“The well being of the world largely depends upon the work of the engineer. There is great future and unlimited scope for the profession; new works of all kinds are and will be required in every country, and for a young man of imagination and keenness I cannot conceive a more attractive profession. Imagination is necessary as well as scientific knowledge. ”1 is quoted from Sir William Halcrow who is one of the well known civil engineers in the world. As a civil engineering student, I didn’t know why I want to be a civil engineer.
I was extremely confused when it came to choosing a career. There were so many fields that interested me that I found it difficult to make up my mind. Then I read about civil engineering, an occupation involving the construction of buildings, roads, and bridges. As I looked further into civil engineering, I began to like many aspects of this career. Civil Engineers play a crucial role in the design, construction, and maintenance of structures. Before beginning construction civil engineers plan layout and every other aspect of a building.
As in the article, “Architecture must satisfy its intended uses, must be technically sound, and must convey aesthetic meaning, because architecture is a social art”2. Structural engineers are principally concerned with the structural form of a building, whereas architects are concerned with the integration of the building functions, form, mechanical system, as well as the building itself. It is through their collaboration that complex building can be designed. Designing the overall frame of a building is the first step in constructing a viable and stable structure.
According to Attila Lawrence, “In today’s competitive business environment, corporate cultures tend to focus on improving product quality while minimizing costs and managing risks”3. Furthermore, the English author Sir Henry Wotton said: “ Well building have three conditions: Commodities, Firmness, and Delight”4. Structure and aesthetics of a building are related through efficiency, lightness, elegance, and the principles of minimizing weight and using the least material possible to control cost.
Civil engineers and architects together design in detail the various components of a building and the materials to be used. As a general rule, state laws require a registered architect or engineer, or both, to execute the design and to make sure the design complies with public health, zoning, and building-code requirements. Thus the designs of a building are not only influenced by the principles of physics and economics but also by laws that are set down by every culture to make buildings conform to their standards.
Another factor that influences the design of a building is technology. Architectural form is inevitably influenced by the technologies applied. One such technology is the AutoCAD design software. It is used to design sophisticated construction, mechanical, and electrical, structures. According to Professor Curtis Burkett from State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota in FL, “AutoCAD is excellent software that had changed the way of drawing plans and design structure”5. Paper designs of buildings are a thing of the past.
In the age of computers, civil engineers design and test their structures on computers. Civil engineers use their knowledge to make the calculations required for the design of projects and supervise the drafting. The most fun thing about civil engineer job is applying problem-solving skills to resolve real-life problems, visiting job site, seeing my designs transformed from paper to real life. Civil engineers calculate the most efficient way to put together the various components of a building, and establish detailed programs for the coordination of field activities.
During construction the civil engineer is responsible for insuring that the structure is constructed according to plans and specifications and, the materials and equipments incorporated in the project the same in the original design. Construction site are among the most dangerous of all industrial workplaces. Civil engineers have the control over the employees and the field, and are the overall coordinators of the work, but they are not responsible for the safety of the workers at the construction site.
Protecting construction workers from injury and disease is among the greatest challenges in occupational safety and health. For the construction workers is important to have contractual protections from responsibility for jobsite safety. Civil engineers continuously check the progress of the buildings, and carry out any emergency reapers that might be required. The contractor, architect, and engineer are legally responsible for any deficiencies in the construction or design for a period of several years after acceptance.
One of the civil engineer skills is the knowledge of methods and techniques as applied in surveying and construction and maintenance of works. Civil engineers have many ways to examine deteriorate building parts, but the most common is the nondestructive evaluation. An investigation usually begins with a walk-through survey of the entire site and structure that close inspection can be done, and documented all or selected areas of the building, finally inspection of building systems may address all or only some elements and features of the building, including site and subsurface conditions.
In conclusion, civil engineers conceive, plan, construct, and operate facilities that meet basic human needs. It is an exciting field where I can use my creativity to build beautiful, useful and lasting structures. Moreover, civil engineers play an important role in a culture in the sense that a culture is known by what it creates and leaves behind for future generations. I have determined that civil engineering is the career that I want to pursue.
I am counting on my passion for building structures that are unique to succeed in this field. References 1 Sir William Halcrow <http://www. gefinc. org/about/about. html> 2 “Architecture (building)” Microsoft Encarta (page 1) 3 Attila Lawrence, “Is Good Design Good Business? ”, 16 August 2000 <http://www. architectureweek. com/2000/0816/building_1-1. html > 4 Sir Henry Wotton, Wikipedia 5 Personal interview of Professor Curtis Burkett, 24 Jan 2005, <http://www. scf. edu>