Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Civil engineeering

  1. May 22, 2010 #1
    what is civil engineering and what subjects are required for it and also where is the best country to study this engineering.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2010 #2
    Straight from Wiki:
    Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works such as bridges, roads, canals, dams and buildings.
    From what I hear, US probably has the best engineering courses, and also because it's a diverse country, you will be able to gain work experiences all over the world via the co-op programs..
    As for the subjects, it really depends on which uni/college you goto, so do some research on that.
    Generally, they require math and 2 science courses (preferably including physics)
     
  4. May 27, 2010 #3
    Wiki does a good job summing it up in the first paragraph.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_engineering

    So your interested I take it. Where are you from?

    I am currently doing a 3 year civil engineering technologist program, and enjoying it so much that I am considering taking some courses at another school afterwards to get a Bachelor of Engineering and eventually apply for my license.

    I live in the province of Ontario, Canada and almost every college (school of applied arts and technology has this three year diploma program. Its awesome because it almost guarantees you a job. Everyone in my program is employed for an 8 month paid work term right now and the average pay is anywhere from 15-20 CAN which is pretty damn good for a student. Jobs range from General Contractors to large engineering firms. A buddy of mine from the same program at another college is making 22 CAN per hour for his summer job and another guy I know has one semester left of his 3 year program and is getting a starting salary of 55k again not bad for a 22 year old.

    Another thing I like about civil is how broad of a subject it is and many sub categories come into it. In my country every year we spend billions on infrastructure repairs and even more in bad economical times like this to create jobs. Highway projects, water and sewer infrastructures jobs are popping up all over the place every summer funded by the provincial and federal government. There will never be a shortage of jobs in the field of civil unless people decide that they don't want to drive cars on highways, have water supplied to there houses, waste removed from there houses, or live in houses and work in office buildings and factories.

    Hopefully this helps you, post again if you would like me to elaborate on anything.
     
  5. May 28, 2010 #4
    it sounds very interesting though can u tell me what subjects did you focus on when you decided to do civil. and is university tough or easy.
     
  6. May 28, 2010 #5
    Since you are still interested in this thread, you may be interested in some historical background.

    Civil Engineering was originally a Roman term. The Romans distinguished two forms of engineering viz Military Engineering, which was carried out by dedicated Military Engineers. Everything else was Civil Engineering.
    In Roman times, everything else wasn't much because Roman society was strongly military. So most of the significant engineering was undertaken by Military Engineers.

    Following the fall of Rome in about 500 AD it was the Arabs who kept Science and Technology alive until about 1500 AD when the Renaissance came to Europe. The distinction survived although the emphasis was still strongly on the military.

    When the Industrial Revolution came commerce began to sponsor engineering activity in a big way and the balance of activity shifted from Military to Civil Engineering. Pioneers such as Stephenson considered themselves Civil Engineers, although they dealt with machinery such as steam engines.

    It was said that a good engineer "could turn his hand to anything"

    Progress in the following centuries led to separation of various branches of engineering. First to separate was mechanical, then electrical until we have the variety of engineering disciplines and institutions that we enjoy today.

    However over compartmentalisation is a bad thing. It is a good idea for engineers to have an overview of sister branches because most projects combine aspects of each.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  7. May 28, 2010 #6
    wow thanks for the information. by the way what would you recomend aeronautical or civil.
     
  8. May 28, 2010 #7
    Many universities have a common first year for all or part of their engineering courses.
    So if at the end of the first year you have chosen the wrong area it it easy to transfer.

    Of course this might not apply to such widely divers branches such as software engineer v aeronautic engineering but many have a core such as

    Mechanics
    Stress analysis
    Basic electrics
    Engineering maths
    Engineering computing - CAD drawing/Calculation/Modelling
    Materials Science

    For civil engineering you are likely to have such additional modules as
    Surveying
    Geology
    Hydraulics
    Environmental Engineering

    I can't help with aeronautic specialities.

    At the end of the day you will need to follow your heart to succeed.
     
  9. May 28, 2010 #8
    Sorry TI-84 didn't realize your post was strait from wiki too,

    Studiot, great historic information. I remember reading that Civil is the oldest engineering discipline after military engineering and I thought that was quite interesting.

    asdfg654321, some of the subjects i enjoyed

    Fluid Mechanics, in this course we had spent time in a lab as well as lectures, testing various properties of which would relate to water systems that are designed in civil such as storm drains, canals, sanitary lines.

    Soil Mechanics, also labs involved testing properties of soil, determine loads certain soils can take, soil classifications, understanding how water runs through soil for purposes such as wells.

    Highway design, and Highway Technology turned out to be pretty interesting. You wouldnt believe the amount of work that goes into building a highway and the amount of money it can be up to millions of dollars just for a few km's of highway.

    Statics of Materials and Mechanics of Materials, these are all about calculating loads building materials can take such as lumber, concrete, and steel. Say you have a beam how much of a load can it support before it fails.

    I'm not really the best at explaining them and making them sound exciting but I found the more I learned the more interested I became.

    If i was you I wouldn't be looking for a reccomendation of aeronautical or civil. You should do some more research on both subjects. Check out various programs at as many schools as you can. Look into the job market see what kinds of jobs you would be doing in both field if you were to graduate and if you could see yourself doing something like that for a couple of decades.

    No matter what an engineering program anywhere is going to be a challenging program but if you have interest in it and put the time in it will all make sense in the end.

    Cheers.
     
  10. May 28, 2010 #9
    Another interesting bit of history.

    During most of the 19th and 20th centuries there was a marked difference between engineering in the Old World and the New.

    Wages in America were generally high but materials cheap,
    Whereas in Britain and Europe wages were low and but materials expensive.

    So there were lots of simple to build trestle bridges in America which are extravagant on materials, whereas more sophisticated materials saving structures are more common in Europe.
     
  11. May 28, 2010 #10
    The structure for a career in engineering varies with country.

    The relevant UK organisation is the Engineering Council which recognises two basic levels
    Chartered Engineer
    Incorporated Engineer

    A look around their website will tell you much.

    http://www.engc.org.uk/professional-qualifications/chartered-engineer/about-chartered-engineer [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook