Saturday, 20th April 2019


A civil engineer will plan, design and manage a huge range of different construction projects that contribute to the built environment. Our surroundings are shaped by engineers who have helped design and construct everything from the drainage systems to the train tracks. They will often supervise projects from start to finish so to ensure that that they are carried out safely, on schedule and within budget.

Normally a civil engineer will choose to specialise in one particular branch of civil engineering, with some of the more obvious including:

  • Coastal
  • Earthquake
  • Environmental
  • Geotechnical
  • Water resources
  • Materials
  • Transportation

Large scale projects, such as bridges and dams, will often require a range of different specialists who will liaise with each other to design, plan and process a structure. Advice will also be sought from architects, surveyors and builders.

A huge amount of planning goes into designing a structure; engineers must create a detailed blueprint and ensure that structures will be safe and remain safe in all circumstances. To succeed in this industry they must think creatively and logically so that all design and development problems can be solved. All engineers must excel at Mathematics and physical sciences and have fantastic communication skills so that ideas can be shared across a team.

Three major fields affect civil engineers and take up more of their concern, time and efforts than any others. In no particular order these are sustainability, planning and funding.

Types of civil engineer include:

Consultant Civil Engineer - Principally involved in the pre-stage of any construction, they will plan out the entire process right from the very moment the land is first visited and measured. Following working with architects and the client they will look over the designs to ensure they are feasible. Once design is signed off they will attach a true budget to the scheme including all outgoings and costs. They must liaise with all parties to ensure all aspects of the design work and all are happy before commencement.

Contracting Civil Engineer - Once design is in place and construction is ready to begin, the contracting civil engineer will take over. They must oversee the entire construction of the building and turn initial and finalised plans into bricks and mortar. They must manage all of the contractors and oversee all usage of materials and the budget allowed for them.