Civil Engineering Basics Knowledge

Civil engineers design major construction projects, such as roads, airports, tunnels, dams, and bridges. They also supervise project construction and maintenance. They must possess a very broad skill set, from cost accounting to geology. Many civil engineers have jobs that require a very hands-on role in construction, while others may have positions more heavily weighted toward supervisory and administrative skills.

Civil engineers must often manage very complex projects, leading many to specialize in one of several areas. Here you can find all the information and the most important skills and qualities along with civil engineering basics to become a successful civil engineer.

 

Civil Engineering Basics Technical Skills

A good Civil Engineer should have a level of Mathematics and Physics that allows for the identification and solving of engineering problems. Civil Engineers also need to be skilled in design techniques and working with maps, drawings, and models, as well as CAD software. They need to be able to predict any possible future problems and find solutions for them.

Every civil engineer must possess a high level of technical skills to carry out construction projects. Following are some of the top technology they need to know;

Math skills.

Civil engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Tests Of Building Materials

A good civil engineer should have proper knowledge of different tests of building materials. Some important tests are listed below.

Concrete Test: Slump test, compression test, split tensile test, soundness etc.

Soil Test: Core cutter test, compaction test, sand replacement test, tri-axial test, consolidation test etc.

Bitumen Test: Ductility test, softening point test, gravity test, penetration test etc.

Investigation Of soil

Various soil tests are conducted to determine the settlement and stability of soils before starting construction. So as a civil engineer, you should have enough knowledge of these tests which are performed at the site.

Uses Of Surveying Instruments

Usages of surveying instruments like the total station, theodolite, etc are also mandatory knowledge for every civil engineer. These instruments are used for marking and measurements.

Standard Codes Used In Construction

Every country has its standard safety specifications (eg: Is Code) for construction-related works. All new construction should be done by following all the rules and procedures mentioned in the standard codes. Otherwise, the chances of failure of a structure will be always high.

Bar Bending Schedule

The bar bending schedule is an essential chart for civil engineers and civil engineering basics skill, It provides the reinforcement calculation of the RC beam such as cutting length, type of bending, the length of bending, etc.

Drawing and Design

Drawing and design are the primary keys of an ongoing project. It provides all the required specifications of that project. Every site engineer should have the analyzing power of such drawings and designs.

Estimation and Bills

Estimation and bills should be prepared by a civil engineer in a construction project.

Quality Control

Quality control ensures the profit of a project by reducing the extra costs. So you must have a basic knowledge of quality control.

On-Field Management

Knowledge of form-work, concreting, safety measures, etc is also a key aspect.

Other Important Civil Engineering Basics Skills

The following are the skills if added in your resumes to attract more recruitment to get selected for the role of a Civil Engineer.

  • Assess Environmental Impact and Risks
  • Assemble Project Deliverables
  • Assist With Staging, Testing, and Shipping of Equipment Prior to Deployment
  • Analyze Survey Reports, Maps, and Data to Plan Projects
  • Clearly Explain Design Ideas
  • Comfortable Writing Technical Reports
  • Compile and Submit Permit Applications to Local, State, and Federal Agencies
  • Create Blueprints Using CAD (Computer-Aided Design)
  • Design Public Work Projects
  • Develop Designs, Layouts, and Design Calculations
  • Develop Project Scope and Timeline
  • Ensure Job Sites Meet Legal Guidelines, and Health and Safety Requirements
  • Experience with Civil 3D
  • Experience with Microstation
  • Experience with Reinforced Concrete and Steel Design
  • Experience with On-Site Construction Observation and Management
  • Highly Detail Oriented
  • Identify Possible Design Improvements
  • Knowledgable of AutoCad
  • Manage and Monitor Each Stage of Project
  • Manage the Repair and Maintenance of Public and Private Infrastructures
  • Perform or Oversee Soil Testing
  • Perform or Oversee Surveying Operations
  • Prepare Designs and Estimates
  • Prepare Conclusion and Analysis Reports
  • Present Environmental Impact Statements to the Public
  • Proactive and Willing to Take on New Challenges
  • Provide Cost Estimates for Materials, Equipment, and/or Labor
  • Recommend Modifications for Design Improvements and Simplification
  • Sound Knowledge of Engineering Fundamentals
  • Test Building Materials
  • Understand Diagrams, Drafts, Flow-Charts, and Other Information and Documentation
  • Understand and Design
  • Use Software to Design Within Industry and Government Standards
  • Work Effectively Under Pressure

 

2. Project Management 

Project Management When problems arise, it is common for people involved in the project on all levels to look to the engineer for guidance and resolution. It is important that a Civil Engineer is able to step up to the task and manage a diverse team of professionals whilst maintaining the confidence of clients.

