The field of civil engineering is a vast and broad one, with the industry being born out of a split from the oldest type of engineering, military engineering.
There are numerous pathways to becoming a civil engineer, and once you are qualified, a large number of different subsections that require specific expertise.
With this in mind, here is a concise guide to the main types of civil engineering and the differences between them.
Table of Contents
Water Resources Engineering
First up, water resources engineering is concerned exclusively with the management and initial collection of huge amounts of water from both below and above the ground as a natural resource.
Water resources engineering requires specialist knowledge in a wide variety of areas, such as conservation, environmental science, resource management, and hydrology.
Transportation engineering is a vast and multi-faceted subsection of civil engineering and involves the movement of people, livestock, and goods as safely and efficiently, and not to mention, in as timely a manner as possible.
Professional engineering services for transportation work across a wide variety of sectors, namely roads, ports, mass transit docks, canals, airports, and railways.
Forensic engineers need to have an incredibly detailed depth of knowledge in the field, not least due to the simple fact that they are often called upon to support or, indeed, deny a legal claim in court.
Malpractice from employers, machinery faults and accidents, and even fatalities, within a workplace setting that involves machinery always involve a forensic engineer who sets about to conduct a full and detailed analysis of any faulty machines.
Construction engineering is a huge subsection of civil engineering and concerns itself with literally anything relating to the use and transportation of materials and goods used in the construction industry, such as fiberglass grating clips.
Construction engineers not only need to remain constantly abreast of the latest industry news and developments but also require a strong working knowledge of hydraulic, environmental, structural, and geotechnical engineering too.
Environmentally speaking, the role of coastal engineers is absolutely crucial.
Essentially, this particular branch of engineering is involved with the protection of coastal areas against manmade damage, coastal erosion, and flooding. Coastal engineering is often alternatively referred to as coastal defense, coastal protection, and coastal management.
With a move, in the context of a moral leaning and legal instruction, to ensuring the protection and preservation of the natural world, coastal engineers are becoming more and more in demand as the years go by.
Finally, perhaps the largest subsection of civil engineering of them all, structural engineering is connected to the analysis, maintenance, development, and initial design of bridges, buildings, towers, gas fields, and oil fields.
Detailed analysis of each structure is part and parcel of the role of a structural engineer, and they need to consider a huge range of factors when assessing the loads and durability of the foundations of buildings. Such considerations include the environmental impact of the new structure, how sustainable it will be, and the ease of construction.