Sub-disciplines in Civil Engineering

Happy Valentines’ Day, everyone!! At the same time, Happy Single’s Awareness Day! Doesn’t matter if you are in a relationship or not, I hope you enjoy whichever one applies to you.

As you guys know, I have been involved with the internship and co-op process for the last few weeks. I was supposed to have my KCI interview this morning but unfortunately, the snow caused a 2 hour delayed on campus so I had to reschedule the interview.

One question that frequently pops up is: what do you want to do?

As a new player on the field, I don’t necessarily know what I want to do. I don’t even know everything about the sub-disciplines within civil engineering! I figure along side with the internship / application tips, I’ll be posting information about each civil engineering discipline. In this post, I’ll have a quick summary about all the different sub-disciplines I can find. In the future, I’ll be posting more detailed summary of each one. Of course, this list is not perfect and there are many other sub-disciplines within civil engineering that I must have missed – however, I hope you guys can enjoy this list!

Structural Engineering

Structural engineering is what most people think of when talking about civil engineering. It includes the building of skyscrapers, bridges, and other structures.

Structural engineering is what most people think of when talking about civil engineering. It includes the building of skyscrapers, bridges, and other structures.

Structural engineering is probably what most people think of when mentioned of civil engineering. Building skyscrapers or bridges is all under structural engineering. According to Wikipedia – “structural engineering is a field of engineering dealing with the analysis and design of structures that support or resist loads” (Structural engineering).

Structural engineering dates back thousands of years. The Great Pyramids of Giza from ancient Egypt, Taj Mahal from the Mughal Empire, the Anji Bridge from Sui Dynasty China are all examples of structural engineering. For a long time, the term architect and engineer simply refers to structural engineer – of course this was before the rise of computational technologies and chemical processes that made other disciplines such as electrical and chemical engineering possible.

Environmental Engineering

This discipline refers to a sub-discipline within civil engineering to improve the natural environment. This field includes waste water management, air quality control, recycling, waste disposal, environmental sustainability, and many other public health issues. Environmental engineers study the effects of technological advances on the environment.

Geotechnical Engineering

This branch of civil engineering is concerned with earth materials. Geotechnical engineering is very important and is employed by

Tunnels, underwater pipelines, and site design all fall under geotechnical engineering.

Tunnels, underwater pipelines, and site design all fall under geotechnical engineering.

military, mining, petroleum, and other engineering concerned with construction on or in the ground. Geotechnical engineering not only work on projects dealing with underground tunnels (ie. Subways), mines, etc, but also to study earthquakes, landslides, and rockfalls.

Coastal and Off-Shore Engineering

These two sub-disciplines could roughly be grouped together. Coastal engineering deal with managing coastal areas; their projects include protection against floods and erosion. Coastal engineers also work with ports. Off-Shore engineering is concerned with human-structures in the sea. Oil platforms, artificial islands, and

Coastal engineering traditionally focuses on flood protection and soil erosion.

Coastal engineering traditionally focuses on flood protection and soil erosion.

submarine pipelines are all included with off-shore engineering.

Construction Engineering

Some people say that construction engineering deal with less of the traditional engineering but more with management. However, construction engineering is actually a pretty broad field, it includes everything starting from the design, to planning, to construction, and then finally management of infrastructures. They work on projects such as highways, airports, bridges, railroads, buildings, dams, and utilities.

Transportation Engineering

This sub-field deals with planning, functional design, operation, and management of facilities of any mode of transportation. In additional to civil engineering, transportation engineering is also related to industrial engineering.

Water Resources Engineering

Civil engineering deals with pretty most everything that the public uses, this also includes water resources. Water resources engineering includes everything from public drinking water, to the flow of water from the reservoirs to residential areas, and to the treatment of water. They are also involved with the state of water in streams and lakes.

Water resources engineering is concerned with the health of water which is being delivered to the public.

Water resources engineering is concerned with the health of water which is being delivered to the public.

Municipal or Urban Engineering

As the name says, this branch of engineering deals with engineering in a residential setting. Both in municipal and urban, these engineers work with streets, sidewalks, water supply networks, sewers, street lighting and anything about facilities at your house that you can think of. This branch is also connected with urban planning. If you are consider this field as your career, you’ll probably be working in small firms or with the local government.

 

That’s just a small list describing the sub civil engineering fields I will be writing more about. Please check back to the blog if you are ever interested in reading more about these fields! If you enjoyed this post, please press the “LIKE” button. Also, please leave a comment whether you liked it or not and tell me how I can improve on this post!

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