Careers & Education

3 Interesting Facts About Civil Engineering

Civil engineers are highly involved in many different types of structural design and construction. Here are three interesting facts about civil engineering.

1. Civil Engineering Requires Creativity

Science, technology and mathematics are all important components of engineering, but they aren’t the only skills you need. To be a civil engineer, you also need to be creative, collaborative and adaptable. Engineering work requires good critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Depending on the project and your role in it, you may also need to flex your artistic abilities. You may need to draw blueprints and design sketches, develop site plan drawings or provide design input, for example.

2. The French Were the First To Recognized Civil Engineering as a Discipline

The first group of people to practice civil engineering as a discipline was the French Bridge and Highway Corps. This organization was founded in 1716. Members developed the discipline and wrote books on engineering that would help standardize various aspects of the discipline, such as design standards, materials, calculations and mechanics. By 1747, the organization had become the National School of Bridges and Highways, which educated both French and English students.

3. There Are Several Branches of Civil Engineering

Civil engineering encompasses several sub-disciplines, all of which develop and construct infrastructure for public use and benefit. These sub-disciplines are public health, power, hydraulic and maritime engineering, transportation and construction. Not only do civil engineers take part in the construction of transportation infrastructure such as highways and airports but they are also involved in developing the mechanics of processes such as water desalination and waste disposal. Civil engineering often overlaps with other engineering disciplines, such as environmental engineering.

Civil engineers need to be highly educated in their field. The structures they develop and design need to be safe, secure and ready for people to use.