Civil engineering is arguably the oldest engineering discipline. It deals with the built environment and can be dated to the first time someone placed a roof over his or her head or laid a tree trunk across a river to make it easier to get across.
It is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings.
It is traditionally broken into several sub-disciplines including geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, materials engineering, earthquake engineering and construction engineering. Civil engineering takes place in the public sector from municipal through to national governments, and in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies.
Geotechnical engineering is an area of civil engineering concerned with the rock and soil that support civil engineering systems. Knowledge from the fields of geology, material science and testing, mechanics, and hydraulics are applied by geotechnical engineers to safely and economically design foundations, retaining walls, and similar structures.
Structural engineering is concerned with the structural design and structural analysis of buildings, bridges, towers, flyovers, (overpasses), tunnels, offshore structures like oil and gas fields in the sea, aerostructure and other structures. This involves identifying the loads which act upon a structure and the forces and stresses which arise within that structure due to those loads, and then designing the structure to successfully support and resist those loads.
Transport engineering is concerned with moving people and goods efficiently, safely, and in a manner conductive to a vibrant community. This involves specifying, designing, constructing, and maintaining transportation infrastructure which includes streets, canals, highways, rail systems, airports, ports, and mass transit.
One of the major aspects of civil engineering is materials science. Material engineering deals with ceramics such as concrete, mix asphalt concrete, strong metals, such as aluminum and steel, and polymers such as carbon fibers.
The main objectives of earthquake engineering are to understand interaction of structures with the shaky ground (the consequences of possible earthquakes) and design construct and maintain structures to perform at earthquake exposure up to the expectations and in compliance with building codes.
Construction engineering involves planning and execution of the designs from transportation, site development, hydraulic, environmental, structural, and geotechnical engineers. As construction firms tend to have higher business risk than other types of civil engineering firms, many construction engineers tend to take on a role thatis more business-like in nature: drafting and reviewing contracts, evaluating logistical operations, and closely monitoring prices of necessary supplies.
As a conclusion, civil engineering is an exciting profession because at the end of the day you can see the results of your work, whether this is a completed bridge, a high-rise building, a subway station, or a hydroelectric dam.