Civil engineering is a much wider discipline than many people imagine. Students pursuing it have well over ten branches they can specialize in. Examples include structural, geo-technical, and transportation engineering. Each branch then leads them to a different civil engineering sector upon graduation.
In spite of the variety, all specializations have more or less the same goal. They are all about designing, constructing, and maintaining public works projects. Here now are seven civil engineering branches every student should consider pursuing.
1) Construction Engineering
This branch revolves around the planning and execution of civil engineering designs. Thus, students specializing in it oversee projects designed by other civil engineers. They also ensure that the implementation of such projects is according to specifications. In addition, they handle any problems that crop up during construction. The management aspect of this branch of civil engineering makes a construction engineer a cross between an engineer and manager.
2) Structural Engineering
Structural engineering students perform the design and analysis of built structures. They design structures capable of safely enduring and resisting loads, forces or stresses placed upon them. Their designs also factor in safety regulations as well as resistance to natural disasters and climate change.
3) Transportation Engineering
As the name implies, transportation engineering focuses on the transport facilities. Students learn how to plan, construct and manage transportation infrastructure. They ensure that such infrastructure is safe and comfortable to use, eco-friendly, and cost effective. Facilities such as highways, airports, urban transportation works, and waterways fall under this branch.
4) Geo-technical Engineering
This type of civil engineering deals with the relationship between soil and building foundations. It seeks to establish how the bearing capacity of the soil under and around a building can affect its stability. Geo-technical engineering students also evaluate built structures which show signs of damage caused by the bearing soil under their foundations. They then give solutions on how the structures can be strengthened or if too damaged, demolished.
The focus of this branch is the mapping of land using various instruments. Surveying students use contours and terrain to locate and lay out property lines and built structures. They also align highways, pipelines, bridges, and every other structure imaginable. The branch is further divided into geodetic and plane surveying.
6) Water Resource Engineering
Civil engineering students who decide to specialize in this branch are taught how to design, construct and manage hydraulic structures. These are infrastructure works that include water distribution structures, dams, and water channels. The students are also responsible for implementing safety regulations on such projects.
7) Earthquake Engineering
Earthquake engineers design and oversee the construction of structures capable of resisting seismic forces. To be able to do this, students pursuing this branch of civil engineering study earthquakes and seismic forces in depth first. The skills of earthquake engineers are applicable in earthquake prone regions.
Students who decide to pursue civil engineering can specialize in one of its many branches. They can also enroll in one of the many schools offering the degree. If they opt to study online instead, schools like the New Jersey Institute of Technology offer an online civil engineering degree and online civil engineering masters degrees are well regarded these days, so that’s a great option for those looking to get a master’s degree on the cheap.
Upon graduation, students also have many options but in career choices. The flexibility of courses to take, schools to study in, modes of learning available, and careers to follow makes this degree one of the best anyone can pursue today.