What Do Civil Engineers Do? | Do Civil Engineers Build Buildings?

What Do Civil Engineers Do? | Do Civil Engineers Build Buildings?

00:00 And this episode we talk about civil
engineering from a civil engineer. What it really is what they expect in the
Major and the five disciplines of the field. Whatsoever is warning is you’re watching Episode
25 of the 1 percent engineer show. So good job hunting focus 1 percent engineers
with my new e-book The Top 10 job hunting tips for engineers comment below if you want
a free copy and I’ll email you a PDA. This is your first line of the Channel. Make sure you hit that subscribe button so
you can be a 1 percent engineer and crush it in your career. 00:48 And that rise begins by choosing the
right major. I see a lot of engineers asking to define
the differences between civil mechanical and electrical and some of that is clear to a
lot of you. But many scientists this is coming out of
high school or they’re in undeclared engineering and university. They’re not really sure what certain pathways
are going to be like. They don’t know if civil engineering is for
them or one of these other engineering or so many civil mechanical computer aerospace
you have electrical you have biomedical there are so many different types and says I’m a
civil engineer. I can speak directly to this and talk about
what it means to be a civil engineer in school what to expect from the classes what are the
five branches of civil engineering so you can get excited about potential jobs in this
field because it’s very wide. 01:39 You can do a lot of different cool things
I already did a video about finding your engineering passion. So we haven’t seen that yet. Check that out in the top right. OK here we go. Civil engineering deals with the design construction
and maintenance of manmade and naturally built environments. That’s important to remember it’s not just
buildings and bridges guys Civil Engineers can also work in the natural environment as
well because you have environmental you have coastal you have geotechnical which is a mixed
discipline but you may not even deal with manmade infrastructure within civil. So remember that and what we are touching
on this point I really do want to emphasize how broad civil engineering is in terms of
the five disciplines that’s the point of this video. You could have a room of Civil Engineers and
I can speak to this but if you have a bridge person and a transportation person and an
environmental science person Kosol person all the same room they may not even know what
the other engineers are talking about because their expertise has gone down this narrow
road which is good and if you’re specifically a coastal engineer say you’ve worked in that
for 10 years you don’t know anything about highways you don’t need to know anything about
bridges and likewise say you are a geotechnical engineer and you deal with soil foundations
or retaining walls. 02:59 You certainly don’t need to know anything
about coastlines. You may not need to know anything about bridges
you could have peripheral knowledge but it really is this open SLE where you can combine
infused disciplines or go as nice as possible like what I’ve done within ITX and transportation
and therefore traffic. 03:19 It’s really my chain reaction of things
civil transportation traffic and then kind of went into Neish with within traffic it
was traffic modeling and forecasting with big data and aerial stuff as well. But that’s beyond the point. It’s just an example of how you may be a certain
type of civil engineer and you could have 25 or more engineers in one room that all
do very different things because of the nature of the industry. It’s not like some fields where if you’re
this you just work on this one thing. So you have plenty of options which is pretty
good it’s a good situation for civil engineers. So let’s kick off the five majors with number
one structural engineering. Of course we’ll start with structural because
it is the most stereotypical within civil engineering potentially the most studied discipline
within civil structural engineers deal with the design and analysis of structures which
may be buildings bridges highway facilities they could even be offshore oil rigs they
could be underground facilities but it has to do with a building or some sort of bridge
or some sort of dam or some sort of infrastructure element structural engineering involves the
identification of loads and stresses and strain on these structures and structural engineers
are responsible for running calculations on the materials that are involved and ensuring
that this building this bridge this tunnel this dam whatever it is that your company
is working on that your research team is working on ensuring that this thing is going to stand
up ensuring that it can deal with the strain which is pull which may be found in a bridge
environment. 05:03 We are always running analyses on the
forces that are involved. You see me doing these gestures with my hands
because you have weight and then you have force coming off of the ground just like your
basic statics environments. 05:15 They must design the structure to successfully
hold these loads and withstand the stresses so that the building doesn’t fall down. The core classes behind structural engineering
would be statics structural analysis structural design Strength of materials. I specifically took a concrete and a steel
bridges design course. You may also be able to take bridge take electives
which are probably grad student classes later on in your junior and senior year. But since this is one of the core aspects
of civil engineering there’s typically many options of courses for you to take which is
pretty exciting. So if you find yourself staring at structures
in all but how bridges actually stand though and you want to work with the design of overall
infrastructure that is beyond a transportation environment. 06:07 For example highways are always in structural
engineering. Some bridge or a tunnel or a dam that will
be structural so if you find yourself interested in this if you find yourself liking statics
