For those who aren’t familiar with the position of a civil engineer and what they do, it may come as a surprise that we’re all surrounded by projects that were once handled by a civil engineer. Many of which define our modern civilization, such as buildings and bridges. These kinds of projects also take into consideration a form of structural engineering that is a major sub-discipline of a civil engineer.
So, let’s dig a little deeper into the title and responsibilities of a civil engineer, and why they’re important to have for your building project.
What Is Civil Engineering
As being the oldest engineering discipline, civil engineering handles the design and build of infrastructure projects and systems, including supervision of all stages of the process. The first time any person put a roof over their home or layed a crossing bridge over a lake can be considered the beginning of civil engineering.
As you can see, the concept has been around much longer than we can assume. Dating back to ancient and medieval times with the construction of Roman public baths, roads, bridges, and aqueducts can be considered as civil engineering work. However the title, civil engineering, came into existence in the 18th century in order to distinguish the recognized profession from military engineering.
The History Of Civil Engineering
Civil engineering is said to have started in 1716 in France of the Bridge and Highway Corps. Teachers of the first engineering school in the world, National School of Bridges and Highways (École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées), wrote books that became standard works on the design of machines, materials and hydraulics. Having been written all in French, British engineers learned the French language in order to comprehend and learn details and codes of these books.
John Smeaton, an English man who began as an instrument maker, was later the founder of the civil engineering profession in Great Britain. He founded the Society of Civil Engineers in 1771, which is now known as the Smeatonian Society. His mission was to bring together experienced engineers, lawyers, as well as entrepreneurs to promote the building of large public works like canals, and later on, railways. To execute their schemes, they needed to secure the parliamentary powers, which society still follows their custom to this day.
In 1828, English engineer and writer, Thomas Tredgold, explained civil engineering with ease:
“The most important object of Civil Engineering is to improve the means of production and of traffic in states, both for external and internal trade. It is applied in the construction and management of roads, bridges, railroads, aqueducts, canals, river navigation, docks and storehouses, for the convenience of internal intercourse and exchange; and in the construction of ports, harbours, moles, breakwaters and lighthouses; and in the navigation by artificial power for the purposes of commerce. It is applied to the protection of property where natural powers are the sources of injury, as by embankments for the defence of tracts of country from the encroachments of the sea, or the overflowing of rivers; it also directs the means of applying streams and rivers to use, either as powers to work machines, or as supplies for the use of cities and towns, or for irrigation; as well as the means of removing noxious accumulations, as by the drainage of towns and districts to . . . secure the public health.”
In today’s society, people tend to remember the names of popular tourist attractions rather than the ingenious civil engineers that had designed and built them:
- The great civil-engineered projects include the longest suspension bridge in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge––designed by John August Roebling with his son, Washington Roebling.
- One of the seven modern civil engineering wonders of the United States in 1955, the Hoover Dam, by John L. Savage.
- Serving more than 144 of the world’s trade routes, the Panama Canal by John Frank Stevens.
- The longest suspension bridge in the world until 1964, the Golden Gate Bridge by Joseph Strauss and Charles Ellis.
- The Eiffel Tower who was named after the French civil engineer whose company built it, Gustave Eiffel. Known as one of the first examples of modern architecture because of its iron in the 18th century.
We can respect and appreciate, to this day, of all the amazing projects these engineers had created for us all to admire.
What Do Civil Engineers Do
The civil engineering realm has advanced greatly since John Smeaton, and continues to enhance with new codes and requirements regularly. Other than the tasks of designing, building and supervising that comes with engineering, civil engineers are also responsible for site preparation activities, like land development and grading for large construction projects.
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) proves to show how civil engineers have a real impact on people’s lives in their video:
Civil Engineering Services With Pasquini Engineering, Inc.
Along with adhering to your civil engineering needs, Pasquini Engineering, Inc. also takes on structural, mechanical, electrical, surveying, design, Title 24 Energy Compliance, QSP (Qualified SWPPP Practitioner), QSD (Qualified SWPPP Developer), SWPPP (Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan), planning and zoning. Having a hand in many different services, including being a licensed design professional, catapults Pasquini Engineering, Inc. to the top of the list.
Where other engineering titles play different and individual roles in one project, civil engineering encompasses all the necessary factors. Therefore, your project is placed in the hands of one civil engineer (Pasquini Engineering, Inc.) instead of a combination of many different engineers––making organization and communication that much easier.
The Future of Civil Engineering
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states, “As infrastructure continues to age, civil engineers will be needed to manage projects to rebuild, repair, and upgrade bridges, roads, levees, dams, airports, buildings, and structures of all types.” So, as you can see, there will always be a need for civil engineers, and you’ll want to make sure you choose to work with one that is extremely knowledgeable, reliable and available to you.
Along with sharing some of our knowledge and proving the importance of having a civil engineer for your project, we are more than happy to further guide you through the experience. With understanding everything that goes into a project and having 30 years of experience, Pasquini Engineering, Inc. will not only compliment your project with our expertise, but enhance your dream to be the best it can be.
Feel free to contact us with your questions, and we look forward to working with you!