What is Civil Engineering?

Undergraduate Students working Professor Robert B. Jacko

Undergraduate students working with Professor Robert B. Jacko.

The next time you drive around town, take a drink of water, or visit a business, take a moment to thank a civil engineer for the roads you travel, for the clean water, and for the buildings we enter. Engineering is evident in our every day lives. Highways, water treatment, and structures are just a few of the many contributions civil engineers have made to life in the 21st century: They are also credited with protecting our environment, designing homes, building bridges, erecting industrial facilities and constructing recycling plants. Most people think of civil engineering as people who build highways and bridges, but it is much more.

Civil engineers design, construct, maintain society's infrastructure and protect the environment using math, science, teamwork, and inventive skills. Purdue has spurred the advancement of the civil engineering profession, pioneering in transportation, materials, structures, land surveying, construction, and environmental engineering. As a civil engineering graduate you will find employment opportunities with: consulting engineering offices, construction companies, local, state, and national governmental organizations, along with opportunities in aerospace, petroleum, automotive industry, and environmental systems.

Stephen P. Wanders (BSCE '78, MSCE '79)

"The problem-solving and team-building skills that I gained at Purdue have allowed me to progress from structural design engineer to project manager to senior leadership positions at CH2M HILL ... one of the largest civil engineering planning, design, and construction management firms in the U.S." Stephen P. Wanders (BSCE '78, MSCE '79), CH2M HILL, Vice President.

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Civil Engineers