as a young engineer than structural engineering is probably a field for you. You can go into a bridge you can go into some
sort of Neish Avenue within it and stand out from other engineers. But this is a very popular very calm in a
field that undergraduates code out as they want to design bridges they want to design
stadiums they want to design big buildings and other sort of impressive facilities to
transportation engineering. Again that is what I am. I’m a transportation engineer so you may hear
my excitement you may hear my bias that is. Maybe someone intentionally being provided
into this video because I really love what I do. 06:59 I’m happy to be a transportation engineer. If you go back and watch the Finding Your
Passion video you understand why it is that I chose transportation engineering had something
to do with playing Sim City and watching my colony and watching these two things become
fully integrated for the city to sort of wirelessly hands in an autonomous fashion like an ant
colony integrate all the vehicles all the people all the buildings and signals and really
be a modern connected city. That’s why I dreamed about as a high school
student Anna wrote papers about this to get into university. I wrote papers about this in university which
led to my interest in autonomous vehicles. I love transportation that’s been my destiny
ever since I was maybe 14 or 15 so there’s a lot for you to do in this field but in a
nutshell what transportation engineers are doing is concerning themselves with the goods
movement or people movement within the facilities of our world and that includes moving them
around efficiently and safely as well that’s a very big one. 08:09 Not only do we want people to be able
to get to work and freight to arrive to its destination but we need everything to be safe. We need roads to be safe we need traffic measures
to be safe. We need to make sure that pipelines switch. That’s a form of freight actually don’t rupture
and affect the environment. We need to make sure that cargo planes are
falling out of the air so transportation engineers are always concerning themselves with either
people or goods moving from point A to Point B. And this is a highlight moment where you
will see crossover between two fields for example myself as a transportation engineer
and my new role. 08:45 I started about two months ago. We are a highway people and traffic people
and we work heavily with the bridge team because these two go together. When you’re designing a new bridge you cannot
possibly design that branch without transportation engineers in mine who are telling you what
the capacity is for the roadway and what the speed is that drivers can actually do based
on geometric conditions and the bridge people will say oh well we require this and heavily
have to work together and this leads into the list of knishes within transportation
engineering I’ve kind of already alluded to many but you have highway design. You have traffic which does not necessarily
mean vehicle traffic. I want to clear that up right now. 09:29 You could be a traffic engineer and
just work with bike traffic pedestrian traffic. I’ve heard stories of people getting graduate
degrees in traffic who were agricultural people and all they cared about was livestock traffic
through their facilities which is super interesting. Again you have freight you have engineers
who just do facilities designed for airports and shipyards. You have it. Yes Intelligent Transportation Systems which
is where I found myself over the last five six years doing long term modeling and forecasting. You also have urban planning. I didn’t even mention transit yet you may
see bus rapid transit or a high speed rail in California as a pretty cool project or
the next aspect of transit is Hyperloop technology. I don’t know if it’s always going to be transit
oriented. I saw some video where cars were submerging
under the ground under the highway. 10:20 And then they would go onto another
vehicle which would be the Hyperloop underground tunnel. You guys don’t know about the Hyperloop yet. Eli Moss wrote a paper about it in 2013 and
now several companies are doing their testing in Vegas. They’re testing in Dubai so that’s a cool
technology that is transportation engineering. Keep your eyes on that. So just like structural you have all these
little nice branches of engineering disciplines within this sub transportation disciplines
so you have all these little paths that you can follow and you can figure out what you
like and figure out what makes you tick and just keep taking classes in that realm. Maybe you want to go to grad school maybe
you want to get your first job in this realm. But I want to hit on this transportation highlight
one more time. 11:03 Part of the reason why it’s so cool
to be a transportation engineer right now is it’s so heavily linked with data and not
all the fields are. I think it is structural engineering it can
become quite cookie cutter unless your company is using Brimm which is building information
modeling or bridge information modeling unless they’re really doing the cutting edge softwares
that things like this and you’re probably going to find yourself reading pretty cookie
cutter same thing with geotechnical engineering. I don’t know what types of technologies are
out that are helping them because I’m not in that field. But what’s really exciting about transportation
is that every driver has a cell phone in their car and to every car will be connected to
infrastructure. So it really is an exercise on big data. We know where these people are going. We know the speeds that they are going. 11:56 So what I really really love about this
is that it’s in bed with technology transportation engineering and that is what actually opens
up this ITX field and people are using drones to collect data. People are using cell phone data to forecast
things and getting stuff in real time and using camera technology to analyze situations. That’s actually how it ended up with all these
cameras is using a camera outside of Wilmington Delaware to analyze traffic with Dr. Jack
