Civil engineering plays an essential role in building communities and society in general. The roads, airports, and subway systems you see all around you involve the great minds of civil engineers. Without these infrastructures, life will be hard to navigate.
To fully appreciate the role of civil engineering in society, let us discuss its definition, the team of experts behind the discipline, and the specific roles these experts fulfill in improving the community.
What is civil engineering?
According to Columbia University in New York, civil engineering is deemed the oldest engineering discipline. Civil engineering dates back to the time people started constructing roofs over their heads and used trucks as a means to cross the river.
When we think of civil engineering, buildings and bridges are the initial thoughts that come to a person’s mind. This isn’t wrong. Civil engineering does deal with the creation of structures; this is one of civil engineering’s sub-disciplines.
Another sub-discipline of civil engineering is transportation engineering. Under transport engineering, roads, railways, airports, and subways are created. However, civil engineering has other less popular sub-disciplines.
Designing and constructing water supply systems are also part of civil engineering. Sanitary engineering is another sub-discipline that manages water after households and other buildings have used it. As years passed, sanitary engineering has been developed to become environmental engineering.
Aside from this, civil engineers are also involved in the aerospace and automotive industry. It is even involved in the most minute things like designing bumpers and doors so that they create less noise when opening and closing. Civil engineers are also involved in ships, power, and other industries that involve construction.
The Civil Engineer
This type of engineer practices civil engineering. It is an exciting profession that has tangible results, as seen in the finished construction. They must have specific attributes. For instance, they should be an innovative individual who can find creative solutions when challenges arise during construction. Additionally, they must be logical in providing these solutions. Creativity is part of this innovativeness.
A good civil engineer does not only focus on minute details but also sees the big picture. Also, since civil engineers usually handle big and complex construction projects, a professional practicing civil engineering must be a great collaborator. To top it all off, a civil engineer must be focused on community building.
The International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning published a journal about the study of civil engineering in relation to community service. It states that while in the academe, students must already construct a particular belief on how they can contribute to society.
Civil Engineering’s Role in the Society
Civil engineers can either be consultant engineers or contractors. Consultant engineers are more focused on the design and management of projects with clients. They can usually be found in the office.
Contractors, on the other hand, are usually found around the construction site. They are more hands-on in physical construction. They manage both the process as well as the budgeting for the project.
Often, civil engineers are experts in finding solutions to challenging problems. When it comes to budgeting, for instance, civil engineers can easily find ways to finish a project even when there is a limited budget. Often, contractors benefit from the equipment for construction that’s on sale to cut costs during the building process.
Whether a consultant engineer or a contractor, all civil engineers contribute significantly to providing public use infrastructures. They also play an essential part in the economic development of countries.
In Nigeria, for example, civil engineering has helped improve the standard of living of its people. Across the world, civil engineers contribute significantly to building schools, drainage and sewage systems, seaports and airports, as well as bridges that are all crucial in our daily living.
Developing innovations for the betterment of society
Civil engineering also helps create innovations that contribute to a cleaner environment. This is crucial in ensuring that there is an excellent environment left for future generations. In terms of technological advancements, civil engineers also create new machines that can address existing societal problems.
Through civil engineers’ help, technology can be easily used as the environment’s ally in fighting climate change. To do so, civil engineers use research, scientific principles, and physical application to create new systems and processes crucial for industrial innovation.
Appreciating Civil Engineers and Their Practice
With all the major contributions civil engineering provides to society, credit must be given. Giving credit is required so that these professionals remain committed and become more motivated in helping improve the world we live in.