Posts tagged ‘civil engineering’

Career prospects in Different Branches of Civil Engineering :


Civil Engineering is one of the oldest branches of engineering. Civil engineers basically design, construct, and maintain infrastructures such as railways, roads, bridges, dams etc. Civil engineers will always be in demand in developing and developed countries. as infrastructures are always needed in such nations.

Due to the constant need for infrastructure, there will never be dearth of civil engineers. In this essay we will discuss the several branches of engineering and also discuss the career prospects :


Construction Engineering : This branch deal with planning and construction of infrastructures. The construction engineers work in tandem with site development, transportation, structural, environmental engineers to create stable, long lasting infrastructures. The construction engineers are in charge of the field work or site supervision. They undertake not just engineering activities but also managerial duties.

Who Will Hire You : Graduates with this specialization can look forward to work in companies such as Larsen & Toubro, Tata Projects etc

Tentative Fresher Salary : According to Payscale they get as much as 4 lakhs per year.


Structural Engineering : Structural Engineers undertake the responsibility designing and analysing structures. The responsibilities of structural engineers are immense, since it is they who ensure that the infrastructures – railways, roads, bridge are safe and secure and will be able to withstand, vagaries of weather and time. and must be able to sustain in spite of climatic changes and disasters. They must ensure that the infrastructures adhere to the country’s safety regulations.

Tentative Fresher Salary: Payscale reports that freshers can earn upto 5 lakhs per year.

Who will Hire You : Graduates can work for public sector and also work for private sector companies like BPC India, Keller India etc.


Surveying : These engineers survey and level the land – to map and contour the terrain. They execute various responsibilities like locating property lines, bridges, channels, highways, pipelines etc.

Who will Hire You : Graduates can look forward to work at IndiaBulls Real Estate, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd etc.

Tentative Fresher Salary : Freshers can earn upto 3 lakhs per annum.


Hydraulic Engineers : These engineers are in charge of designing and constructing water structures like dams, canals, banks and other water distribution system. They are also in charge of making sure the water structures are built in accordance to safety measures.

Tentative Fresher Salary : Freshers can get upto 4 lakhs per annum.


Environmental Engineers : These engineer study, analyse and come up with practical solutions to important environmental problems and disasters. They are in charge of coming up with eco friendly designs, coming up with sewage and waste management systems etc. A subset of this type of engineering are earthquake engineers who analyse seismic forces and predict how structures will react to earthquakes.

Who will Hire You : Such engineering graduates can work with firms such as Team Taurus, Doshion Limited etc.

Tentative Fresher Salary : Environmental engineering grads can earn upto 4 lakhs per year.


Municipal Engineering : These engineers usually work alongside the municipality in planning and management of a locality.

Tentative Fresher Salary  : Freshers can get up to 3 lakh per annum on metropolitan cities.


Material Engineering : These engineers determine the strength of materials used in construction – such as cement, brick and mortar. They work alongside construction engineers on infrastructure building.

Tentative Fresher Salary : Material engineering graduates can earn upto 4 lakh INR per year.


Geotechnical engineering : These engineers basically measure the strength of the soil and determine if they are able to tolerate the strength of the structures. These engineers will analyse soil, rocks etc and determine their capacity for accommodating infrastructure.



In general, we do not consult any physician for health check up until some symptoms of ailment are observed. Similarly for RCC structures health assessments are performed when some abnormalities are observed in the structure or when quality control tests give poor results thereby failing to satisfy acceptance criteria.

The life of a concrete structure varies between 50-100 years. So a huge number of RCC structures are found to be completing their life span and subjected to different types of distresses. Complete demolition and rebuilding are difficult decisions to take. To improve performance and functional appearance different retrofitting and rehabilitation measures are taken.

Any such repair work is to be proceeded by health assessment of structure by which problem is diagnosed. After proper investigation the remedial measures can be adopted. In order to assess the health of any structure, basic protocol must be followed. As a thumb rule, we should follow the investigation steps while going for forensic study of concrete structure.


