During my college years (long ago 🙂 ) I can’t say that I ever thought of the science of civil engineering as “sexy.” As far as I knew, civil engineers built cement canoes for competition. While interesting, not “sexy.” I was obviously not well informed!
Fast forward 20 some years and I know MUCH more. The daily job of civil engineers hasn’t changed that much in two decades – specifically, in the sense of planning, designing, managing jobs, working with agencies, citizens and clients. What has changed is the manner and tools used to accomplish those daily responsibilites.
Technology and better textile/materials has catapulted our industry into a new realm. Environmental concerns with the multitude of regulations make the nuances of the job even more complex. Technology and sustainability will transform the civil engineering profession for years to come.
Robert Mote asked a question on the CivilEngineeringCentral LINKEDIN Group. He asked for folks to name the most famous civil engineer in the US. Not unlike my understanding of civil engineering 20 years ago, I think most people may not be entirely clear on that subject. While, as a non civil engineer, I am not ready to give my answer to Robert’s question, I certainly DO know what a civil engineer does. Over the past 10 years the US has seen it’s share of infrastructure failings, crumblings, etc. I have witnessed countless numbers of civil engineers being called to speak to the press to explain in “plain talk” what happened in these tragedies and how to repair them. So, hopefully, if Robert asks his question in another 10 years, folks will be able to rattle off not only a famous US civil engineer, but they will actually understand what a civil engineer does!
The Institute of Civil Engineers put together an EXCELLENT video about “The Public Perception Of Civil Engineering“…..Take a look: