Sunday, June 19, 2005


In modern usage, civil engineering is a broad field of engineering. Engineering is the application of science to the needs of humanity. This is accomplished through knowledge, mathematics, and practical experience applied to the design of useful objects or processes. Professional practitioners of engineering are called engineers.

Compared to other professions

You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?"
—George Bernard Shaw

Civil Engineering
deals with the planning Urban, city, or town planning, deals with design of the built environment from the municipal and metropolitan perspective. Other professions deal in more detail with a smaller scale of development, namely architecture and urban design. Regional planning deals with a still larger environment, at a less detailed level. The Greek Hippodamus is often considered the father of city planning, for his design of Miletus, though examples of planned cities permeate antiquity. Muslims are thought to have originated the idea of formal zoning (see haram and hima and the more general notion of khalifa, or "stewardship" from which they arise), although modern usage in the West largely dates from the ideas of the Congres Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne.

In project architecture and civil engineering, construction is the building or assembly of any infrastructure. Although this may be thought of as a single activity, in fact construction is a feat of multitasking. Normally the job is managed by the construction manager, supervised by the project manager, design engineer or project architect.

For the successful execution of a project effective planning is often essential. Those involved with the design and execution of the infrastructure in question must consider the environmental impact of the job, the successful scheduling, budgeting, site safety, inconvenience to the public caused by construction delays, preparing tender documents, etc...

And also with the maintenance

A structure can be a building or other thing built, such as a bridge, but here the structure of a thing is how the parts of it relate to each other, how it is put together; how it works is process, but process requires a viable structure.

Both reality and language have structure. One of the goals of general semantics, and of science, is to create and use language the structure of which accurately parallels the structure of reality.

Organized traffic

Western vehicular traffic is generally organized, flowing in lanes of travel for a particular direction, with interchanges, traffic signals, or signage at intersectons to facilitate the orderly and timely flow of traffic. Vehicles also generally travel at the same speed on a given roadway.

Engineering has developed from observations of the ways natural and manmade systems react and from the development of empirical equations that provide bases for design. Civil engineering is the broadest of the engineering fields. In fact engineering was once divided into only two fields--military and civil. All the engineering specialties have derived from civil engineering. Civil engineering is still an umbrella field comprised of many related specialities.

Sub-disciplines of civil engineering

General civil engineering

General civil engineering is concerned with the overall interface of fixed projects with the greater world. General civil engineers work closely with surveyors and specialized civil engineers to fit and serve fixed projects within their given site, community and terrain by designing grading, drainage (flood control), paving, water supply, sewer service, electric and communications supply and land (real property) divisions. General engineers spend much of their time visiting project sites, developing community/neighborhood consensus, and preparing construction plans.

Structural engineering

Structural engineering is the field of civil engineering particularly concerned with the design of load-bearing structures. In practice, it is largely the implementation of mechanics to the design of structures, such as buildings, bridges, walls (including retaining walls), dams, tunnels, etc.

Structural engineers need to design structures so that while serving their useful function, they

concerned with the design of bridges, buildings, offshore oil platforms, dams etc. Structural design In civil engineering structural design is an iterative process of applying engineering mechanics and past experience to create a functional, economic, and, most importantly, safe structure for the public to enjoy. Using structural analysis techniques and comforming to design specifications, the design engineer works to create a solution that is to everyone's benefit.Structural analysis is the mathematical calculation of forces, stresses, and deflections within structures, either as part of the design of those structures or as a tool in understanding the performance of existing structures. Pre-defined loads that are applied to a structure (such as its own weight, or the pressure of wind against a building's.

Geotechnical engineering

The main subject of the studies also known as soil mechanics A civil engineer in his practice has many diverse and improtance encounters with soil. He uses soil as a foundation to support structures and embankments; he uses soil as a construction material; he must design structures to retain soil from excavations and underground openings; and he encounters soil in a number of special problems.

The studies of soil mechanics helps to understand the underlying mechanism for application in civil engineering. Karl Terzaghi, who worked on a rational approach to soil engineering, is also known as the Father of Soil Mechanics,

is concerned with soil properties, mechanics of soil particles, compression and swelling of soils, seepage, slopes, retaining walls, foundations, footings, ground and rock anchors, use of synthetic tensile materials in soil structures, soil-structure interaction and soil dynamics. Geotechnical engineering Geotechnical engineering is concerned with the engineering properties of earth materials. Geotechnical engineers investigate the soil and rock below the ground to determine its properties, and then design foundations for man-made structures built on the ground, such as buildings or bridges. They also design structures built in or of soil or rock. The foundations built for above-ground structures

The importance of geotechnical engineering can hardly be overstated: buildings must be supported by reliable foundations and dam design and construction is a part of geotechnical engineering.

