Overview of Civil Engineering
You, as a Construction Engineer, are the builder of our future.The construction phase of a project represents the first tangible result of a design. Your technical and management skills will allow you to turn designs into reality-- on time and within budget. You will apply your knowledge of construction methods and equipment, along with principles of financing, planning and managing to turn the designs of other engineers into successful facilities.
The Skills of Environmental Engineers are becoming increasingly important as we recognize to protect the fragile resources of our planet. Environmental engineers translate physical, chemical and biological processes into systems to destroy toxic substances, remove pollutants from water, reduce non hazardous solid waste volumes, eliminate contaminates from the air and develop groundwater supplies. In this field, you could be called upon to resolve problems of providing safe drinking water, cleaning up sites contaminated with hazardous materials, disposing of wastewater and managing solid wastes.
Geotechnical Engineering is required in all aspects of civil engineering, because the ground supports most projects. As a geotechnical engineer, you might develop projects below ground, such as tunnels and foundations. You will analyze the properties of soils and rock, and determine the best way to support a structure in the ground. You may evaluate the potential settlement of buildings, the stability of slopes and fills, the seepage of groundwater and effects of earthquakes. You will also take part in the design and construction of dams and retaining walls, or be involved in the design of landfill liners to solve environmental concerns.
As a Structural Engineer, you will face the challenge of designing structures that enclose or span across space. Structures must maintain their shape while they resist all sorts of loads in addition to their own weight, including wind, earthquake, snow, ocean waves, and temperature effects. Bridges, buildings, offshore structures, space platforms, amusement park rides, and many other kinds of projects are included within this exciting specialty. You will use steel, concrete, timber, plastic, and you might even develop new exotic materials. You will do the planning and design, as well as visit the project site to make sure the work is done properly.
Because the quality of life in a community is directly related to the quality of its transportation system your function as a Transportation Engineer will be to move people, goods and materials safely and efficiently. Your challenge will be to find ways to meet our ever-increasing travel needs on land, air and sea. You will design, construct and maintain all types of transportation facilities, including highways, railroads, airfields and ports. An important part of transportation engineering is to upgrade our transportation capability by improving traffic control and mass-transit systems, and by introducing high-speed trains, people movers, and other new transportation methods.
Water Resources Engineering
Water Resources Engineering teaches you the control of water, utilization of water and water-quality management. For example, water control is applicable in flood mitigation, storm drainage, sewerage, highway culvert design. Water utilization is applicable in municipal water supply, irrigation, hydroelectric power development. Water-quality management is applicable in water pollution control of rivers, estuaries, lakes and groundwater. Water resources engineering teaches you both structural and nonstructural solutions. As a result, you might design canals, dams, pipelines, pumping stations, retention/detention basins, reservoirs, or plan and evaluate nonstructural solutions such as zoning, education, and landscaping. Water resources engineers of the future will find themselves deeply involved with new technology and new concepts. As pollution continues to increase, future engineers will have to find innovative ways of reclaiming water and land management to improve water yield, develop plans to deal with weather modification and determine solutions that minimize undesirable ecological consequences.