Studies & Degrees in Civil Engineering
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Civil Engineering Study Programs
The oldest engineering discipline after military engineering is identified as Civil Engineering. Military engineering surfaced before the middle of the 18th century when it involved engineering works such as the preparation of topographical maps and locations, design and construction of roads and bridges, and the building of important docks and forts. Military engineering still exists today as far as the military is concerned, but the discipline of professional engineering has been taken over by Civil Engineering. It is concerned with the design, construction and maintenance of buildings, roads and bridges, dams and canals, with the application of mathematical and natural sciences earned from study, experience and practice to the efficient and productive use of the materials of nature and its forces.
Civil Engineering has sub-disciplines, the most important of which are construction, coastal and earthquake engineering, structural engineering, materials engineering, environmental engineering, water resources engineering and geotechnical engineering. There are specialized civil engineers with whom general civil engineers work closely in certain fixed projects within a given site or community.
Civil Engineering has become part of the economy of almost every country of the world, leading to the establishment of organizations that would not only regulate the operations of civil engineering firms but also promote their interests and welfare. In the United States, for instance, an American Society of Civil Engineers has been organized by civil engineers themselves for dissemination of up-to-date information about significant projects, events and issues of interest to its members and non-members alike. Programs of study about the discipline have also been set up in many education institutions to provide formal education to individuals desiring to enter the civil engineering profession. One of these institutions in the U.S. is the Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois where its Department of Engineering offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in Civil Engineering to provide its students with rigorous background in civil engineering fundamentals, mathematics and physical science. The important core courses in the undergraduate program include environmental engineering, structural engineering and transport engineering. The Master of Science in Civil Engineering program offers 30 semester credit hours of course work and another six hours for the thesis or research project.
The University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom also offers undergraduate and graduate programs in Civil Engineering which are accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers for the professional qualification of graduates. The graduate program focuses on research for a Doctoral degree, on areas including water engineering, geothermal engineering, sustainable engineering, transport technology, structures and construction, railway technology, and analysis. The British Columbia Institute of Technology in Canada maintains a School of Construction and Environment offering Civil Engineering programs for a 2-year diploma and a Bachelor’s degree for four years of full time academic study of engineering fundamentals, and investigation of the theoretical foundations of civil engineering science.