Importance and applications of civil engineering
Civil engineers are becoming more and more important with time. Now, they are also responsible for looking after the fire control systems and installing quick fire exit points in the buildings they design. This will help in minimizing the loss of life during fire accidents. Civil engineering is one of the oldest of the engineering professions. Ancient feats such as the building of the Egyptian pyramids and Roman road systems are based on civil engineering principles. Another very important aspect of civil engineering is environmental engineering. In this case, the civil engineers are concerned with applications of various methods to purify the contaminated air, water and soil. The polluted system should be cleaned, the waste extracted and the purified constituent must be sent back to the natural system.
Civil engineers are also responsible for building good quality transportation systems like highways, airports, rail lines, sea ports, etc. A civil engineer is concerned with determining the right design for these structures and looking after the construction process so that the longevity of these structures is guaranteed after completion. These structures should also be satisfactory for the public in terms of comfort.
In 1771 Smeaton and some of his colleagues formed the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers, a group of leaders of the profession who met informally over dinner. Though there was evidence of some technical meetings, it was little more than a social society. In 1818 the Institution of Civil Engineers was founded in London, and in 1820 the eminent engineer Thomas Telford became its first president. The institution received a Royal Charter in 1828, formally recognizing civil engineering as a profession. The first degree in Civil Engineering in the United States was awarded by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1835. The first such degree to be awarded to a woman was granted by Cornell University to Nora Stanton Blatch in 1905.
For every field of engineering, there is an engineering society available for like-minded people to get together and share information. Engineering societies, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) or the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) have national technical meetings where people can present papers and network with other engineers.
Many societies also have local branches who conduct meetings of interest to the local engineers. In addition to societies for specific fields of engineering, societies also exist for demographics within the engineering profession, such as the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).
Following are some old and well known Civil Engineering Organizations
- Chi Epsilon – Civil Engineering honorary
- ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers)
- AGC (Association of General Contractors)
- ARTPA (American Road and Transportation Builders Association)
- ITE (Institute of Transportation Engineers)
- KSPE (Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers – section of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE))