Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction and maintenance of the physical and natural built environment, including works such as bridges, roads, canals, dams and buildings. Civil engineering is the oldest engineering discipline after military engineering, and it was defined to distinguish it from military engineering. It is traditionally broken into several sub-disciplines including environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, water resources engineering, materials engineering, coastal engineering, surveying, and construction engineering. Civil engineering takes place on all levels: in the public sector from municipal through to federal levels, and in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies.
1 History of the civil engineering profession
2 History of the science of civil engineering
3 The civil engineer
3.1 Education and licensure
4.1 Coastal engineering
4.2 Construction engineering
4.3 Environmental engineering
4.4 Geotechnical engineering
4.5 Water resources engineering
4.6 Materials engineering
4.7 Structural engineering
4.9 Transportation engineering
5 See also
8 External links
 History of the civil engineering profession
The Falkirk Wheel in Scotland.Engineering has been an aspect of life since the beginnings of human existence. Civil engineering might be considered properly commencing between 4000 and 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia when humans started to abandon a nomadic existence, thus causing a need for the construction of shelter. During this time, transportation became increasingly important leading to the development of the wheel and sailing. The construction of Pyramids in Egypt (circa 2700-2500 BC) might be considered the first instances of large structure constructions. Other ancient historic civil engineering constructions include the Parthenon by Iktinos in Ancient Greece (447-438 BC), the Appian Way by Roman engineers (c. 312 BC), and the Great Wall of China by General Meng T'ien under orders from Ch'in Emperor Shih Huang Ti (c. 220 BC). The Romans developed civil structures throughout their empire, including especially aqueducts, insulae, harbours, bridges, dams and roads.
Until modern times there was no clear distinction between civil engineering and architecture, and the term engineer and architect were mainly geographical variations referring to the same person, often used interchangeably. In the 18th century, the term civil engineering began to be used to and exchange, and in the construction of ports, harbours, moles, breakwaters and lighthouses, and in the art of distinguish it from military engineering.
See also: History of structural engineering
The Archimedes' screw was operated by hand and could raise water efficiently.The first self-proclaimed civil engineer was John Smeaton who constructed the Eddystone Lighthouse. 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 recognising civil engineering as a profession. Its charter defined civil engineering as:
“ "...the art of directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and convenience of man, as the means of production and of traffic in states, both for external and internal trade, as applied in the construction of roads, bridges, aqueducts, canals, river navigation and docks for internal intercourse navigation by artificial power for the purposes of commerce, and in the construction and application of machinery, and in the drainage of cities and towns." ”
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.
 History of the science of civil engineering
Pont du Gard, France, a Roman aqueduct built circa 19 BC.Civil engineering is the application of physical and scientific principles, and its history is intricately linked to advances in understanding of physics and mathematics throughout history. Because civil engineering is a wide ranging profession, including several separate specialized sub-disciplines, its history is linked to knowledge of structures, materials science, geology, soils, hydrology, environment, mechanics and other fields.
Throughout ancient and medieval history most architectural design and construction was carried out by artisans, such as stone masons and carpenters, rising to the role of master builder. Knowledge was retained in guilds and seldom supplanted by advances. Structures, roads and infrastructure that existed were repetitive, and increases in scale were incremental.
One of the earliest examples of a scientific approach to physical and mathematical problems applicable to civil engineering is the work of Archimedes in the 3rd century BC, including Archimedes Principle, which underpins our understanding of buoyancy, and practical solutions such as Archimedes' screw.
 The civil engineer
 Education and licensure
Main article: Civil engineer
The Institution of Civil Engineers headquarters in LondonCivil engineers typically possess an academic degree with a major in civil engineering. The length of study for such a degree is usually four or five years and the completed degree is usually designated as a Bachelor of Engineering, though some universities designate the degree as a Bachelor of Science. The degree generally includes units covering physics, mathematics, project management, design and specific topics in civil engineering. Initially such topics cover most, if not all, of the sub-disciplines of civil engineering. Students then choose to specialize in one or more sub-disciplines towards the end of the degree.
Graduates can choose to pursue a postgraduate degree such as a Master of Engineering, Master of Science, or a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering. The Master of Engineering degree may consist of either research, coursework or a mixture of the two. The Doctor of Philosophy consists of a significant research component and is often viewed as the entry point to academia. In the United Kingdom and various other European countries, the Master of Engineering is the minimum acceptable qualification for accreditation by the relevant professional bodies, and is often included as an extra year on the undergraduate engineering degree.
In most countries, a Bachelor's degree in engineering represents the first step towards professional certification and the degree program itself is certified by a professional body. After completing a certified degree program the engineer must satisfy a range of requirements (including work experience and exam requirements) before being certified. Once certified, the engineer is designated the title of Professional Engineer (in the United States, Canada and South Africa), Chartered Engineer (in most Commonwealth countries), Chartered Professional Engineer (in Australia and New Zealand), or European Engineer (in much of the European Union). There are international engineering agreements between relevant professional bodies which are designed to allow engineers to practice across international borders.
The advantages of certification vary depending upon location. For example, in the United States and Canada "only a licensed engineer may prepare, sign and seal, and submit engineering plans and drawings to a public authority for approval, or seal engineering work for public and private clients.". This requirement is enforced by state and provincial legislation such as Quebec's Engineers Act. In other countries, no such legislation exists. In Australia, state licensing of engineers is limited to the state of Queensland. Practically all certifying bodies maintain a code of ethics that they expect all members to abide by or risk expulsion. In this way, these organizations play an important role in maintaining ethical standards for the profession. Even in jurisdictions where certification has little or no legal bearing on work, engineers are subject to contract law. In cases where an engineer's work fails he or she may be subject to the tort of negligence and, in extreme cases, the charge of criminal negligence. An engineer's work must also comply with numerous other rules and regulations such as building codes and legislation pertaining to environmental law.
There is no one typical career path for civil engineers. Most engineering graduates start with jobs of low responsibility, and as they prove their competence, they are given more and more responsible tasks, but within each subfield of civil engineering, and even within different segments of the market within each branch, the details of a career path can vary. In some fields and firms, entry-level engineers are put to work primarily monitoring construction in the field, serving as the "eyes and ears" of more senior design engineers; while in other areas, entry-level engineers end up performing the more routine tasks of analysis or design and interpretation. More senior engineers can move into doing more complex analysis or design work, or management of more complex desig