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The Facets of Engineering

March 3, 2016

Engineering is a broad field that is divided into various disciplines and sub-disciplines. The disciplines of engineering can be divided into four main categories, chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering. Each main discipline will provide you with a “taste” of the various skills and knowledge required to work in any field related to the discipline.


We will be focusing on the Construction Engineering Industry:


Civil Engineering: It is believed that the origins of Civil Engineering date back to ancient Egypt when shelter, infrastructure and transportation were an important community need. Today it contains many interesting sub-disciplines including many that relate to preserving nature and the environment.


Civil Engineering is the improvement of civil society through the application of scientific knowledge. Civil requirements in today’s society are focused on meeting basic human needs and assisting people in their daily lives. These needs are met by improving infrastructure and common utilities.


Civil Engineers understand the environment and how they can use it safely and smartly to improve our quality of life. Environmental consideration ensures that all structures and utilities they implement are safe, economical and environmentally-sound. Education and skills are focused on understanding the environment and its natural elements. Coupled with expertise in construction techniques and design skills allows civil engineers to work on massive skyscrapers and bridges.


The daily activities of a civil engineer vary according to the industry they settle into. The most common duties include design of structural elements, supervision of material extraction and general project management. Generally they work as part of large teams and will be sent out ‘on site’ to supervise and monitor the progress of a project.


As the civil world is so diverse, civil engineers have the most varied career options out of all the major disciplines. They work on both the small and large scale of construction and infrastructure. Opportunities exist for some to start their own business and contract their services to private developers for large projects.


Students who excel at organizing and planning large projects are well suited to this discipline. The civil course structure focuses on construction techniques, environmental concerns and social impact. Compared with the other disciplines, it is technically less challenging and broader in its content. If you strictly prefer the calculation and mathematical side of things, chemical, electrical or mechanical are more suitable.


Civil engineers are very well rounded and are educated in most areas of business and management. They tend to work on larger projects as part of huge teams, with less opportunity for individual work.



Below is a list of the most common industries civil engineers work in. Within each industry there is a wide range of positions available for civil engineers;

  • Mining and Drilling
  • Residential Construction
  • Commercial Construction
  • Urban Planning
  • Water and Gas Infrastructure
  • Sewerage Systems
  • Renewable Energy
  • Transportation

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