What's it like to be a Civil Engineer?

Civil engineers plan, design, construct, operate and maintain roads, bridges, dams, water supply schemes, sewerage systems, transportation systems, harbors, canals, dockyards, airports, railways, factories and large buildings.
Civil engineers may work in offices or on site. They may be required to work long hours and meet strict deadlines while working under minimal supervision. Civil engineers deal with various professional, skilled and semi-skilled people.
Consulting and contracting engineers often travel interstate, and some travel overseas. It may be necessary for some civil engineers to change residence every few years as their work takes them from one major engineering site to another.

Civil engineers may investigate sites to determine the most suitable foundation for a proposed construction; research and advise on the best engineering solution to meet a client's needs and budget. These engineers organize the delivery of materials, machinery and equipment needed for the construction project and supervise labor. They work with other engineers, architects, landscape architects and environmental scientists.

Civil engineers operate computers to assist with the design of civil engineering projects; research, advise on the control and minimization of air, water and solid waste pollution, and the management of water resources. They supervise the testing and commissioning of completed works.

These engineers also analyze risks associated with natural disasters (including cyclones, earthquakes, fires and floods), and design structures and services to meet appropriate standards.

Civil engineers have different specializations:

There is a hydraulic/water resources engineer which designs and supervises construction and advises on the operation, maintenance and repair of water resource facilities such as dams, aqueducts, hydro-electric plants, and water supply, drainage and sewerage systems.

A highway engineer specializes in analyzing population and growth statistics, traffic patterns and volume to project future requirements. Duties may include designing efficient and safe traffic systems, studying roadway and embankment design, and maintaining facilities such as culverts and overpasses.

Traffic engineers look at the symptoms of general traffic conditions, and make a competent diagnosis, they take traffic counts, analyze accident statistics, study speed data, examine roadway conditions, conduct research and study what other professionals are doing and the results they have achieved.

A structural engineer designs the frameworks of buildings, towers, bridges, water treatment facilities, tunnels and other structures to ensure strength and rigidity.

A materials and testing engineer conducts research, development, testing and evaluation of the quality or suitability of materials and products such as asphalt, concrete, steel, cement, timber and plastics, taking into account factors such as stresses and strains, estimated load, water pressures, wind resistance and temperature fluctuations related to projects.

An Ecological engineerdesigns facilities and information systems in the manufacturing, finance or transportation industries. They are involved in planning, designing and building structures, transportation systems, water supply infrastructure and wastewater treatment facilities.

Potential applications of ecological engineering in cities have included the field of landscape architecture, urban planning, and urban horticulture, which can be synthesized into urban storm water management. Potential applications of ecological engineering in rural landscapes have included wetland treatment and community reforestation through traditional ecological knowledge.


I'm a student of the Rostov-on-Don State University of Civil Engineering. In the near future I'll graduate from the University and become a professional economist. I'm sure that the profession of an economist is one of the most important nowadays in our country. What makes a good economist? Whatever he does, an economist should have a special training in economic theory, mathematics and statistics and our University offers such training. At the University we are taught various general and special subjects, such as Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Management, Accounting, Money and Banking, Economic Theory, Statistics, Computer Science, Business Ethics, Foreign Languages. The profession of an economist is quite diversified. The graduates of the faculty work at the educational institutions, various research centers and laboratories, in industry, business, banks. Being employed in industry and business, our graduates work as managers, as executive managers, sales managers, financial managers. Some of us work as accountants. An accountant is one of the prestigious and widely required professions in a society. You shouldn't mix an accountant with a book-keeper. While a book-keeper is mostly involved in calculations, like balance sheets, income statements, invoices, an accountant is responsible for designing the financial policy of a company. Some of us work at the banks, at the firms, others work for the government or are employed by various agencies and by military services. Economists should be able to solve many problems facing our country.

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