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What do civil engineers mostly do?

I am a student at Brennan High School looking for more information on #engineering #civil-engineering #civil-engineer

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James Constantine’s Answer

Hi David,

Curious about the primary roles of civil engineers?

Civil engineers are the backbone of our infrastructure, tasked with designing, constructing, managing, and preserving the structures we interact with daily. They work on a plethora of projects, such as roads, bridges, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, and water supply systems. Here's a snapshot of the typical duties of a civil engineer:

1. Blueprinting and Designing: Civil engineers leverage their knowledge to blueprint and design infrastructure projects. They consider various factors, including environmental effects, cost-efficiency, and safety measures.

2. Supervising Construction: Civil engineers monitor the construction process to ensure projects align with the planned specifications and stay within budget. They collaborate with construction crews to resolve any problems that emerge during construction.

3. Upkeep and Restoration: Post-completion, civil engineers often handle the upkeep and restoration of projects. They perform regular checks to evaluate the state of structures and suggest necessary repairs or enhancements.

4. Overseeing Projects: Civil engineers frequently manage projects from inception to completion, which involves liaising with different stakeholders, securing permits, and making sure deadlines are achieved.

5. Evaluating Environmental Impact: Civil engineers gauge the environmental impact of their projects and strive to reduce any adverse effects on the local ecosystem.

6. Innovating and Developing: Civil engineers continually explore new materials, technologies, and construction techniques to boost the efficiency and sustainability of infrastructure projects.

In essence, civil engineers are instrumental in molding the world we live in by designing, constructing, and preserving vital infrastructure that facilitates our everyday activities.

Top 3 Respected Sources Utilized:

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE): ASCE is a reputable organization that offers invaluable resources and information on civil engineering practices and standards.

National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE): NSPE provides insights into the engineering field and guidance on ethical practices for professional engineers.

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): BLS provides extensive data on job prospects, salaries, and educational prerequisites for civil engineers in the United States.

Stay blessed!
James Constantine Frangos.
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Amit’s Answer

The greatest asset of an engineers is being Logical and ability to find answers.

Though Civil engineers mostly help to plan/build some of the great Infrastructures, like Dams, Buildings.

But i have seen a lot of civil engineers becoming Architects or Even shifting towards the Software Skills.

They can be pure Computer/Programming folks OR they can supplement their Civil Engineering knowledge with Computer skills

Amit recommends the following next steps:

Check this out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_engineer
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Aishwarya’s Answer

Civil Engineers mostly build and plan projects like dams, bridges, airports, buildings etc
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Ray’s Answer

Civil engineers do lots of civil engineering stuff. Okay really, the problem is that civil engineering has many branches. I am a civil/sanitary engineer. That’s the best kind. Don’t let one of those boring civil/traffic engineers tell you otherwise. Much of my work has been in the area of making dirty water clean. I have enjoyed it very much, and feel I have accomplished something good. I mean not like composing rap music, but still good. Plus rap musicians rarely rebuild sewer systems although a few have been in sewer systems.

Civil engineering is all over the place. When I was city engineer, I did it all. I had to evaluate traffic patterns, manage construction of buildings and systems, deal with noise mitigation from an international airport and of course my favorite, rebuild wastewater treatment facilities. There were problems from pollution coming from a chocolate factory. It smelled great, but clogged up the sewers. The corporation yard, where all the city vehicles were kept, needed rebuilding. A budget needed to be prepared for the Engineering Department. The city council had to be told, ‘no, we cannot paint the park bathroom orange.’

University courses cover all this, but you may specialize. If you continue with your masters, you definitely will specialize, or you may get a masters in business. Many engineers do.

What’s the most important thing to learn; I mean besides not talking about engineering at a party? Boring! Listen and answer directly. It’s almost called communication, but not exactly. Listen to people. Then respond.

Oh wow. You’re reading way down here? You will be fine whatever you do.
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Peter’s Answer

Hello, David. I am a retired Civil Engineer who has worked in the field for more than 40 years. CE's can work on a great variety of projects. I list the basic fields below:

Structures (Bridges, dams, buildings, etc.)

Water (water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, drainage, hydrology)

Shipping ports, airports

Roads and Highways

Geotechnical

Environmental remediation (toxic site cleanup)

My particular field is Water Resources. During my career I have worked designing water treatment plants, water and sewer pipelines and wastewater treatment plants. I have conducted water supply studies and traced river pollution problems in major rivers. Much of my worked involved managing and treating stormwater from industrial and urban areas to protect fish habitat in local streams. I have led numerous water quality assessments for complex environmental impact statements. Perhaps my favorite projects have been stream restoration projects where I developed instream measures to improve fish habitat and facilitate the return of spawning salmon here in the Pacific Northwest.

I stay active even in my retirement, helping design water supply systems for small villages in African and Central and South American countries. And I am scheduled to fly to the Bahamas later this month. to assess the terrible flood damages from a recent Category 5 Hurricane that ravaged the islands a couple of months ago. I hope you get a sense of my excitement and enthusiasm for Civil Engineering. This can be a very rewarding career for a dedicated person, where you work every day on projects that truly improve the world.

Good Luck, Pete Sturtevant, PE


Peter recommends the following next steps:

For more information I suggest that you contact your local (San Antonio) Chapter of American society of Civil Engineers. I am sure chapter members would be happy to personally discuss engineering opportunities with you.
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