Transportation engineering

A port is a facility at the edge of an ocean, river, or lake for receiving ships and transferring cargo and persons to them. Ports have specially-designed equipment to help in the loading and unloading of these vessels. Cranes and refrigerated storage may be provided by private interests or public bodies. Often, canneries or other processing facilities will be located very close by.

Transport engineering aims to ensure the safe and efficient movement of people and goods.

The planning aspects of transportation engineering relate to urban planning, and involve technical forecasting decisions and more difficult political factors. Technical forecasting or urban passenger travel presently involves what is called the four-step urban transportation planning model, requiring the estimation of trip generation (how many trips for what purpose), trip distribution (destination choice, where are you going), mode choice (what mode is being taken), and route assignment (which streets, transit routes are being used).

is primarily concerned with motorized road transportation

Road transport or road transportation is transport on roads, i.e. most transport over land which is not rail transport in the wide sense.

A hybrid of road transport and ship transport is the historic horse-drawn boat.

Early Transport

The first forms of road transport were horses or oxen carrying goods over dirt tracks that often followed game trails. As commerce increased, the tracks were often flattened or widened to accommodate the activities.
This includes areas such as queueing theory Queueing theory (spelled queuing theory in the United States) is the mathematical study of waiting lines (or queues). There are several related processes, arriving at the back of the queue, waiting in the queue (essentially a storage process), and being served by the server at the front of the queue. It is applicable in transport and telecommunication. Occasionally linked to ride theory and traffic flow planning, roadway geometric design and driver behavior patterns. Simulation of traffic operation is performed through use of trip generation, traffic assignment algorithms which can be highly complex computational problems. Other, more specialized areas of transportation engineering are concerned with the designs of non-road transportation facilities, such as rail systems

A railway or railroad is a guided means of land transport, designed for trains to use for transporting both passengers and freight. It consists of two parallel rails, usually made of steel, and wooden or concrete sleepers or ties that hold the rails exactly at the proper distance (the gauge) from each other.

An airport is a designated location for aircraft to take off and land. While smaller airports—often called aerodromes, airfields or landing strips—might include short (one or two kilometer) dirt or grass runways, larger airports for international flights normally feature paved runways several kilometers long. Both large and small airports can be towered or uncontrolled, depending on funds and traffic, although most international airports have air traffic control located on site.

Environmental engineering

Environmental engineering is the application of science and engineering principles to improving the environment (air, water, and/or land resources), to provide healthful water, air and land for human habitation and for other organisms, and to investigate the possibilities for remediation of polluted sites. It is thought human effects can be decreased and controlled through public education, conservation, regulations, and the application of good engineering practices (set up of processes, and facilities) deals with the treatment of chemical, biological, and/or thermal waste, the purification of water and air, and the remediation.

Remediation is the removal of pollution or contaminants from land (including sediments in waterways) for the general protection of the environment or, quite commonly, from a brownfield site so that it can be reused. The reuse of brownfield sites is part of the urban consolidation movement and allows the regeneration of decaying former industrial areas, sometimes for industry, but often for high density housing, particulalry in areas of scenic beauty (along Harbours and rivers) and close to the CBD of a city or major transport infrastructure such as railway stations of contaminated sites, due to prior waste disposal or accidental contamination. Among the topics covered by environmental engineering are water purification Water purification, or drinking water treatment, is the process of removing contaminants from surface water or groundwater to make it safe and palatable for human consumption. A wide variety of technologies may be used, depending on the raw water source, contaminants present, standards to be met, and available finances.

Sources of Drinking Water

Water to be used in public or private water supplies can be drawn from a variety of sources. Different sources of raw water demand different treatment methods to render it ft for human consumption.

Sewage treatment is the process that removes the majority of the contaminants from waste-water or sewage and produces a liquid effluent suitable for disposal to the natural environment and also produces a sludge. To be effective sewage must be conveyed to a treatment plant by appropriate pipes and infrastructure and the process itself must be subject to regulation .

Hydraulic engineering

Hydraulic engineering is concerned with the flow and conveyance of fluids, principally water. This area of engineering is, of course, intimately related to the design of bridges, dams, channels, canals, and levees, and to both sanitary and environmental engineering.

Construction engineering

Construction engineering involves planning and execution of the designs from transportation, site development, hydraulic, environmental, structural and geotechnical engineers.

Material science

Civil engineering also includes material science. Engineering materials include concrete, steel and recently, polymers and ceramics with potential engineering application.


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