The modern world is filled with a wide range of infrastructure and public works projects. Civil engineering is central to all of these jobs. You may wonder what makes these works civil engineering projects.
Jobs with the following four features often fall into the domain of civil engineering.
A civil engineering consulting firm will receive lots of inquiries about projects with earthworks. Companies and governments often need to build earthworks for bridges, tunnels, artificial ponds, dykes, dams, and seawalls.
Think about the earthworks that often connect a highway on-ramp to the multilane segment of a freeway. While it is possible to build these ramps using concrete, it's often cheaper and simpler to construct earthworks that elevate the ramp to complete the connection.
Storm Water Management
Particularly because of the risk of erosion during storms, managing the water than runs off is an important task. Notably, this kind of work is often adjacent to other projects. If a construction company is trying to avoid water pooling inside excavation areas, for example, they may ask a civil engineering consulting business to study the options. Using civil engineering techniques, the consulting firm can often devise a solution using some combination of slopes, sluices, and drainage systems.
The gas and oil industry relies heavily on civil engineers to address their concerns. Even one small mistake in how a company accesses resources could trigger a catastrophic explosion. Understanding the lay of the land and how to erect equipment on top of it can be the difference between project success and failure.
Civil engineers also tend to be versed in what happens with different rock formations. Their input can be invaluable during the exploration process.
Offshore operations also have civil engineering features. If a company is building an offshore wind farm or oil platform, for example, it needs to know where and how to anchor it to the sea floor.
Large structures like stadiums, dams, and skyscrapers tend to have massive weights. The weight of these structures can move the earth underneath them. Each project has major engineering concerns in terms of surviving earthquakes, dealing with cavitation risks, and addressing soil compression over time. Many of these concerns interact, potentially leading to risks like liquefaction.
Worse, you can't easily re-engineer these projects after the fact. The best time to solve these problems is during the planning phase so civil engineering consulting early in the process is critical.