The work of civil engineers is visible across the environment we live in. The main purpose of this essay is to assist students have a better understanding of the civil engineering as a scientific field. In this essay I will make an analysis of civil engineering meaning and the specifics of civil engineering in all aspects. I will specifically examine civil engineering at Michigan State University and the courses required in this major. I will also make an analysis of how writing is important in the civil engineering field. The contribution of civil engineers to the society will also be included. The different career paths a student can pursue when majoring in civil engineering and the salary of civil engineers will be reviewed last. But before going into that, I am going to give you background information of what made me interested in majoring in civil engineering.
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Background Information, Why I Chose Civil Engineering as my Major?
I believe that the best way every student should consider while choosing their major is making a choice of what they love. This is what I exactly did. When I was young, I marveled at how the buildings stood majestically. The thought of buildings designs and the dynamics involved in the construction really fascinated me. While I grew up I realized all this was a civil engineers’ work. Since middle school the idea of studying civil engineering in college stuck in my mind. The more literature I reviewed about civil engineering, the more I loved it. The thought of planning and designing on paper and then seeing the results is very rewarding to me.
The History of Civil Engineering
Engineering is one of life’s aspects that have existed since the origin of humans. Thousands of years ago, humans hunted and gathered for food. There was no urgency to build shelter as they were always on the move. Later on, people began to get acquainted new ways of getting food. They learned how to plant fruits and vegetables and how to domesticate animals. As a result, they did not need to move all the time and they needed homes. They started by building tents but gradually they learned how to use the available natural resources like stone, wood, and vegetable fiber to build stronger and more convenient homesCITATION Fon01 p 21 l 1033 (Font, Criswell and Grigg 21). They also began to build roads and bridges to make it easy to move from place to place. In modern day, houses, buildings, bridges and other structures construction occurs from the skills passed by our ancestors where they constructed stable buildings (Salvadori 11). Theses skills that are needed to build safe structures are the skills of civil engineers.
What Does Civil Engineering Mean?
The word Engineering by itself means the art of putting the scientific knowledge in practice and using it in practical life. The engineer thus uses his scientific knowledge to design, build, and maintain engines, machines or public works. While the word Civil is relates to ordinary citizens and their concerns. Civil engineering therefore refers to the science that applies scientific knowledge to serve the civic life in the daily functions through infrastructure.
The Civil Engineering is the art and science of designing the infrastructure of the modern civil societies, the process of planning and design in addition to the establishment of various facilities and facilities that serve people is a civil engineering generally. These facilities include highways that connect cities to each other, and airports, and sewage treatment that protects our environmentCITATION Kos94 p 21 l 1033 ( Kostival and Mason 21).
Civil Engineering Requirement at MSU
There are 128 credits that a student needs to complete to receive a degree of Bachelor in Civil engineering at MSU. Students majoring in civil engineering must first complete the university requirement courses. After completing the university requirement there are six courses that a student must complete to apply to the college of engineering. These six core courses are EGR102, EGR100, MTH132, MTH133, CEM141, and PHY183. Completing these courses is not the only requirement to make application to the college of engineering; a student must also obtain a minimum required GPA of 3.2 and above.
After that comes the major requirement, and there are 66 credits that will be obtained from these courses. After completing all of the major requirements, a student must complete 18 credits of the major tracks. There are seven tracks of civil engineering at MSU which are as follows; environmental track, geotechnical track, pavements track, structures track, transportation track, water resources track, and general track. For each track there are different required courses. Students must earn 18 credits from these tracks, 9 credits must be obtained from one track and the additional 9 credits must include courses from three different tracks (“Undergraduate degree – Civil Engineering”).
The Importance of Writing in Civil Engineering
I believe that writing is the basis for every course, and it’s important throughout college life. It helps in communicating our best knowledge in the respective fields we choose. Writing is quite a challenging task especially for international student; this is reason why it is important to enroll in prewriting classes as it improves writing skills. In the pursuit of our majors writing of research papers and case studies is mandatory. In addition to this, some exams sat in college entail questions that we must answer by writing short paragraphs. Writing classes is thus build the foundation of writing strategies that will help in the course of our majors.
Why Civil Engineering is Important in our Lives?
