Civil Engineering is the oldest discipline of engineering. Since the starting of early civilization, people have been practicing the civil engineering techniques and methods. The earliest practices of Civil engg may have commenced between 4000 and 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (Ancient Iraq) when humans started to abandon a nomadic existence, thus causing a need for the construction of shelter. Learn more on HISTORY ...
What is Civil Engineering ?
What is civil engineering? It is one of those branches of knowledge which properly take their places both amongst the sciences and the arts; for a science consists of a collection of general principles or truths relating to any particular subject, while an art are the application of those principles to practice, for the purpose of affecting some particular object. The science of Civil Engg, then, informs us of the general principles of mechanics and construction, and teaches us in what to ascertain the strains to which every part of a structure will be exposed, and of the dimensions and proportions which should be given to each, in order that they may be able to sustain such strains without injury. And the Art of Civil Engg consists in the application of these principles to the actual construction of various works, and their judicious use and modification to meet the several contingencies which arise in practice.
In general, it is the branch of engineering which deals with the planning, design, construction and maintenance of the structures like buildings, roads, bridges, canals, dams, water supply and treatment systems etc. It has a broader spectrum and comprises of many sub-disciplines under it. The branches of civil engineering are structural engg, construction engg, geotechnical engg, urban/town/municipal engg, environmental engg, transportation engg, surveying, water resource engg, tunnel engg, earthquake engg, material engg and coastal engg.
The civil engineering profession recognizes the reality of limited natural resources, the desire for sustainable practices (including life-cycle analysis and sustainable design techniques), and the need for social equity in the consumption of resources. Surfacely saying, the basic responsibilities of a civil engineer is to plan and design a structure and analyze its various aspects, make a regular inspection in the site to ensure that the construction is going according to the plan and to make the necessary amendments in the project if required during the course of construction. Civil engineer has to make sure that the project is cost effective and structure is of required strength and safety. The civil engineer holds the safety, health, and welfare of the public paramount. Civil engineering projects and systems should compliance with governmental guidelines and regulations; should be built economically to function properly with a minimum of maintenance and repair while withstanding anticipated usage and weather; and should conserve energy and allow hazard-free construction while providing healthful, safe, and environmentally sound utilization by society.
In early human days, it was limited to construction of roads and building, but with advancement in science and technology, and with development of human civilization, this field has made a significant leap. From high-rise buildings to huge massive dams, from large tunnels to canals and bridges, the scope of civil engineering has magnificently broadened with time.
The artificial "palm island" of dubai is one of the civil engineering wonder of today's time. It has three islands; they are Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira. These islands are build in such a way that they seem like palm trees from above. Jebel Ali and Jumeirah, each have a trunk and 17 leaves and these both of the islands are surrounded by a crescent shaped island that act as a reef to the Dubai palm island. Started on 2002, its construction was completed on 2006.
The another megastructure in the field of civil engineering is the longest suspension bridge (Akashi Kaikyo Bridge) of Japan. Its main span length is 1,991metres. This bridge serve at the Kobe-Awaji route at Japan.
Millau Viaduct, located in Southern France, is the world tallest bridge. It is a cable stayed road bridge that spans the valley of the river Tarn near Millau. Its construction cost was around €400million. It's one of the mast's summit is at height of 343m making it world's tallest bridge.
Similarly, the overall longest bridge of the world is Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge of China with the length of 164,800m.
Dubai has stunned world first with the artificial "palm island" then with the tallest high-rise building Burj Khalifa. Burj Khalifa also known as Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration is currently the tallest building of the world with height of 828m. Its construction was started on 21st September 2004 and was finished(exterior as well) on 1st October 2009. It was officially inaugurated on 4th January 2010. The total cost of project was around US$ 1.5 billion.
The Three Gorges Dam is the world's largest power station in terms of the installed capacity (20,300 MW). But it comes second to Itaipu Dam (located between Brazil & Paraguay) in terms of electricity generation annually. It is located in the Yiling district, Yichang, Hubei province, China. It has 32 main turbine(francis turbine) of 700MW rated capacity each and 2 smaller generators of capacity 50MW each. It is the river run-off type dam built across the Yangtze river. Similarly, Nurek Dam of Tajikistan is the tallest dam with height of 300m. Whereas, Kariba Dam of Zimbabwe forms the largest reservoir of world by volume of water with nominal volume of 180.6 km3.