The prime objectives and procedural steps of retrofitting work are:

  • Finding the geography of the area where the structure is located
  • Knowing the history of the structure
  • Going thoroughly through the technical report
  • Performing visual inspection
  • Selecting non-destructive and semi-destructive tests that are needed to be performed on strength
  • Identification of the location of the spots for test
  • Determining causes of defects, analysis of the test results with proper engineering knowledge
  • Locating the area of weakness and prescribing the remedial measures to rehabilitate the structure
  • Making a list of repair and rectification works and reasoning to maintain the structure in future from similar problems/distresses


Proper maintenance extends the life of any old or existing structure. It can be classified as routine and special maintenance. The routine maintenance is performed at every one and two year’s interval to maintain aesthetic and functional requirement of the existing building. Special maintenance is required to restore the structural integrity whether any indication of abnormality is seen in the building.

Structure are made up of different construction materials such as brick, stones, concrete, steel, timber and combination of many others. In general, failures of these structures are not same and also the steps taken for rehabilitations will also not be the same. Merely knowing rehabilitation technique will be of no use to engineers. Prevention is better than cure. It is always desired to identify the reasons behind any failure and to eliminate them altogether, so that failure do not occur at any stage.

But it is practically impossible to eliminate all reasons behind the failure of the structure. Even if we have done good design, performed construction in the best possible way and time to time maintenance work is carried out, the structure cannot be declared as free from failure. The failures need to be analyzed, the nature and extent of damage should be assessed and then proper rehabilitation measures are to be undertaken. The repair and rehabilitation measures vary according to locations of damage. These include restoring structural integrity of major safety defects.

Importance of Environmental Engineering as an Integral Part of Civil Engineering

It is a frequently asked question why Environmental Engineering should be considered as an integral part of Civil Engineering. Many argue that as Environmental Engineering is a multi-disciplinary subject and comprises many facets of the environment, it should be separated from Civil Engineering and a new department should be formed. Students who will pursue the course in this department will get a degree in Environmental Engineering. Accordingly, some of the institutes in a few states have started to confer degrees on Environmental Engineering to students who qualify.

Premier institutes like IITs, NITs, IIEST, JU have not accepted the above proposition. In these institutes, Environmental Engineering is still under the domain of Civil Engineering. In the master degree level there is specialization in this discipline only.

The main argument raised by these institutes is that Environmental Engineering covers a wide area of civil construction part, which may be possible to impart to students only if it remains, tied up with Civil Engineering.

The name Environmental Engineering is a new coinage.  Originally the name of the subject was Public Health Engineering. The coverage of the subject was Water Supply and Sanitary Engineering. Water Supply Engineering includes source of water, water quality, water requirement, water treatment, water storage (both impounded and overhead reservoir), water distribution and so on.  Sanitary Engineering, which was later renamed as Wastewater Engineering, includes wastewater collection system, wastewater characterization, wastewater treatment and disposal.

sewage treatment station

Sewage treatment station

Gradually this subject engulfed many aspects of environment, viz. air, water and land. It includes- Air pollution and control, noise pollution and control, water pollution and control, land pollution and control and industrial pollution and its abatement. All the branches of science starting from physics, chemistry, mathematics, biochemistry, microbiology are very much integrated with Environmental Engineering.

‘Environment’ has become a very popular word of the day. Scientists from different fields are conducting research on many important aspects related to environment. Right thinking of people all over the world recognizes that the very sustainability of civilization and mankind depends entirely on proper maintenance of ecological balance. Over extraction and uncontrolled use of natural resources without due cognizance of its renewal will only lead to destruction. As a result, the importance of the subject ‘Environmental Engineering’ has been recognized and the subject has established a strong foothold in higher education all over the world.

In many universities abroad there is a Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering highlighting equal importance to environment and other disciplines of Civil Engineering. In our country, environmental pollution has become an issue of concern for the Governments (both Central and State). Environmental Laws and Regulations are enacted in the Parliament and regulatory authorities are established to control environmental degradation as a whole.

Unfortunately, in spite of above efforts and initiatives, environmental pollution has still remained as a menace in our country. People at large are getting affected by the adverse effects of the degraded environment. Lack of awareness can be attributed behind this untoward consequence.

In order to apprise people, due emphasis should be given to knowledge imparting on the environment. Alongside, subjects like Environmental Science and Engineering have to gain their due impetus. Importance of ‘Environmental Engineering’ as an integral part of Civil Engineering should get its rightful place among all the branches of engineering at the earliest.



