Civil Engineering

About Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering is a term used to describe a large variety of activities which encompass the manufacturing and construction of everything from buildings, harbours, bridges, water supplies, roads, airports, sewerage systems, tunnels, dams, large scale housing developments, land reclamation to name a few. The engineer is involved from the design, planning, maintenance/servicing and management of usually very large projects/developments.

As civil engineer, your duty would be to plan, design and manage a variety of construction projects.

Candidates studying Civil Engineering should visit SAICE (The South African Institution Of Civil Engineering). SAICE in an institution that aims to advance professional knowledge and improve the practice of civil engineering in South Africa.

Civil engineering has five specialties:

  • Environmental engineers work on water supply and remove contaminants from water, reduce non-hazardous solid waste volumes, eliminate pollutants from the air and develop groundwater supplies
  • Geotechnical engineers develop projects below ground and determine ways to support structures on and in the ground
  • Materials engineers develop concrete and pavement systems for construction and soil stabilization methods
  • Structural engineers work on dams, buildings, offshore platforms and pipelines
  • Transportation engineers work on roads, railways, canals and airports
As a Civil engineer, your role may focus on one or more of the following:
  • planning requirements with the client and colleagues
  • analysing survey, testing and mapping data using computer modelling software
  • Provide cost estimates for materials, equipment, or labour to determine a project's economic feasibility
  • assessing the environmental impact and risks connected to projects
  • Consider construction costs, government regulations, potential environmental hazards, and other factors in planning stages and risk analysis
  • Test building materials, such as concrete, asphalt, or steel, for use in particular projects
  • Present their findings to the public on topics such as bid proposals, environmental impact statements, or property descriptions
  • Manage the repair, maintenance, and replacement of public and private infrastructure
  • managing, directing and monitoring progress during each stage of a project
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