineering is related to the design of pipelines, water distribution systems, drainage facilities (including bridges, dams, channels, culverts, levees, storm sewers), and canals.

Environmental Engineering deals with the treatment of chemical, biological, and/or thermal waste, the purification of water and air, and the remediation of contaminated sites due to prior waste disposal or accidental contamination.

Construction management involves the planning and execution of designs from transportation, site development, water resources, environmental, structural and geotechnical engineers.

Surveying is the process by which topographic information about an area of interest is obtained. Surveyors measure certain geographical dimensions about a project site which are then used by other civil engineering disciplines for design or analysis purposes.