Civil engineering is an important part of our life, and the work of civil engineers is present in almost all aspects of our life. The electricity that we use everyday is provided by the constructions of the dams and power stations that require civil engineers. The clean water that we drink everyday is provided by the water and sewage treatment plants, which again require civil engineers. The roads that we drive everyday are also civil engineers’ work (“What is Civil Engineering”). The buildings that we live or work in are civil engineers’ work. Civil engineering helps improve the lives of millions of people everyday.
Moreover, civil engineering gives shape and recognition to each society. For example, Many people when they hear of India, the picture that pops up in their heads is the picture of Taj Mahal, when they hear of Paris, they imagine the Eiffel Tower, and when they hear of London, they immediately think of Big Ben. The same happens when they hear of any other country or city; people tend to imagine the picture of the best-known landmarks or attractions in there. All these landmarks were built and designed by the help of civil engineers
The importance of specialization of civil engineering can be realized through its definition. It’s a one the engineering disciplines that humans cannot live without it. The human need for homes to live in and be safe and protected from the summer heat and the winter cold. Humans need safety and the means of transportation to move between cities without noticing the long distance. Dams are a one of the examples that show us the importance of civil engineering of human beings. The importance of water resources and quality of human beings is the factor shows us how important is civil engineering for the community. Whenever the number of people in the community increases and there was a problem of limited spaces, this problem will not be solved without the presence of civil engineers. The civil engineer is the person who designs the foundations of safe buildings, builds the safe and economical towers; he is the one who ensures the presence of clean water and high quality of cities.
The Different Career Paths of Civil Engineering
There are a number of sub-disciplines of civil engineering. As I mentioned above there are six sub-disciplines of civil engineering at Michigan State University. There are many different branches from Engineering major. First, Environmental engineering, which interests on dealing with every aspect on the environment. For example, environmental engineers work on constructing the water supplies that would protect the environment from water pollution and the consequences related to that such as where the waste of water would go as well as the solid waste and so on. Another branch is Geotechnical engineering. This deals with building the roads, tunnels, dams, and slopes using the rocks and the soil as the raw materials. Also, there is Structural Engineering, which is more in structuring buildings and bridges using other materials such as concrete and steel as the raw materials. Pavement Engineering is another one that is for the design and analysis of the asphalt and concrete pavements. Also, Transportation Engineering, and this deals with the transit systems, designing highways, and constructing airports (“The Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Degree”). When a student enters the workplace as civil engineer, he must go on to become certified as a professional Engineer (PE). “A civil engineer without this certification is limited in their authority. The PE license allows them the authority to sign off on all projects within their professional specialty” (“Becoming a Civil Engineer”).
Salary of civil engineers
The starting salary of civil engineering is relatively less than the other engineering disciplines such as computer engineering, mechanical engineering, and so on. However, the chances of getting a job is higher because civil engineers are always in demand as civil engineer’s job is important for the function of a society. Even with bad economy the society does not stop functioning, for example having bad economy does not mean that you drink poisoned water. Another reason that makes civil engineers always in demand is that the job of civil engineers cannot be outsourced, for example, you can’t build a bridge in china and ship it to the U.S. In comparison, other engineering disciplines’ job can be outsourced, for example, you can build a car or a computer in china and ship it to the U.S. (Buch).
Civil engineering is a worthwhile major and it places the individual on a career path that is definitely worth pursuing. It’s a major that give satisfaction to a person because he knows that he is helping the society and the people. Our modern life nowadays depends upon civil engineering.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Kostival, L M and John Michael Mason. Civil Engineering Careers: A User’s Guide for Awareness, Retention, and Curriculum Programs, Issue 347, Part 2. Transportation Research Board, 1994.
Font, Darrell G, Marvin E Criswell and Neil S Grigg. Civil Engineering Practice in the Twenty-First Century: Knowledge and Skills for Design and Management. ASCE Publications, 2001.
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Salvadori, Mario. The Art of Construction Projects and Principles for Beginning Engineers & Architects. Chicago: Chicago Review, 2000. Print.
“The Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Degree.” Michigan State University, Civil and Environmental Engineering. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2014. <http://www.egr.msu.edu/cee/programs/undergrad_civil.html>.
“Undergraduate Degree – Civil Engineering.” Michigan State University, Office of the Registrar. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2014. <https://www.reg.msu.edu/academicprograms/ProgramDetail.asp?Program=2313>.
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