What is civil engineering all about?

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If there was a general definition for Engineering, it would be something like “the art of solving problems through the applied use of sciences” or maybe something like “the use of science to improve our everyday life”. Engineering, as a whole, integrates the practical use of most sciences (think mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc.) to achieve some goal (which could be improving something, solving a problem, adapting one thing to another, etc.). Engineering, and some of its branchs, has existed since ancient times and will probably continue to exist in the far future.

Engineering has many different branches such as Industrial Engineering (which deals with the improvement of industrial processes), Chemical Engineering (which has to do with creating products through chemical and physical reactions), System Engineering (which works on the design and implementation of complex systems), Mechanical Engineering (which is in charge of developing mechanical systems and machinery) , Electrical Engineering (which studies electronics, electricity, electromagnetism and other things related) and Civil Engineering, which is the main topic for this article.

Civil Engineering practically came into existence with the rise of human civilizations. Some researchers have established that as soon as mankind stopped being nomadic (some say around 4000 BC) they started developing shelters and settlements, unknowingly giving birth to Civil Engineering.

Civil Engineering makes use of many different sciences and sub-disciplines to alter or adapt the environment to conditions in which human beings can live. It focuses on improving the quality of our everyday life through changes in our surroundings. Civil Engineering encompasses the development, designing, building, improving or restoring of infrastructure in public or private sectors such as streets, airports, bridges, railways, roads, canals, buildings, dams, etc. Without Civil Engineering it would be impossible for cities to exist and the way our lives are lived would be quite different. With no Civil Engineering, man would constantly be endangered due many external threats such as weather conditions, natural disasters, etc.

Civil Engineering has a highly valuable importance due to its applications and its interdisciplinary approach. In fact, Civil Engineering is normally involved and takes a lot of things from a series of different sub-disciplines such as Geotechnical Engineering (which focuses on the study of soil, rocks and earth materials and their mechanics applications in many fields), Materials Science (which specializes in the discovery and creation of new materials), Environmental Engineering (which deals with the treatment and disposal of all sorts of wastes and the purification of environments in general), Structural Engineering (which implements the design and planning of structures such as bridges, buildings, etc.) and many other more.

Civil Engineering is one of the most important professions in the whole world because it makes our life easier without us even noticing. It is a gift mankind has developed for itself and a testament of how we as humans can overcome even the most defying situations and environmental conditions through the use of our intellects and dedication. No feat is or will ever be too great for Civil Engineering.

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