Civil Engineering Disciplines

Engineering is a broad field that is divided into various disciplines and sub-disciplines. For a civil Engineer , the best discipline is “structural engineering”. The structural engineer designs structure according to its requirement. There is lot of imagination, calculations, mathematics and engineering while designing big structures like dams, bridges, highways,tunnels. The designs should not only be safe against all adversaries of nature like earth quake, cyclones, settlements etc but it should also be economical and elegant.

As a Civil Engineer a vast world of imagination and dreams are opened to us. The Field of civil engineering is so vast that one can’t limit itself to any particular field and excel without having a proper knowledge of other related fields. The disciplines of engineering can be divided into four main categories, chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering. Each main discipline will provide you with a “taste” of the various skills and knowledge required to work in any field related to the discipline.

Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including public works such as roads, bridges, canals, dams, airports, sewerage systems, pipelines, structural components of buildings, and railways. To conclude we can say that “Civil Engineering is a Renaissance field that requires the knowledge of many disciplines.” Below given a list of disciplines A Civil Engineer Specialized:

A. Bridge Engineering
Bridge engineering is a field of engineering (particularly a significant branch of structural engineering) dealing with the surveying, plan, design, analysis, construction, management, and maintenance of bridges that support or resist loads. Bridges are classified on the basis that how the four forces namely shear, compression, tension, and moment are distributed in the bridge structure. A structure built to span and provide passage over a river, chasm, road, or any other physical hurdle. The function required from the bridge and the area where it is constructed decides the design of the bridge.

B. Construction engineering
The civil engineer is concerned with the management of engineering projects including planning and control of cost, time, and quality. This field is a multi-discipline area, which demands knowledge about business, economy, computer applications, construct ability, construction equipment and methods, decision and risk analysis, engineering management, law, safety and productivity.

C. Environmental engineering
This field is concerned with the study of the necessary methods and techniques of environment protection as well as the availability of the basic life elements such as water and air with a specific level of quality to protect the mankind health and environment. This includes design and construction of water distribution networks, wastewater and storm water collection systems, water treatment plants and wastewater treatment for reuse in industrial and agricultural fields. Environmental engineering involves also the study of the different techniques of controlling air, water and soil pollution as well as the proper disposal or recycle of solid and hazardous wastes.

D. Fire protection engineering
Fire protection engineering is the application of science and engineering principles to protect people, property, and their environments from the harmful and destructive effects of fire and smoke. It encompasses engineering which focuses on fire detection, suppression and mitigation and fire safety engineering which focuses on human behavior and maintaining a tenable environment for evacuation from a fire. Fire protection engineers identify risks and design safeguards that aid in preventing, controlling, and mitigating the effects of fires.

E. Geotechnical engineering
This field is concerned with the study of the soil properties of the construction site and its bearing capacity. Geotechnical engineering is concerned also with the suitable solutions for any problem in the soil as well as the choice of the best and secured methods of design and construction of the foundation of engineering structures.

F. General engineering
General engineering is the branch of science and technology dealing with the design, building, maintenance and use of engines, machines and structures. It includes subcategories such as electrical, chemical, mechanical, civil, architectural engineering and computer engineering. Engineering is directly linked to environmental, economic, legal, social and political contexts, so a broader degree in general engineering, or even a double degree of engineering with another discipline might help you exercise your skills better.

G. Hydraulic engineering
This field covers the basic concepts of water science and its related theorems and applications. This includes the methods of transporting water from sources to distribution sites through channels and pipelines, water sources and storage system, types of dams and their design methods. It involves also the study of seawater movements and shore protection.

H. Materials science
Materials science is an interdisciplinary field involving the properties of matter and its applications to various areas of science and engineering. It includes elements of applied physics and chemistry, as well as chemical, mechanical, civil and electrical engineering. The basis of all materials science involves relating the desired properties and relative performance of a material in a certain application to the structure of the atoms and phases in that material through characterization.

I. Piles Engineering
The Piling Engineer must do the following schedule the production rate with the available machines in the site, check the soil report and follow up the drilling to make sure of the efficiency and accuracy of the foundation (pile, sheet pile, diaphragm, h-beam, schedule the material manufacturing as per the site requirement, and monitor the material quantity theoretically and actual.

J. Structural engineering
This discipline deals with the analysis and design of concrete and steel structures, such as multi-story buildings, bridges, towers....etc. It deals also with the study of the durability and resistibility of such structures for live loads, wind and earthquake. The study involves also the study of the properties of building materials according to the international specifications.

K. Surveying

L. Timber Engineering

M. Transportation engineering

This discipline involves the present and future broad planning of the requirements of transportation systems, as well as the specifications of these systems such as those of roads, airports, parking lots....etc. and the management of traffic volumes with the necessary design of the traffic signals and public transportation.
N. Water resources engineering
Manual Labor: the First Engineering Tool
Civil engineering involves the design, construction, and maintenance of works such as roads, bridges, and buildings. It's a science that includes a variety of disciplines including soils, structures, geology, and other fields. Thus the history of civil engineering is closely associated with the history of advancement in these sciences. In ancient history, most of the construction was carried out by artisans, and technical expertise was limited. Tasks were accomplished by the utilization of manual labor only, without the use of sophisticated machinery, since it did not exist. Therefore, civil engineering works could only be realized with the utilization of a large number of skilled workers over an extended period of time.

Modern Concepts In Civil Engineering
Numerous technologies have assisted in the advancement of civil engineering in the modern world, including high-tech machinery, selection of materials, test equipment, and other sciences. However, the most prominent contributor in this field is considered to be computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacture (CAM). Civil engineers use this technology to achieve an efficient system of construction, including manufacture, fabrication, and erection. Three-dimensional design software is an essential tool for the civil engineer that facilitates him in the efficient designing of bridges, tall buildings, and other huge complicated structures.

If you are more inclined to work in field and wants to become “Project Manager” then “ Construction Engineering and Management “ is the best option. You learn best construction technologies, sound concrete engineering, project management and Construction Economics. Project Managers who can handle large size projects without time and cost over-run are required everywhere. For instance, if you want to build a career as a professional, then you have to try different things. There are numerous departments which work together to accomplish a project or run a company. 

In my 5 years of work experience, I started as a site engineer, then moved on to billing, then moved on to planning and then to project co-ordination. So the sum total of all these things help me on a daily basis.

Now it might not hold true for everyone, some things which worked out for me might not work out for you. The catch is to keep trying, keep putting efforts and see where your career leads you. Happy hunting.

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