palaeo shuttle to you. But this field is so so closely linked to
attack that you have a bright future as a transportation engineer in my opinion unless
you find yourself in highway design which again is pretty cookie cutter because we fully
understand super elevations and how to actually design highways to keep people away and things
like this so make sure when you pick your major has a Lee High School student has a
undecided engineering major. 12:55 Just make sure that it’s linked in with
tech and transportation engineering definitely 3 environmental engineering. This is the branch of engineering which is
concerned with the application of scientific and engineering principles for the protection
of human populations from the effects of adverse environmental factors. It also includes the protection of environments
at a micro or local level or at a macro or global level from the negative impacts of
humans or the environment itself. It also concerns itself with the improvement
of overall environmental quality. I’m not going to go on too long about environmental
engineering because it’s definitely not my forte. I certainly never got too excited about it
in undergrad. But here are five different areas within environmental
engineering that you could get a job in. Or you could go to grad school. 13:42 You may find yourself working in solid
waste management environmental impact assessment water supply and treatment wastewater treatment
or air pollution management as you can see is very water resources epicenter environmental
engineering utilize a higher regard for chemistry and biology than other branches. So 14:04 if you’re considering civil and you
like biological sciences then environmental is definitely for you. Okay moving on for geotechnical engineering
geotechnical engineers concern themselves with everything beneath the ground level and
they study the rock and soil that supports engineering systems meaning buildings or highways
or bridge pillars or whatever it may be that this soil Foundation the rock foundation is
beneath. Regarding some sort of infrastructure so therefore
geotechnical engineers work heavily with foundations retaining walls tunnels slope stability. They 14:42 use the principles of soil mechanics
and rock mechanics to investigate subsurface conditions and materials determine the relevant
properties of these materials evaluate stability of natural slopes and manmade soil deposits
and of course assess geotechnical risk and I’ll say this about geotechnical engineering. It’s 15:00 definitely the most subjective of the
five disciplines. What I mean by that is that it’s very very
challenging to know what’s going on beneath the soil layers even when you do soil samples
and even when you have plenty of data you just never know what’s going to happen. So some people run from the hills when they
hear this and some people are very attracted. This field when they hear this so there’s
always some uncertainty there’s always a bunch of unknowns when you were designing geotechnical
systems so keep that in mind for your future. For example if you’re interested in engineering
you probably can think of several historic events that have led to things like this. Most notably the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Engineers miscalculated what was going to
happen without soil Foundation and the tower is totally leaning today. I think it’s something like 11 degrees are
very significant clearly because it’s famous because of that. 15:53 Engineers have done all types of support
maintenance and there’s a bunch of underground stuff going on I don’t think they have cables
because it makes it ugly but they definitely have a bunch of counterweights that are going
on in order to save that tower. Because if you take two engineers one around
then or didn’t really do their job very well and own a local know for you. East Coast people for Delaware people everyone
knows about what happened to the Indian River Inlet Bridge. They started building the bases the ramps
of the bridge to go up and then cross the Inlet with no foundation. So it was going to be a big bridge. But one side settled like three extra feet
and they had to fire the engineering company. 16:34 They had to totally do a new design
and restart and the state of Delaware originally sued this company for 19 million dollars and
they inevitably settled for like 5 or 6. But it was a huge blunder and in some ways
these are the fears of the threats. These are the risks of geotechnical engineering
in general. Sometimes you just never know what’s going
to happen. So you have to be willing to take that on
as a geotechnical engineer. 17:01 And last but certainly not least five
coastal engineering coastal engineering is a study of the processes ongoing at a shoreline
or construction within the coastal zone. The field involves aspects of nearshore oceanography
marine geology and civil engineering often directed at combating erosion of coasts or
providing navigational access. And as I mentioned already I did research
with the coastal engineer who was a camera expert. He 17:28 used his camera systems to monitor the
shoreline to analyze the risk of scours which can suck out swimmers into the ocean and be
a threat to beachgoers and other types of marine and scour and bridge and shoreline
monitoring in general. 17:45 Some other examples of coastal engineering
include artificial Harbor generation dredging operations seawall construction bulkheads
Piers and submerged pipelines. So these are the five disciplines of civil
engineering guys. 17:59 I hope this video helps you understand
a little bit more about the field how diverse it is. It gives you a little bit more ideas of where
your career can go so that you can get excited about being a civil engineer if that’s what
you think is for you. I know that any cool job out there awaits
you. 18:16 Make sure you hit that subscribe button
guys so you don’t miss out on more videos. Thanks for watching the present engineer show
guys stay hungry on your quest to become a perfect engineer. Here’s.


