Civil engineer


Civil engineer
Civil engineer
Occupation
Names Civil engineer
Activity sectors design and management of structures, transportation systems, and infrastructure
Description
Competencies technical knowledge, management skills, mathematical analysis
While all civil engineers tend to spend at least some time working "on site", much of the modern civil engineering work is done in offices, working with plans or computers.

A civil engineer is a person who practices civil engineering; the application of planning, designing, constructing, maintaining, and operating infrastructures while protecting the public and environmental health, as well as improving existing infrastructures that have been neglected.

Originally, a civil engineer worked on public works projects and was contrasted with the military engineer, who worked on armaments and defenses. Over time, various branches of engineering have become recognized as distinct from civil engineering, including chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering, while much of military engineering has been absorbed by civil engineering.

In some places, a civil engineer may perform land surveying; in others, surveying is limited to construction surveying, unless an additional qualification is obtained. On some U.S. military bases, the personnel responsible for building and grounds maintenance, such as grass mowing, are called civil engineers and are not required to meet any minimum educational requirements.

Contents

Specialization

Civil engineers usually practice in a particular specialty, such as construction engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, land development, transportation engineering, hydraulic engineering, and environmental engineering. Some civil engineers, particularly those working for government agencies, may practice across multiple specializations, particularly when involved in critical infrastructure development or maintenance.

Education and licensing

In most countries, a civil engineer will have graduated from a post-secondary school with a degree in civil engineering, which requires a strong background in mathematics and the physical sciences; this degree is typically a bachelor's degree, though many civil engineers study further to obtain masters, engineer, doctoral and post doctoral degrees. In many countries, civil engineers are subject to licensure. In jurisdictions with mandatory licensing, people who do not obtain a license may not call themselves "civil engineers."

Europe

Belgium

In Belgium, Civil Engineer (abbreviated ir.) (French: Ingénieur Civil, Dutch: Burgerlijk Ingenieur) is a legally protected title applicable to graduates of the five-year engineering course of one of the six universities and the Royal Military Academy. Their speciality can be all fields of engineering: civil, structural, electrical, mechanical, chemical, physics and even computer science.[1] This use of the title may cause confusion to the English speaker as the Belgian "civil" engineer can have a speciality other than civil engineering. In fact, Belgians use the adjective "civil" as an opposition to military engineers.

The formation of the civil engineer has a strong mathematical and scientific base and is more theoretical in approach than the practical oriented industrial engineer (ing.) educated in a five-year program at a polytechnic. Traditionally, students were required to pass an entrance exam on mathematics to start civil engineering studies. This exam was abolished in 2004 for the Flemish Community, but is still organised in the French Community.

Scandinavia

In Scandinavian countries, civil engineer (civilingenjör (Swedish), sivilingeniør (Norwegian), civilingeniør (Danish)) is a first professional degree, approximately equivalent to Master of Science in Engineering, and a protected title granted to students by selected institutes of technology. As in English the word has its origin in the distinction between civilian and military engineers, as in before the start of the 19th century only military engineers existed and the prefix "civil" was a way to separate those who had studied engineering in a regular University from their military counterparts. Today the degree spans over all fields within engineering, like civil engineering, computer science, electronics engineering, etc.

There is generally a slight difference between a Master of Science in Engineering degree and the Scandinavian civil engineer degree, the latter's programme having closer ties with the industry's demands. A civil engineer is the most well-known of the two; still, the area of expertise remains obfuscated for most of the public. A noteworthy difference is the mandatory courses in mathematics and physics, regardless of the equivalent master degree, e.g. computer science.

Although a 'college engineer' (högskoleingenjör, diplomingenjör/mellaningenjör (Swedish), høgskoleingeniør (Norwegian), diplomingeniør (Danish)) is roughly equivalent to a Bachelor of Science in Scandinavia, to become a 'civil engineer' one often has had to do up to one extra year of overlapping studies compared to attaining a B.Sc./M.Sc. combination. This is because the higher educational system is not fully adopted to the international standard graduation system, since it is treated as a professional degree. Today (2009) this is starting to change due to the Bologna process.

A Scandinavian "civilingenjör" will in international contexts commonly call herself "Master of Science in Engineering" and will occasionally wear an engineering class ring. At the Norwegian Institute of Technology (now the Norwegian University of Science and Technology), the tradition with a NTH Ring goes back to 1914, before the Canadian iron ring.

In Norway the title "Sivilingeniør" will no longer be issued after 2007, and have been replaced with "Master i teknologi". In the English translation of the diploma, the title will be "Master of Science", since "Master of Technology" is not an established title in the English-speaking world. The extra overlapping year of studies have also been abolished with this change to make Norwegian degrees more equal to their international counterparts.

Spain

In Spain, a civil engineering degree can be obtained after four years of study in the various branches of mathematics, physics, mechanics, etc. The earned degree is called Grado en Ingeniería Civil. Further studies at a Graduate school include master's and doctoral degrees.

Before the current situation, that is, before the implementation of Bologna Process in 2010, a Civil Engineering degree in Spain could be obtained after three or five years of study. In the first case, the earned degree was called Ingeniero Técnico de Obras Públicas (ITOP), literally translated as "Public Works Engineer"; at the second case, the academic earned degree was called Ingeniero de Caminos, Canales y Puertos (often shortened to Ingeniero de Caminos or ICCP), that literally means "Roads, Canals and Harbors Engineer", though civil engineers in Spain practice in the same fields as civil engineers do elsewhere.

The first Spanish Civil Engineering School was the Escuela Especial de Ingenieros de Caminos y Canales (now called Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos), established in 1802 in Madrid, followed by the Escuela Especial de Ayudantes de Obras Públicas (now called Escuela Universitaria de Ingeniería Técnica de Obras Públicas de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid), founded in 1854 in Madrid. Both schools now belong to the Technical University of Madrid.

In Spain, a Civil Engineer has the technical and legal ability to design projects of any branch, so any Spanish Civil Engineer can oversee projects about structures, buildings (except residencial structures which are reserved for architects), foundations, hydraulics, the environment, transportation, urbanism, etc.

In Spain, Mechanical and Electrical engineering tasks are included under the Industrial engineering degree.

United Kingdom

A chartered civil engineer (known as certified or professional engineer in other countries) is a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and has also passed chartership exams. However a non-chartered civil engineer may be a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers or the Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors. The description "Civil Engineer" is not restricted to members of any particular professional organisation although "Chartered Civil Engineer" is.

North America

United States

In the United States, civil engineers are typically employed by municipalities, construction firms, consulting engineering firms, architect/engineer firms, state governments, and the federal government. Each State requires engineers who offer their services to the public to be licensed by the State.[2] Licensure is obtained by meeting specified education, examination, and work experience requirements. Specific requirements vary by State. Typically licensed engineers must graduate from an ABET-accredited University or College engineering program, pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, obtain several years of engineering experience under the supervision of a licensed engineer, then pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam. After completing these steps and the granting of licensure by a State Board, engineers may use the title "Professional Engineer" or PE in advertising and documents.

Professional associations

ASCE

The ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) represents more than 140,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide. Official members of the ASCE must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited civil engineering program and be a licensed professional engineer or have five years responsible charge of engineering experience.[3] Most civil engineers join this organization in order to be updated of current news, projects, and methods (such as sustainability) related to civil engineering; as well as contribute their expertise and knowledge to other civil engineers and students obtaining their civil engineering degree.

ICE

The ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) founded in 1818, represents, as of 2008, more than 80,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide. Its commercial arm, Thomas Telford Ltd, provides training, recruitment, publishing and contract services.

See also

References


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