If you’ve browsed around the Matthews Structural Solutions website, you have probably come across the term “civil engineer”. What exactly does a civil engineer do and why is it so important?
A civil engineer wears many hats. They are involved with the design, construction, and maintenance of structures and the surrounding environment. They may work on the following structures:
This is just a small sampling of the types of buildings and structures that a civil engineer can work on. You can find civil engineers working on projects for the public and private sector alike. Their work can be found on everything from small homes to large highway projects.
The entry level for a civil engineer is typically a Bachelor’s degree, but most have some type of post-education degree. They work in a variety of conditions and locations, sometimes they are in an office, while other times they may be out on a project, monitoring the operation and making sure things are being done correctly.
Civil engineering is probably the oldest type of engineering. The first time someone built a shelter or figured out how to cross a river, they became a civil engineer. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since those days and we have a better understanding of what is needed to make sure a structure is secure, stable, and safe while making sure it is affordable to build it.
Honestly, if a civil engineer does his job well, the end user won’t even think about the work that went into designing and building the project. They’ll cross the bridge or fill up their water bottle or take the elevator to their office without wondering how it all works.
If a civil engineer isn’t used on a project, the construction may be done on soil that isn’t stable or properly prepared. The foundation can crumble, endangering the stability of the building and safety of the people inside. Most everyone has seen the footage of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse. The bridge was not designed to deal with the winds and the collapse is now studied in classes about bridge design. An engineer, Professor Frederick Burt Farquharson, was hired, but the bridge had already been built. He was able to come up with some solutions, but it was only a few days before the bridge collapsed. Fortunately, no people were killed in the collapse.
It is very important that you take every step available to make sure your structure is secure and stable. A civil engineer is just as important as any other person or tool used on a project.
Not every contractor has a civil engineer on staff. Make sure you hire a company like Matthews Structural Solutions to keep your project safe and stable, protecting your investment, your people, and the public.