There are many fields of engineering open to the curious and capable university student with an eye for big projects. If you have a mathematical mind, can see the bigger picture but are also detail-oriented, focused, and able to work as part of a team, construction engineering is a possible career choice. Your work will never be boring. Even within this engineering off-shoot there are many more sub-headings to think about.
Professionals partaking in this area of construction engineering are hired to undertake massive projects and to organize the large teams needed to carry them out. Cities hire them to handle new infrastructure such as major buildings, highways, and bridges. Some of the most recognizable features of major cities around the world have been designed and/or overseen by civil or construction engineers such as the world’s most famous bridges and highway systems.
In this category, one has the chance to focus on more elegant design. For instance, construction engineers are responsible for the creation of public buildings for use by civic employees and schools. They build playgrounds and public gardens that are wheelchair-accessible.
A lot of the most impressive civil engineering work happens where people can’t see it. This is an interesting direction to take, especially in cities still served by antique plumbing or where local government is thinking ahead to green systems. There are miles and miles of sewage and water tubes running under every major city in the world. They have all been placed there by construction engineering teams.
This is the less glamorous side of engineering: picking up the pieces when another professional’s work has gone wrong. Sometimes that professional was working a century ago so problems arising today are not so surprising given the century of wear a building has endured. One of the most important repair jobs required in public buildings corrects sinking foundations.
Where earth is soft and deep, an entire building could be dropping a few millimeters yearly until doors don’t open anymore and windows start to crack. Civil engineers have to determine the safety of engaging in repair work while people remain in the building. They measure the depth of foundations and the quality of soil and rock beneath foundations. Armed with these measurements, they can determine what sort of foundational repair to undertake, if any. Sometimes a building just has to come down.
Preparing for Weather
Construction engineers weather different kinds of storms. Sometimes they have everything to do with weather but some storms start with environmental groups or a budget. It might be easier to have roads ready with storm drains when statistics show an increase in precipitation and its violence than to deal with angry protesters.
One way for engineering designers to appease them is to incorporate as many green elements as possible into a project. They start with energy efficient renovations: insulation, solar thermal heating, and better water drainage. Next, they incorporate green materials: product made from non-corrosive, recycled items. Everything still meets safety expectations set down by the local or state authority while also making environmental protection groups happy.