Specialisations - Civil Engineering


Civil engineering 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 the oldest engineering discipline after military engineering (which none of the universities in India offers) and it was defined to distinguish non-military engineering from military engineering.

Here's a list of popular specialisations in the field of Civil Engineering:

 


CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT


Description:

This is a highly multi-disciplinary field which requires students to gain knowledge in fields like business, project management, quality control, elementary law apart from the advanced courses in civil engineering. Students will be expected to satisfy core courses like real estate finance, real estate capital markets, building information modelling, integrated practice, project controls and construction accounting and finance.

A number of electives will further specialise you in the particular aspect you would want to take up in the future. Some of the electives that you may be offered are design history and criticism, advanced building estimation, environmental and regulatory compliance, heavy construction estimating and legal issues in real estate development to name a few.

The entire course is designed for those looking for a managerial role in the construction business.

Pre-Requisites:

As such there will be no specific requirements for this course. Financial and legal aptitude will surely be helpful along with a basic understanding of economics.

Prospects:

As mentioned earlier, this is a course for someone looking for industrial work. After graduating one can easily look for work as a project manager or quality control manager in organizations like Jacobs Engineering, Fluor Daniel or Parsons which are specialists in the construction industry.

 


STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING


Description:

As a structural engineer, you will have to deal with studying and analysing new resilient structures and providing feasible solutions for rehabilitating older worn out structures. There will be a lot of courses involving analysis, modelling and computerised work.

One can expect to encounter courses like advanced solid mechanics, soil mechanics, finite element analysis, advanced steel structures, structural dynamics, engineering analysis, non-linear dynamical systems, chaos, theory of shell structures and I guess by now you have a good idea of what’s coming your way in case you have decided to indulge yourself in the world of structures.

Pre-Requisites:

Similar to its sister branch transportation engineering, there isn’t anything particular colleges look for. Undergraduate level of courses required will vary from college-to-college. However, knowing softwares like CATIA, MATLAB, SolidWorks, ANSYS or whichever are similar in their functions will surely help in the analysing and designing aspect of your course.

Prospects:

As an apprentice structural engineer, you will encounter simpler work like designing beams and deciding material usage in various constructions. In this case you may also be recruited by a mechanical engineering firm looking for a person proficient in designing structures. Research scope lies in fields like earthquake resistance engineering, structural dynamics and control, computational mechanics and smart materials in structures.

 


TRANSPORTATION ENGINEERING


Description:

As a transportation engineer you will be required to construct highways, superways ports, harbours, railways and whatever else comes in between in the whole transport spectrum. The courses you will learn will again be overlapping with elements from geography, core civil engineering, programming, public policy and parts of industrial engineering.

The courses you can expect to study are management and financing of public engineering works, design of transportation facilities, introduction to transportation planning law, elements of stochastic processes, energy and environment and cartography which brings in a flavour of geography, a subject whose books you probably haven’t touched for a decade now, but don’t worry it won’t be what you’re expecting.

Pre-Requisites:

Various universities have different criteria for undergrad courses but there won’t be anything in particular that you will have to know.

Prospects:

After completing your Masters you can easily take up work in any organization. However, for transport engineers, openings are far more in the government since large transport related projects are generally government undertakings. Research work isn’t much favoured in this field due to the field having reached a plateau in terms of technology involved.

 


GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING


Description:

Basically a geotechnical engineer deals with earth materials, including soil, rock, and groundwater. As most engineering projects are supported by ground, geotechnical engineering interfaces with most of the other civil sub-disciplines, a graduate from this branch will be in great demand.

Example: A geotechnical engineer designs embankments for flood control.

The courses you are likely to encounter are Geomechanics, Slope Stability and Retaining Structures, Transport Phenomena in Porous Media, Foundation Engineering, Engineering Geology and Mechanical Analysis in Geology among a whole bunch of courses which are pretty similar sounding and give an inkling that it’s just ol’ wine in the new bottle course-after-course.

Pre-Requisites:

This information is best provided to you by the website of the college you are looking to apply to. However, we’ll warn you here itself that like transportation engineering you will have to deal with geography.

Prospects:

Now, this is an advantage you will enjoy as a geotechnical engineer. The applications lie in diverse fields like energy, construction and also in design firms, contractors and consultancy firms. Research scope is vast in fields like deep excavations, numerical modelling and soil-structure interaction.