Persuing a Career in Civil Engineering

Why do I want to be a civil engineer? Until recently, I did not know the answer to this question myself. 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 buildings. Before beginning construction civil engineers plan layout and every other aspect of a building.

As the article “Architecture (building)” on Microsoft® Encarta® remarks “Architecture must satisfy its intended uses, must be technically sound, and must convey aesthetic meaning” because “Architecture is a social art” (page 1 of 19). 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 with the Attila Lawrence’s article on the “architectureweeek” web page, “ In today’s competitive business environment, corporate cultures tend to focus on improving product quality while minimizing costs and managing risks”, (page 1 of 2). Furthermore, the English poet Sir Henry Wotton said: “ Well building have three conditions: Commoditie, Firmenes, and Delight” (qtd. In Architecture (building) page 1 of 19). 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. According with the article “Building Construction” on Microsoft® Encarta®, “ The major elements of a building include the following: The foundation, the structure, the exterior walls, the interior partitions, the environmental-control systems, the vertical transportation communications, and the power, water supply system”, (III elements of a building, page 2 of 12). Furthermore, as the article “Building Construction” on Microsoft® Encarta® remarks, “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”, (II construction industry, page 1 of 12). 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.

The article Architecture (building) Microsoft® Encarta® explains: “Architectural form is inevitably influenced by the technologies applied” (page 1of 19). One such technology is the AutoCAD design software. It is used to design sophisticated construction, mechanical, and electrical, structures. According to professor Curtis Burkett, “AutoCAD is an excellent software that had changed the way of drawing plans and design structure” (personal interview). 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. Susan Knack in the article “ who builds big” says that 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, and every once in a while, getting to rappel off a building,” (page 2 of 3). Civil engineers calculate the most efficient way to put together the various components of a building, and establish detailed programs for the coordination of site activities. Eugene L.

Bass in the article “The Law & Civil Engineering,” says: “The law has attempted to be of assistance in providing a definition of supervision of the construction of engineering structures. It means the periodic observation of materials and completed work to determine general compliance with plans, specifications, and design and planning concepts,” (page 1 of 2). During construction the civil engineer is charged with the responsibility of insuring that the facility is constructed according to plans and specifications and that the materials and equipment incorporated in the project are those that were called for in the original design.

Construction site are among the most dangerous of all industrial workplaces. In the article “The law& Civil engineering” by Eugene L. Bass, “ Supervisions of the construction of engineering structure does not include responsibility for the superintendence of construction processes, site conditions, operations, equipment, personnel, or the maintenance of a safe place to work or any safety in, or about the site” (page 1 of 2). Civil engineers have the control over the employees and the job site, 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 integrity of the buildings, and carry out any emergency reapers that might be required. According with the article “Building Construction,” Microsoft® Encarta®: the contractor, architect, and engineer are legally responsible for any deficiencies in the construction or design for a period of several years after acceptance,” (II construction industry, pages 2 of 12).

A civil engineer skill is the knowledge of methods and techniques as applied in surveying and construction and maintenance of works. Furthermore, civil engineers have to take preventive measures to stop corrosion of building parts. For example, Susan Knack in the article “Who builds big? ” explains things that engineers are use to do for the maintenance of a building. She says: “I investigate why buildings leak and deteriorate and design new construction and repairs to deal with these problems,” (page 1 of 3).

Civil engineers have many ways to examine deteriorate building parts, but the most common is the nondestructive evaluation.. According with the article “ Nondestructive Evaluation for Historic Preservation,” Architectureweek web page, “ An investigation usually begins with a walk-through survey of the entire site and structure” then “A close inspection can then take place, documenting all or selected areas of the building” finally “ An inspection of building systems may address all or only some elements and features of the building, including site and subsurface conditions,” (page 1 of 7).

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.