Civil engineering is regarded as one of the most important engineering fields across the globe. The industry is about solving real world problems through designing, constructing, managing and maintaining the infrastructure that plays a vital role in the development of countries and supports modern society. This includes buildings, bridges, roads, airports, dams, sewage systems, flood mitigation works and so on; the list is endless. Civil engineers are at the forefront of innovation in our societies.

As you can see, although civil engineering is a profession that generally focuses on creating physical manmade structures, it is an extremely broad field that encompasses multiple sub-disciplines. In this guide, we’ve explained some of the key areas of this sector.

Construction Engineering

The primary role of a construction engineer is to manage and oversee an entire construction project. This doesn’t just involve the planning and physical building stage, but also the transportation of materials and site development. Their daily tasks are likely to involve evaluating logistical operations, reviewing contracts and coordinating contractors. They also need to make sure that projects are completed efficiently and safely.

Whether a new road needs to be laid, or a new building needs to be erected, all civil engineering projects will require construction engineers.

Structural Engineering

Structural engineering involves studying and analysing the design of bridges, flyovers, marine structures and other buildings. These engineers are responsible for ensuring these buildings aren’t just aesthetically pleasing, but also safe, durable and serviceable. This requires the identification of the loads, forces and stress which might act upon a structure.

When designing a building, the engineers must consider multiple factors. For example, the cost and constructability, as well as its strength and stability. They also need to make sure the building is designed to withstand environmental factors like earthquakes, floods and aggressive winds. Competent maths and physics skills are essential, and sound knowledge of materials such as concrete, stone, steel and so on is needed for structural engineers to be successful in their position.

Transportation Engineering

Transport engineering continues to be one of the most pivotal civil engineering disciplines. Engineers in this sector design, construct and maintain all forms of public transportation systems across the world, including roads, railways, ports and airports. Their aims are to improve the overall traffic movement, reduce traffic congestion and minimise the risk of accidents from happening. This can be achieved by either designing a completely new system, or by altering an existing one.

However, in order to effectively improve transportation links, engineers need to take into consideration a variety of factors, such as the economic, political and ethical impact the new system will have.

With automobiles and other future transportation advancements planned to be introduced in the upcoming years, transportation engineers will always be in demand.

Geotechnical Engineering

Another important branch of civil engineering is geotechnical engineering. Specialists who work in this field study and analyse the rock and soil of the area where a civil structure is either currently standing or is planned to be used for construction sometime in the future. These engineers must have vast knowledge of soil science, material science as well as the mechanics and hydraulics involved in safely designing a range of structures and buildings.

Water Resources Engineering

Water resources engineers strive to improve the quality and quantity of water resources in a specified area. They design and construct hydraulic structures (typically dams, canals and water distribution systems) that collect and manage water as a natural resource. This area of engineering adopts principles of hydrology, meteorology and resource management (among other elements), so extensive knowledge is required.

These engineers usually focus on flood and storm water analysis, wastewater treatment procedures and ground water remediation.

Environmental Engineering

This sub-discipline concentrates on creating ways to conserve highly populated areas and preventing pollution from effecting the natural environment. Environmental engineers conduct detailed analysis on a wide range of environmental problems and develop solutions to these issues. Some of the tasks they are responsible for include solid waste treatment/management, treatment of water sources and improving the quality of water and air. Understanding of atmospheric sciences and hydrology is needed in order to excel in this career.

Civil Engineering Careers & Jobs in Bristol

If you’re looking to start your career in the civil engineering industry, or are looking for your next career move, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team here at BMR Solutions. We specialise in pairing top engineering talent with some of the South West’s most exciting engineering organisations.

Alternatively, submit your CV with us today and one of our friendly team will get back to you to help find you your next position.

Take a look at the current vacancies we have here – we often have jobs in the civil engineering industry arising.

See more: The Ultimate Guide to Civil Engineering in 2017

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