Civil engineering is a branch of engineering that has several disciplines. Its main discipline relates to the design and construction of physical structures as work involving the natural environment. Civil engineering is probably the oldest discipline in engineering. It can be traced back to as early as the third century. Archimedes, a mathematician who lived between 287 and 212 B.C., is often associated with the screw, which enabled structures such as the Pont du Gard in France, a Roman aqueduct. This is an early example of science applied under the discipline of civil engineering. It lay the foundation for how we understand the principle of buoyancy today.
Some of the works that come under the civil engineering umbrella are projects like roads, canals, buildings, bridges or dams. Civil engineering encompasses a whole range of branches such as structural engineering, biomechanics, transportation engineering, atmospheric sciences, water resources engineering, environmental engineering, municipal engineering, materials engineering, geophysics and control engineering.
Topics covered in civil engineering
Course curricula in civil engineering colleges generally include topics such as:
- Engineering chemistry
- Basic electrical engineering
- Geometrical drawing
- Machine drawing
- Business communication and technical report writing
- Surveying and building construction
- Building materials and building construction
- Structure analysis
- Soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering
- Transportation planning
- Design and detailing of steel structures
- Engineering geology
- Civil engineering lab
- Fluid mechanics
- Electrical and electronics lab
Electives may also be available in a variety of subjects.
Job prospects after civil engineering
According to the Economic Times, there may be demand for civil engineers in India, which could grow as India upgrades its infrastructure. Civil engineers could be needed particularly in government organizations, and similar opportunities may come up in the private sector and armed forces.
Related areas of work
If you are looking to become a civil engineer, the subjects you may have to master could include physics, mathematics, project management, structural engineering and design, as well as specific areas in civil engineering, transport engineering and construction engineering. This branch of engineering relates to the designing, planning, construction and maintenance of large edifices, roads and drainage. Other topics could include drainage and sewer design, road design, environmental engineering, construction engineering, site layouts and surveys. Potential fields of employment after obtaining a civil engineer degree can be vast. Depending on which branch you specialize in, you could be eligible for construction jobs, engineering jobs, as a mechanical engineer, quantity surveyor, site engineer, building surveyor or electrical engineer (among others). There may also be several posts on the managerial front such as asset management, buyer or cost manager.
Colleges offering civil engineering courses
Some colleges that offer courses such as a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) or Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) in Civil Engineering include:
- Sree Sastha Institute of Engineering & Technology
- Loyola-ICAM College of Engineering and Technology (LICET)
- Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
- Symbiosis Institute of Technology, Pune
- Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati
Programmes are subject to change, it is advisable to check directly with a school for current programme availability.
"Construction Engineering books," bookboon.com, http://bookboon.com/en/civil-engineering-ebooks
"Course Structure for Various Programs," IIT Guwahati, http://www.iitg.ac.in/civil/cs.html
"Curriculum and Syllabus," LICET, http://www.licet.ac.in/syllabus.html
"Department of Civil Engineering," Civil Engineering Department, IIT Delhi, 2012, http://civil.iitd.ac.in/
"Department of Civil Engineering," Sree Sastha Institute of Engineering & Technology, http://www.sasthaenggcollege.com/civil.aspx
"India needs 4 million civil engineers by 2020: Report," The Economic Times, 17 November, 2011, http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-11-17/news/30410054_1_civil-engineers-professionals-skill-development
"Mechanical gearing: from 350 BC," History World, http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?ParagraphID=dol
"Program Overview," Symbiosis International University, http://www.sitpune.edu.in/first_year_admission_departments_and_intake.php
"Welcome," Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, http://civil.iisc.ernet.in/