• In modern usage, civil engineering is a broad field of engineering that deals with the planning, construction, and maintenance of fixed structures as they related to earth, water, or civilization and their processes. Most civil engineering today deals with roads, structures, water supply, sewer, flood control, or traffic.
• Engineering has developedfrom observations of the ways natural and manmade systems react and from the development of empirical equations that provide bases for design. Civil engineering is the broadest of the engineering fields. In fact engineering was once divided into only two fields--military and civil. All the engineering specialties have derived from civil engineering. Civil engineering is still an umbrella fieldcomprised of many related specialities.
• Sub-disciplines of civil engineering
General civil engineering
General civil engineering is concerned with the overall interface of fixed projects with the greater world. General civil engineers work closely with surveyors and specialized civil engineers to fit and serve fixed projects within their given site, community and terrain by designinggrading, drainage (flood control), paving, water supply, sewer service, electric and communications supply and land (real property) divisions. General engineers spend much of their time visiting project sites, developing community/neighborhood consensus, and preparing construction plans.
Structural engineering is concerned with the design of bridges, buildings, offshore oilplatforms, dams etc. Structural design and structural analysis are components of structural engineering and a key component in the structural design process. This involves computing the stresses and forces at work within a structure. There are some structural engineers who work in non-typical areas, designing aircraft, spacecraft and even biomedical devices. Major design concerns are seismicresistant structures.
The main subject of the studies also known as soil mechanics is concerned with soil properties, mechanics of soil particles, compression and swelling of soils, seepage, slopes, retaining walls, foundations, footings, ground and rock anchors, use of synthetic tensile materials in soil structures, soil-structure interaction and soil dynamics.Geotechnical engineering covers this field of studies for application in engineering.
The importance of geotechnical engineering can hardly be overstated: buildings must be supported by reliable foundations. Dam design and construction is also heavily influenced by geotechnical engineering.
Transportation engineering is primarily concerned with motorized roadtransportation, especially in North America. This includes areas such as queueing theory and traffic flow planning, roadway geometric design and driver behavior patterns. Simulation of traffic operation is performed through use of trip generation, traffic assignment algorithms which can be highly complex computational problems. Other, more specialized areas of transportation engineering are concerned with thedesigns of non-road transportation facilities, such as rail systems, airports, and ports.
Environmental engineering deals with the treatment of chemical, biological, and/or thermal waste, the purification of water and air, and the remediation of contaminated sites, due to prior waste disposal or accidental contamination. Among the topics covered by environmentalengineering are water purification, sewage treatment, and hazardous waste management. Environmental engineering is related to the fields of hydrology, geohydrology and meteorology insofar as knowledge of (ground)water and flows are required to understand pollutant transport. Environmental engineers are also involved in pollution reduction, green engineering and industrial ecology.