Hollow Clay Brick Wall by Sujata Purakayastha, Department of Civil Engineering

hollow clay brick wallHollow clay bricks can be used as Civil Engineering guiding materials for specific functions. It can improve thermal insulation performance of building walls by reducing building wall loads. It has two phases. One is solid phase and the other is pore and void phase. Worldwide, the possibility of improving block wall insulation has already been studied by increasing porosity of bulk material. The reason for usage of hollow clay brick is to improve the energy efficiency of built structures in terms of thermal insulation, during both winter and summer. Heavy clay blocks are the most frequently used basic materials for construction in India as well as worldwide. From the consideration of increasing tendency to reduce cost production and installation by achieving better insulating properties, it is necessary to introduce new solutions. Existing solutions to thermal insulation problems are provisions of different systems of walls as well as addition of layers like polystyrene, sandwich panels, thermal insulation mortars, etc., which significantly increases the cost of construction.

hollow, clay, brick wallThere is a scope of further research based on the geometry of the products, thickness of the walls and the number of cavities if we use clay as the basic material. There are also some possibilities of using different secondary raw materials like industry waste which will decrease waste quantities and reduce primary raw materials consumption.



CIVIL ENGINEERING MARVELS OF THE WORLD by Satyendra Nath Chattopadhyay, Department of Civil Engineering


Civil engineering means an engineering practice, the development of which means more civilization. Ancient people first needed a shelter, a source of fresh water and a means to cross rivers and lakes. Thus, buildings and structures, bridges and water purification, collection and distribution have come under the scope of civil engineering. With time, more areas such as roads, sewage treatment and disposal, water management for harvesting  and controlling of floods, study of soil on which a structure stands have added in the branch of civil engineering. Even, as on date many sub-areas and inter-disciplinary areas are getting added in the branch of civil engineering – the base line is one – it must add to the civilization.

Photo – Great Bath at Mohenjo Daro

Civilization is 5000 years old. The modern day concepts of structural engineering and soil mechanics have started trickling only from 75 years back. It means that with basic knowledge of physics, mathematics, plane and solid geometry along with co-ordinate geometry ancient people could make beautiful layout planning and with the knowledge of arches and domes, the suspended portion could be tackled. The brick preparation technology was meticulously developed and bonding of bricks which can be seen on broken ancient structures shows the adequate knowledge of chemistry was applied for preparation of bonding materials between bricks. The brick bonding is so strong that broken pieces of thousands of years old structures are inseparable even on date.

Old structures are basically of two types. One is the type which is at least one thousand years old. Structures of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, Nalanda, Konark, Ajanta and Elora, Rajgir and many other structures of Europe before industrial revolution come under this category. Seeing these structures, one get astonished how beautiful and simple is the geometric concept, how nice is the sense of aesthetics, how beautifully the structures are oriented to get the best utilization of sunlight, how scientific was the ventilation system and also how nicely the drainage was planned. This is the time when the mud brick concept has not come and the entire structure was made of stone blocks. The question comes how such massive stones were placed one after another without the help of modern day cranes etc. The second astonishing point is that how the stone joinery material was developed. History of course says that there was fantastic development of inorganic chemistry even in the time of Puranas and Vedas.

Photo – Harappan Architecture

The second type is the structures which came post industrial revolution era till mid twentieth century. Then mud bricks were sufficiently developed and usage of structural steel sections had started. Beautiful Victorian structures of Europe and those of Pathans and Mughals era are the examples of this category. Extensive use of timber, clay tiles, surkhi and lime is the special feature of this era. Steel joists were placed closely overlaid by stone slab to cater as suspended slab.

Only time will say whether modern day construction with application of latest technology is superior to other categories or not. For that those have to withstand natural calamities, earthquakes, floods etc. for thousands of years. If not, then ‘The Tajmahal’ may continue as marvel or wonder for another couple of hundred years.

Definitely wonders are designed and constructed even on date. The euro-tunnel, numbers of long span bridges in South Korea and Japan, the rail link through mountain connecting mainland China and Tibet are the examples of such.

Marvels are no more linked with hugeness and elegance of a structure. Now, Marvels are those which are constructed controlling the cost and time disturbing people the least in thickly congested area. From that point of view, many flyovers of Kolkata with prefabricated T-portals are one of the best examples of modern day marvels.


Photo – Ellora Cave Temple

Photo – Buddhist Painting on Ajanta Cave Wall

Photo – Konarak