Civil Engineering

Nature of the subject

Civil engineers conceive, design, build, supervise, operate, construct, and maintain infrastructure projects and systems in the public and private sector, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, harbours, canals, bridges, overhead reservoirs, power plants, earthquake retaining structures and systems for water supply and sewage treatment. It is improving and protecting the environment in which we live. The subject broadly invovles the following aspects in dealing with the problems:

  1. Planning
  2. Design
  3. Analysis

What do you Study in this ?

There are a number of sub-disciplines within the broad field of civil engineering -

Structural Engineering- It is concerned with the structural design and structural analysis of buildings, bridges, towers, flyovers (overpasses), tunnels, off shore structures like oil and gas fields in the sea, aerostructure and other structures. This involves identifying the loads which act upon a structure and the forces and stresses which arise within that structure due to those loads, and then designing the structure to successfully support and resist those loads.

Environmental engineering- Environmental engineering deals with treatment of chemical, biological, or thermal wastes, purification of water and air, and remediation of contaminated sites after waste disposal or accidental contamination.

Geotechnical engineering- Identification of soil properties presents challenges to geotechnical engineers.

Surveying- It is the process by which a surveyor measures certain dimensions that occur on or near the surface of the Earth. Surveying equipment, such as levels and theodolites, are used for accurate measurement of angular deviation, horizontal, vertical and slope distances. With computerisation, electronic distance measurement (EDM), total stations, GPS surveying and laser scanning have to a large extent supplanted traditional instruments. Data collected by survey measurement is converted into a graphical representation of the Earth's surface in the form of a map. This information is then used by civil engineers and contractors to design from, build on, and trade.

Transportation engineering- It is concerned with moving people and goods efficiently, safely, and in a manner conducive to a vibrant community. It includes a study of highways, railways and airports.

Hydraulics and irrigation engineering- It is concerned with the flow and conveyance of fluids, principally water. Hydraulic engineers design the facilities using the concepts of fluid pressure, fluid statics, fluid dynamics and hydraulics.

Geology- Geologists study Earth processes: Many processes such as landslides, earthquakes, floods, and volcanic eruptions can be hazardous to people. Geologists work to understand these processes well enough to avoid building important structures where they might be damaged.

Steel structures- understanding the beahaviour and use of steel as a construction material, Learning the design methods of using steel as a building material.

Reinforced Cement Concrete- The subject dealing with the structures made of concrete. It includes the study of properties and methods of using concrete as a constuction material.

Top educational Institutions

Top colleges for pursuing civil engineering for B tech programme are-

  • Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
  • Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
  • Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
  • Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati
  • Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar
  • Indian Institute of Technology Dhanbad
  • Birla Institute of Technology and Science (Pilani)
  • Delhi Technological University DTU

There are various good regional colleges also and a list is avaliable on the internet , look for only trusted rankings.


Jobs and Careers

The jobs are broadly divided into three categories-

  1. Construction
  2. Design
  3. Research

Construction Engineer-He mostly works in the supervision of building projects of roads, highways, dams, buildings etc. They also work in the maintenance of structure in big projects.

Design Engineer-To design any structure as per it's use which is to be implemented in the field. He uses CAD software for drwaings and layout designs. They also work on design tools like finite element analysis.

Research Engineer- These jobs are few in number and are very specific.They are mostly in ;

  • Material science
  • Transportation
  • Environment
  • Water resource management
  • Computational modelling

The jobs can also be divided into three industries;

  1. Public sector- recriuts from gate or thier entrance tests. Most renowned psu's are BHEL, NTPC, ONGC, IUCL etc
  2. Government sector- ISRO, DRDO,BARC etc are the prime government sector units they take upon the gate score card or mostly conduct their own tests for enrtrance. Administrative and engineering services also give a bright future. Central(CPWD)- and state governments(PWD) provide the different jobs.
  3. Private sector- They recruit from campus or by advertisements of the consultancy. The companies are L and T , VEDANTA, JAYPEE GROUP etc.

You can also be an entrepreneur in the construction business, for this sky is the limit.


Education Progression

First, you'll need a bachelor's degree in civil engineering or a civil engineering specialty. Your degree will take four years to complete, and will include courses in math, engineering, mechanics, statistics and fluid dynamics, among others. For a managerial position there is further a requirement of a master's degree. One can also go for higher studies in foriegn to do MS programme. After this level again two options either a job or go for reserach.


Specializations are the need of the hour-

The main reason being with with the ever-changing world, civil engineers will be needed to manage small to high-scale projects to rebuild bridges, repair roads, build or repair dams as well as airports and building structures of all types across every country. 

Importance of civil engineers!

 Civil engineers are responsible for sustainable energy, in this era of fast depleting fuel and resources, and even the supply of clean water; a world without them would be unimaginable.

Areas fo specialisation within civil engineering are as follows;

  • Coastal - Protect costal areas against erosion and flooding.
  • Earthquake - Test structures to ensure they are earthquake-resistant.
  • Environmental - Find new ways to protect our environment; create wind farms, work on water purification, waste water treatment and solid waste treatment, etc.
  • Structural - Design and build bridges, towers, flyovers, tunnels, and off-shore structures like oil and gas fields in the sea.
  • Transport - Work on building and maintaining roads, canals, highways, rail systems, airports, and ports.
  • Urban - Primarily focus on designing, constructing, and maintaining the roads, water supply networks, sewers, municipal solid waste management and disposal, public parks, etc.
  • Water resources - Design and construct water resources such as pipelines, drainage facilities (including dams, channels, culverts, storm sewers), and canals.