Civil Engineering: Making a Difference
Jones, Cindy, Children's Technology and Engineering
Civil engineering! What a great job to make a difference! Airplanes take off on runways designed by civil engineers. The Space Shuttle lands on a similar runway. Every bridge we cross was designed by a civil engineer who had to ensure that flora and fauna are minimally impacted while we are assured of the bridge's ability to allow us to cross. Our tallest buildings stand up to the strongest storms, and we do not feel movement at the top floor. When we wash our dishes, bathe, and flush, civil engineers created the system that cleans the water and returns it to the environment as clean as we found it.
Industrial facilities, oil platforms, gas lines, and fuel transport are safe because of civil engineers. Think of the millions of miles of pipe in the ground. Each is supported by soil that was tested and concrete that was poured, tested, and placed in the best possible location--with political, environmental, structural, and economic factors addressed--to move a fluid across some distance. Can you imagine the design constraints of the Alaskan oil pipeline? Temperature change, permafrost soils, welding in bitter cold, geographic isolation, lack of roads, and so on were all design constraints the civil engineers had to encounter. Civil engineers also build dams that provide populations with recreation, flood control, and electricity.
Our parks, swimming pools, schools, parking lots, malls, and structures were designed, tested, redesigned, and retested to assure that we have safe, environmentally friendly places to work, sleep, and play. Our cars drive on roads, highways, and bridges and park in parking garages that are safe and relatively easy to use. You see civil engineers and. surveyors out checking on structures to make sure they stay safe. …