What is Civil Engineering

Civil engineers are responsible for overseeing the development, planning, construction, maintenance, and repair of roads, buildings, and other infrastructure projects (including bridges, tunnels, railways, and sewage systems). They can work as private contractors or for construction and engineering firms, although it’s also common for civil engineers to work for government agencies or specific industries as well.

An individual who opts for a career in civil engineering can choose between two general career paths; either contractor or consulting. The consulting civil engineer generally works in conjunction with a team of architects, land surveyors and other specialists to collaborate on a construction related project. A contracting engineer is that is responsible for the designing the structure and planning the construction of major projects.

To gain a big-picture perspective on the common tasks complete by a civil engineer, here is a general overview:

  • Creating plans, structures, and design for crucial infrastructure or construction projects (including roads, bridges, roads, and general construction).
  • Liaising and consulting with construction or development clients and engineering team members.
  • Completing research and using engineering planning to determine the feasibility of a project.
  • Working with architects to design projects standalone structures or large projects.
  • Creating agendas, guidelines, or schedules for projects.
  • Creating work schedules, assigning tasks for construction projects and delegating responsibilities.
  • Reviewing and approving plans for construction and surveying.
  • Completing testing to assess soil quality, air and water compliance, and resolving site contamination issues.
  • Estimating costs for equipment, materials, and labour.
  • Determining the best materials, tools, and equipment and parties to complete specific construction projects.
  • Receiving, reviewing, and approving drafting and architectural plans and creating construction agreement programs as needed.
  • Onsite supervision of construction progress and ensuring compliance with regulations and standards whilst providing consulting or advice as needed.
  • Coordinating with suppliers, clients, government agencies and authorities and subcontractors.
  • Working with suppliers and vendors to resolve material or equipment issues.
  • Gaining and retaining permits from local, state or federal agencies.
  • Supervising the construction of specific projects.
  • Completing research to determine the economic or environmental impact of construction or infrastructure projects and sharing findings with the public or project stakeholders.
  • Staying updated with developments and trends, techniques, procedures, and equipment within the industry.
  • Designing all projects to comply with given specifications, budgets, and code and safety compliance standards.

Latest Developments in Civil Engineering

The society we live in today is a combination of sustainable living sites and urban, concrete-enhanced metropolitan areas. Our modern civil engineers must find creative ways of combining technology and advanced construction techniques with environmental considerations and constraints to ensure sustainability and functionality for the long-term. It’s a challenging task, but those who have the training and skillset can tackle these tasks head-on.

On the surface, today’s civil engineers are essentially professional problem solvers. They are tasked with the challenge of transitioning yesterday’s fiscal or durability-first philosophy to a more holistic and environmentally sustainable framework. Whether it’s infrastructure or private residential development, government projects or private manufacturing, long-term strategic planning is the key to succeeding in this industry.

Most of the GDP generated by the civil engineering field is generated in metropolitan areas. With the highest percentage of Australia’s population living in large cities, civil engineers must densify and meet the needs of a growing civilian population, while also considering environmental and sustainability concerns.

It is generally expected that the professional civil engineer will assume a leadership role within this new, sustainable and environmentally conscious industry philosophy. They will account for the environmental impact of various materials, techniques, and location to build hospitals, schools, and public facilities that will sustain a growing population in urban environments.

The innovators of Green construction and development depend on civil engineers to help them create sustainable living solutions that positively contribute to the growth of communities and societies. A great example of this philosophy is the development of green hospitals, which help patients and healthcare providers in multiple ways. A Green facility helps to create an environment that is less stressful for healthcare providers, which in turn improves their ability to deliver better health care to patients. They also foster improved patient and caregiver emotional and mental well-being. Green hospital development also helps to reduce dependence on natural resources, reduces energy consumption, saves money, and creates a more hospitable environment. Not only does this improve the quality of care, but it also increases hospital staff retention.

Because of this new civil engineering philosophy, the next ten years for Australia will provide a collaborative effort for the engineering, architecture, and construction industries. New projects may be able to secure investments exceeding a billion dollars, as Australia continues to grow and make improvements to existing infrastructure, and redesign outdated facilities for improved energy efficiency. Each of these projects will be managed and led by professional civil engineers, with the support of advanced technology such as drones, 3D printing, BIM, and cloud computing. Civil Engineers should also consider insurance cover options, including Professional Indemnity insurance.

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