A challenging career path with many options spanning from construction of critical city infrastructure to housing and utilities.
What Civil Engineers Do
Civil Engineering professionals are primarily concerned with designing and building physical infrastructure.
Whether as consultants or contractors, Civil Engineers are responsible for designing and building all types of structures including, bridges, dams, roads, pipelines, towers and buildings, both public and private. They help design and maintain transport systems, water and gas supplies, sewerage systems, and airports, harbours and railways.
They also typically consider the environmental impact of large scale projects. Civil Engineers work closely with Architectural Engineers to produce safe, economical and environmentally-sound structures from their sketches and designs.
Acoustical Engineers design and build structures, interiors and machinery that are concerned with sound and noise. They might work on concert halls and sports stadiums, or help combat sound pollution in major cities. Acoustical Engineers typically work as consultants for private firms or government agencies, however some prefer to consultant as freelancers.
Building Surveyors offer advice and consultation on maintenance, repair, refurbishment and restoration of buildings. A Building Surveyor assesses structural faults and defects, but also may recommend ways of improving construction. Typical roles that they might undertake include project management, dealing with planning applications and providing advice on property law and building regulations.
Consulting Civil Engineers advise on planning, design and management of civil and structural construction projects. They typically consult on residential and commercial construction projects, especially government infrastructure plans such as bridges, highways, and public facilities.
Consulting Civil Engineers assess appropriate sites for construction, draw up plans and schedules, and estimate the cost of all the work required. They then monitor site activities to ensure everything is progressing according to plan, and that it meets quality standards.
Contracting Civil Engineers are in charge of actualising the plans of a consulting civil engineer. They are responsible for overseeing construction on the ground, organising human and material resources and ensuring the project runs according to time and budget.
Contracting Civil Engineers liaise and work closely with the design team, including consulting engineers and architectural engineers, among others, to ensure the quality, safety and timely completion of a project, within budget.
Design Engineers are responsible for preparing and supervising civil engineering designs across a broad range of infrastructure projects. The principle duties and responsibilities of a Design Engineer include, but are not limited to, preparing project plans and consulting briefs for clients, managing multi-disciplinary teams to achieve design objectives within budget, and monitoring the project to ensure high quality and standards.
Forensic Engineers in a Civil context are concerned with investigating structures or components that fail to function as intended, and consequently resulted in injury, damage or even death. For instance, if a bridge collapses a road cracks unexpectedly, resulting in damages, a Forensic Engineer will be called in to investigate the cause.
Nuclear Engineers in a Civil context are typically in charge of constructing nuclear facilities such as power plants. Their roles might involve designing new facilities or maintaining, servicing, and ultimately decommissioning existing facilities. For instance, they may design solutions for combating accidents or ensure adherence to minimum thickness requirements for shielding of certain structures, two core issues in nuclear plant designs.
Civil Nuclear Engineers may also be responsible for the roads and infrastructure around a Nuclear Plant, constructing water sources for cooling and ensuring environmental protection, amongst many other roles.
Plumbing Engineers are responsible for designing and implementing plumbing systems that increase efficiency of water and energy wastage, typically from heating and cooling systems. While a plumber might fix a broken pipe, a Plumbing Engineer is responsible for designing the whole system so that the pipe won’t break in the first place.
Plumbing Engineers also design and implement natural gas systems, sprinkler systems or stormwater management and sewage systems. They are effectively responsible for water efficiency, energy sustainability, fire protection and pollution systems of a facility.
The responsibility of a Civil Site Engineer may hugely vary from one project to another. Typically, however, Site Engineering involves day-to-day management of the workers on a construction site, as well as technical advice and quality control of everyone involved in it. They will plan construction according to deadlines and resolve problems that arise on site.
Have you ever wanted to design and build the next eiffel tower? Then Structural Engineering is definitely for you. Structural Engineers are responsible for designing and developing load-bearing infrastructure such as bridges, buildings, roads and dams. They are responsible for developing structures to be long-standing and to be able to withstand extremes (e.g. earthquakes, strong winds, fire, etc.). They also typically conduct risk assessment of existing infrastructure for government and commercial entities.
Water Engineers are concerned with how water interacts with all aspects of manmade and natural environments. They typically observe natural systems such as rivers and coasts, and mimic these systems in the design and creation of infrastructure to store or direct water. Water Engineers are responsible for dealing with supplying drinking water and water for industry and agriculture.
They are concerned with groundwater, rainwater and flooding, coastal water behaviour and water quality requirements. A Water Engineer might work closely with plumbing engineers, environmental and energy engineers and agricultural engineers, amongst others.
Transport Engineers in a Civil context are concerned with designing and improving transportation systems and infrastructure, including highways, airports, train stations, etc. Transport Engineers typically work in office environments in the government sector or for private contractors, or on construction sites of transport infrastructure to advise and oversee the progress.