(siv-uhl en-juh-neer-ing) (n.)
The practice of designing and supervising large construction projects, especially in infrastructure. Civil engineers design new roadways, ditches, bridges and sewer systems. A civil engineer may also provide strength analysis in regards to the structure of the bridge, as well as determine the right materials for the job. Civil engineering is becoming a popular field within the engineering profession, as most states are looking to build economic growth while improving deteriorating highways and bridges.
Civil engineers are often employed by construction companies and state road commissions. The engineer must find effective ways to help improve water drainage on roadways, improve traffic flow by resizing highways or provide ways to restructure failing bridges or dams. Some civil engineers are employed in office settings, working on blueprints and problem solving, whereas others work in the field with construction workers and make sure projects run smoothly.
As with any engineering positions, civil engineers are expected to obtain a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Most coursework includes chemistry, physics, mathematics and material design. Although not required among this profession, students often advance to graduate school to obtain master's or doctorate degrees. Extracurricular activities are also emphasized as a way to further build the engineer's resume. Most college campuses offer the concrete canoe project, which is funded by the American Society of Civil Engineers. This provides hands-on experience building a canoe completely out of concrete and exploring the possibilities of having it float with the right material selection.
Civil engineers are in high demand as the nation’s infrastructure needs to be maintained. Employers are looking for talented individuals who can use the latest technology and advances to find the cheapest materials available for the job while providing a longer lifespan for these structures.
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