Monday, March 26, 2012

Civil Engineering at a Glance


Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings.

Civil engineering is the oldest engineering discipline after military engineering, and it was defined to distinguish non-military engineering from military engineering.

It is traditionally broken into several sub-disciplines including environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, municipal or urban engineering, water resources engineering, materials engineering, coastal engineering, surveying, and construction engineering.

Civil engineering takes place on all levels: in the public sector from municipal through to national governments, and in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies.

A civil engineer is a person who practices civil engineering; the application of planning, designing, constructing, maintaining, and operating infrastructures while protecting the public and environmental health, as well as improving existing infrastructures that have been neglected.

Originally, a civil engineer worked on public works projects and was contrasted with the military engineer, who worked on armaments and defenses. Over time, various branches of engineering have become recognized as distinct from civil engineering, including chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering, while much of military engineering has been absorbed by civil engineering.
In some places, a civil engineer may perform land surveying; in others, surveying is limited to construction surveying, unless an additional qualification is obtained. On some U.S. military bases, the personnel responsible for building and grounds maintenance, such as grass mowing, are called civil engineers and are not required to meet any minimum educational requirements.