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    Jake Voorhees

    Let me know what you are curious about in your engineering journey, and I can make a video about that!!

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    While I agree with everything you said about which sub branches of civil engineering performs, I am quite disappointed that you mentioned other branches being more "cookie cutter" (even though you already stated you knowingly are biased). While I understand what you meant as a fellow civil engineer (who specializes in structures), I wanted to clarify to everyone else watching that cookie cutter doesn't mean there is no innovation, ideas, or challenges. Every project has a unique challenge to it, especially in mid to large scale projects. Sometimes the restriction might be due to geotech, sometimes it might be due to right of way or drainage, and sometimes it might be the owner or contractor in terms of time schedule or budget. A lot of times, it can be during construction where something is done incorrectly and cannot simply be torn down and redone economically, so a solution must be sought. Also, with the trend of owners going towards Design-Build and P3 contracts (instead of Design-Bid-Build), the collaboration between design engineers and contractors (actual builders) pushes the envelope of design and hosts of new ideas.

    On the structures end, we are also looking for ways to incorporate drone and big data to our field. We are in the early stages of incorporating drones to inspections in lieu of wearing harnesses to these hard to reach spots. Also, using camera sensors from drones to capture huge amounts of field data to take back and reconstruct for use. This data can then be used to assess the condition for reanalysis of the structural integrity for either increased traffic volume over the years, or if it should be retrofitted/repaired/replaced. There are also tests with machine learning/AI uses that I can't get into since it is likely confidential at this state. Nonetheless, the major takeaway from this is… as tech advances, it opens up avenues for all other branches as well (as with any other field of work).