Here is the list of project management skills a typical civil engineer knows about along with civil engineering basics skills. As you read through, think about which ones should be your focus areas for the coming year and how you are going to take your skills to the next level.

Scheduling

It should go without saying that project scheduling is a core project management skill. However, speaking to people who manage project managers during end-of-year review time I have heard that some of them aren’t up to scratch in this area.

Get to grips with project scheduling because a) it’s your job and b) it will help you deliver things more successfully for others (which is also your job).

Cost Control

Budget management is bizarrely one of my favorite topics. I am not a natural maths whizz but I do like a well put together a spreadsheet. If I understand the numbers and create my own tracking mechanism I can tell you to the penny how much my project is spending.

Cost management is a critical topic for project managers. Those without this skill will be at a disadvantage because budgets are tight. You need to show that you can deliver your project within the cost constraints and by managing the project finances intelligently.

Risk Management

The more mature project management gets as a profession, the more we find ourselves doing projects that are unique. The more ‘routine’ the project, the more it is likely to get outsourced or given to a functional manager who shows an aptitude for getting things done. Project managers will work on the more complex, transformative, unique endeavors that require decent risk management.

Being able to control risk (as far as you can) is a sign that you are on top of your project. Project sponsors hate surprises and good risk management is one way that you can manage that.

Contract Management

Part of managing your project involves managing suppliers. The vast majority of projects will have an element of supply, whether that is something as simple as the outside caterers who bring in cakes for your launch event or a full-on off-shoring system development firm. One of the important civil engineering basics skills for civil engineers to become successful.

Contract management is about being able to actively manage that procurement. Previously many project managers have been able to rely on their Finance departments to get this sort of work done (and Legal teams for managing the terms of the deal). Today, with everyone under pressure to do more with less, it’s falling to project managers to pick up the slack when it comes to procurement.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is core to being able to make good decisions. You have to weigh up the pros and cons of solutions to problems before choosing the right way forward. This is what distinguishes a project manager who is good at managing issues to someone who blows issues out of the water every time.

You can build your critical thinking skills through practice and by equipping yourself with tools and approaches to help you structure arguments logically and see things from all angles before making the final decision.

Project Recovery

I hope you don’t have to do project recovery next year but if you are looking for a boost to your career then showing you know how to turn around a poorly performing team and the project will certainly set you aside from your peers.

Task Management

This is another bread and butter task for project managers. You should be able to create a task list, delegate work to others, and keep on top of progress. I found this was the easiest part of project management when I started because I was naturally a list-maker. If it doesn’t come easy to you you’ll have to develop strategies to ensure you are always on top of your To-Do list.

When you have cracked managing your own work you can help others manage theirs. This is the best way in my experience to make sure that projects come in on time and others take responsibility for their deliverables.

Quality Management

Quality management ensures that you deliver a product that is fit for purpose. What project sponsor doesn’t want that? Unfortunately, project managers often don’t spend enough time on the quality angle of their projects – it’s one of those processes and set of tasks that are overlooked as an administrative overhead.

If you are a qualified expert, then good for you. But if you aren’t, seriously consider upping this on the priority list for 2015. The better the quality of your deliverables, the better value you are offering stakeholders and the more satisfied they will be.

Meetings Management

How many of your meetings this year have overrun or finished without any clear action being agreed upon? How much time have you sat in meetings wondering why you were there and what time you can leave without it looking too bad? Or worse, how much time have you spent on conference calls only half listening while doing your emails or playing Candy Crush?

Being able to sense when a meeting is going off the rails and people aren’t paying attention is a key skill for project managers. It’s helped by sticking to the agenda but it’s also about being able to read the body language of people in the room to check that you are getting through the material quickly and comprehensively. Don’t let 2015 become another year of wasted time in meeting rooms.

3. Leadership

Civil engineers take ultimate responsibility for the projects that they manage or research that they perform. Therefore, they must be able to lead planners, surveyors, construction managers, civil engineering technicians, civil engineering technologists, and others in implementing their project plan.

