Civil Engineering (CE)

Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings. Civil engineering is one of the oldest engineering disciplines. Civil engineering takes place in the public sector from municipal through to national governments, and in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies.

Civil engineering is the application of physical and scientific principles for solving the problems of society, and its history is intricately linked to advances in understanding of physics and mathematics throughout history. Because civil engineering is a wide ranging profession, including several separate specialized sub-disciplines, its history is linked to knowledge of structures, materials science, geography, geology, soils, hydrology, environment, mechanics and other fields.

One of the earliest examples of a scientific approach to physical and mathematical problems applicable to civil engineering is the work of Archimedes in the 3rd century BC, including Archimedes Principle, which underpins our understanding of buoyancy, and practical solutions such as ‘Archimedes’ screwBrahmagupta, an Indian mathematician, used arithmetic in the 7th century AD, based on Hindu-Arabic numerals, for excavation (volume) computations.

In general, civil engineering is concerned with the overall interface of human created fixed projects with the greater world. General civil engineers work closely with surveyors and specialized civil engineers to design grading, drainage, pavement, water supply, sewer service, dams, electric and communications supply. General civil engineering is also referred to as site engineering, a branch of civil engineering that primarily focuses on converting a tract of land from one usage to another. Site engineers spend time visiting project sites, meeting with stakeholders, and preparing construction plans. Civil engineers apply the principles of geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, environmental engineering, transportation engineering and construction engineering to residential, commercial, industrial and public works projects of all sizes and levels of construction.