    There are technical challenges in incorporating tech in other fields, but that doesn't mean it isn't coming. I would advise any student going into any field to be aware and prepare to continue learning and keep up with technology. We may not think that technology has changed civil engineering, but the advent of CAD, Google Earth, search engines, cloud storage, IM, stronger computers, etc., The speed at which we can work and ease of collaboration across multiple offices is like no other… The next paradigm shift is just around the corner…

    Lastly, to all who are going to school and love math/science… engineering is NOT about crunching numbers or just using software to get a product, it's about decision making using engineering judgement to come up with a good solution. Sometimes people come up with a solution that theoretically works and is cheap on paper, but is unconstructable, labor intensive, and uneconomical. Just food for thought…

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    Daniel Chris Ronan

    Im 33, on disability for a benign brain tumor…
    I barely graduated highschool, & took ZERO college prep courses…

    I am struggling to survive on these meager disability income & im very very interested in egineering…

    Would it really take me 6 to 8 years for me to obtain a 4 year degree?
    (Because of zero college prep)


    Little backstory
    I chose to do drugs from 20 to 30 because i presumed my tumor was a death sentence. Turned out i was wrong and severely fucked up my life.
    (2 years sober now!👍)

    Now im 33 with no direction, but i watch egineering & history shows on Science/History/etc channels religiously!

    Now i need to choose between my 2 major intrests…
    World History & Engineering

    Any type of response would be wonderful!

    I just need to choose fast because ill be 40 by the time i graduate!

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    Teh Foxden

    Tell me anyone else being forced to watch this due to disabled people have no rights or something. I happen to be watching this because some woman thinks this is educational despite that i have no interest in this…


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    Calvin Zhang

    is it possible to switch specilsations within my civil engineering career if I find that I wanna do something different? like going from structural engineering to transport engineering… is it hard to do so?

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    Joseph Hendersin

    I am have actually been looking at going to a community college for drafting and design and moving onto a bachelors and potential PHD in Civil Engineering!

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    Jorge Ibarra

    How do you know there are only 5 branches of Civil Engineering?
    I am Mechanical Engineer and I really want to know what branches there are in my field so I am interested in how you find out the branches. I have trouble in identifying the branches and all the actual disciplines of Mechanical Engineering, I hope my question makes senses.

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    Ayesha naz

    Great video. Cleared a lot of confusion I had about Civil Engineering major. I am currently an undecided major for Engineering. Engineering is Fun.

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    Chen Li

    As a civil engineer , if I can get your books, it will help me a lot. so please email me [email protected] thanks! And anyway I love the video, so I have clicked the like button. goodluck!

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    Axel Arroyo

    Please donate to my competition team. Thank You.


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    Zahid S

    I have 4 questions 🤕
    1- how much an entry level civil engineer make?
    2- Is civil engineering in demand. Do you find a job easily after graduating from college???
    3- Do civil engineers use math in daily bases?
    4- How many math classes do civil engineers take in college??

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    Well Hello

    I’m a graduate civil engineer from the UK and was just wondering if it worth going to university to do my Masters in civil engineering this year. What are the benefits of having a Masters in civil engineering over having a bachelors degree in civil engineering ? I currently have a bachelors degree in civil engineering

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    William Hill

    You forgot irrigation engineering. Also maintenance engineering. My father was a steel structural engineer and was super smart.

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    Carlos Wensel

    Can I get the pdf version of the book? Currently studying civil and have done few internships with Project Management but I dont think its the path for me. Video helped alot, thank you!

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    Scott Shields

    I've always believed structural engineering should be it's own separate discipline from civil. Undergrad programs for civil are simply too broad.

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    Kelvin Nosa

    I love this video, it’s very helpful, because I have been thinking of which to choose from between Geotech engineering and structural engineering, please which do you advise I go for.

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    William 1221

    how good do I need to be at computers and math to be an engineer? as I want to go to college/university for civl engineering and geology

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    William 1221

    from watching this I'm interested in structural engineering and geotechnical engineering and if possible geology

  95. Post

    The most challenging part of the job is keeping an eye on contractors and budgeting.

    It's the most boring job you'll ever get.

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    William Sanphy

    Thank you for this video! I’m not sure what I wanted to do but I’m leaning more towards transportation engineering because I love cities skylines and try to make my city very efficient in terms of traffic

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    James Carlo Pelayo

    Hey jake can i have a copy of "job hunting" pdf
    I'm a fresh grad and I'd like to find the best job for beginners like me.

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