A civil engineer being able to inspire others, set the vision, and lead effectively, so if that’s not your strong point resolve to work on it now.

Decision-making

Civil engineers often balance multiple and frequently conflicting objectives, such as determining the feasibility of plans with regard to financial costs and safety concerns. Urban and regional planners often look to civil engineers for advice on these issues. Civil engineers must be able to make good decisions based on best practices, their own technical knowledge, and their own experience.

Negotiation

It would be lovely if everyone did what was best for the greater good at all times, but projects don’t work like that in real life, do they? Project managers with good negotiation skills will be an asset to their teams as they seek to resolve conflicts by finding the win-win scenarios for everyone.

Organizational skills.

Only licensed civil engineers can sign design documents for infrastructure projects. This requirement makes it imperative that civil engineers be able to monitor and evaluate the work at the Jobsite as a project progresses. That way, they can ensure compliance with the design documents. Civil engineers also often manage several projects at the same time, and thus must be able to balance time needs and to effectively allocate resources.

Problem-solving skills.

Civil engineers work at the highest level of the planning, design, construction, and operation of multifaceted projects or research. The many variables involved require that they possess the ability to identify and evaluate complex problems. They must be able to then utilize their skill and training to develop cost-effective, safe, and efficient solutions.

 

4. Communication

Communication Skills In Civil Engineering – perhaps more so than other Engineering fields – the ability to communicate effectively is a highly sought after skill. Whether dealing with Management or a client, Engineers need to be able to clearly communicate ideas and give direction leaving no ambiguity. They must also be able to listen and benefit from the ideas of others in the team

Written communication skills

From technicians to project managers, civil engineers at every level need to be able to communicate via written reports and correspondence in a clear and concise way. Oftentimes, civil engineers deal with other professionals of various backgrounds such as architects, urban planners, regional planners, and other technicians and tradespeople.

Other aspects of their job may require communicating with elected officials, citizens, and others who may not possess technical backgrounds in engineering or science. This varied communication requires that civil engineers can write in an easily understandable and straightforward manner for their audience.

Oral communication skills

Oral communication skills are another critical asset for future civil engineers. This entails being able to listen to clients, officials, team members, and other skilled workers in order to grasp their concerns and requests effectively. Strong speaking skills are also necessary for civil engineers when explaining complex technical information to the people they work and interact within a concise fashion so that they can easily comprehend the information being shared.

Business Case Writing

With the ongoing focus on delivering business value, being able to write a business case (or at least contribute one) will be a good skill to have. Get hold of some templates so that when you are asked to finalize a business case or review one you know what should be included.

Find some business cases from past projects and evaluate what you would do differently. And make sure that your next project actually has a business case – that’s a good start!

A Sense of Humour

Getting through your projects largely relies on a good sense of humor and the goodwill of colleagues prepared to pick up the slack or wait another 24 hours.

An ability to see the funny side of project management will keep you on an even keel during the next 12 months.

Now you have read the list which of these skills will you work on as a priority this year? Let us know in the comments and good luck in your project management career this year.

 

5. Creativity

Creativity It could be said broadly that the role of Civil Engineers is applying Engineering principles to develop solutions within the built environment. More often than not, this requires a certain level of creativity. Engineers need to be able to innovate and improve solutions. From finding ways to reduce CO2 emissions or making a trampoline bridge, creativity is key.

6. Visualization

Visualization The ability to imagine what something will look like when it’s finished and visualize how complex components will come together is one of the most important skills a civil engineer can have. Visualization skills must be flexible and dynamic in order to identify and resolve issues before they can become problems. Because there are so many component parts to large-scale projects, civil engineers must be able to envision how the interrelationships change when one or more individual aspects are changed.

7. Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is also one of the civil engineering basics skills required for civil engineers to often overcome the complex problems and need to find efficient solutions for them. They need to be able to assess the pros and cons of all possible solutions, and they need to be decisive in order to choose the best one.

Conclusion

Civil Engineers generally require a very broad skill set of civil engineering basics skills along with technical, analytical, and communications. The above-listed skills and qualities are the most important skills for a Civil Engineer. Kindly improve on the skills and qualities we have discussed above to become a good and successful Civil Engineer. Best of luck.

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