Civil Engineering is one of the oldest disciplines of engineering. This particular stream of engineering deals with the design, construction and maintenance of physical environments that are either human-built or naturally built. Primarily, it deals with all things infrastructure, be it public roads, bridges, canals, sewerage systems, pipelines, dams, airports, railway lines and stations, and airports. In the public sector, civil engineers are required from the municipal level through to national levels.
Civil engineering is the application of physical and scientific principles to solve problems of society; history shows that advancements in civil engineering is intricately related to advances in subjects of physics and mathematics.
Civil engineering, as such, is a wide-ranging profession. It includes several specialized sub-disciplines, but becoming a good civil engineer means having deep knowledge of physics of structures, understanding of materials science, and knowledge of geography, geology, soils, hydrology, environment and mechanics.
Once people graduate with a B.Tech in Civil Engineering, here are some of the roles they can look at as career prospects:
Geotechnical Engineer: A geotechnical engineer, in simplified words, looks at the engineering behaviour of earth materials, such as minerals, rocks, soil and water. A Geotechnical Engineer will primarily focus on the topography of the land and the land’s rocks and soils and their behaviour in the building process of any construction project. Geotechnical engineering has relevance in military, mining, petroleum and other engineering disciplines that are concerned with construction occurring on the surface or within the ground. Entry-level geotechnical engineers analyse soil, rock, groundwater and minerals prior to any major construction project. This means they also perform appropriate calculations and prepare reports after analysing these earth materials. Senior geotechnical engineer provides direction to the technical teams doing field inspection activities They also interact with customers and team members to complete the assigned project on-time as well as review and approve already developed geotechnical designs. They are also know to develop budgets for site projects outlining all associated costs.
Building Control Surveyor: Entry-level building control surveyors work on the planning and construction phases of a variety of projects, from small house extensions to major city developments. They inspect unsafe buildings and recommend whether it can be repaired or should be demolished. They are also called in when buildings have been damaged by fire or inclement weather.
Senior building control surveyor ensures that new buildings, alterations, installations, and extensions meet the regulatory standards of safety, sustainability, accessibility, and design. They work closely with the construction workers on planning proposals and carrying out inspections on site at each stage of the building process.
Construction Manager: Also known as general contractors, entry-level construction managers oversee the day-to-day construction of the project, including supervising the labour force, checking materials, inspecting work and overseeing quality control. They check design documents with architects, surveyors and engineers; promote and maintain health and safety, including site inspections to ensure safety rules are being followed; etc.
It is the responsibility of senior construction managers to prepare detailed, timely project reports regarding work schedules, implementations, deviations, change in subcontractors, customer issues and other related problems. They also facilitate the development of cost estimates that include conceptual estimates prior to design as well as detailed time and materials estimates from design documents.
Building Services Engineer: Entry-level building service engineers design the layout of energy distribution, water pipes and ventilation systems and identifying relevant materials; draw plans using computer-aided design and building information modelling software; carrying out tests on systems and making changes to plans where necessary; etc.
Senior building service engineers monitor the installation of services and make sure that all building services meet health and safety requirements and environmental legislation; negotiate contracts with clients, particularly in consultancy work; liaising with plumbers, electricians, surveyors, architectural technologists and other construction professionals; etc.
Site Engineer: Entry-level site engineers act as the main technical advisor on a construction site for subcontractors, craftspeople and operatives; check plans, drawings and quantities for accuracy of calculations; ensure that all materials used and work performed are in accordance with the specifications; etc.
Senior site engineers are responsible for liaising with clients, subcontractors and other professional staff, especially quantity surveyors and the overall project manager; ensuring that health, safety and sustainability policies and legislation are adhered to; communicate with the site engineer and rest of the team and assist with the organising of the site; etc.