Civil engineering is an old discipline. It’s been around since the first time someone built a structure to house their family. It grew in significance when the Pyramids of Egypt were constructed, and the great Roman amphitheaters were built. Civil engineers spend years learning how to build bridges and shore up foundations to create structures that will stand the test of time. The demand for civil engineers is expected to grow at a rate of 20 percent between 2012 and 2022. That growth rate means that project managers are competing for qualified personnel to get large construction projects completed safely, on-time, and efficiently. Many companies are choosing to contract for technical assistance on a project by project basis.
Typical Duties of a Civil Engineer
To understand the daily duties of civil engineers, it’s important to grasp how the field is structured. Some civil engineer are generalists, but many specialize in a particular area. Engineering makes it possible for us to drive on well-paved roads safely due to well-coordinated traffic lights and graded ramps designed by transportation specialists, creates a healthy environment water purification systems and trash disposal plans drawn up by engineers devoted to environmental issues, and brings light into our lives by building the electricity-generating dams that run through lines of wire to power our homes by construction and structural experts.
Civil engineers may embark on a career devoted to transportation, geotechnical problem-solving, structural issues, or many other niches. In each of these areas, their main duty is to analyze the surrounding area, evaluate potential building materials, and consider the design plans with safety in mind. Most often, they spend their time working at a computer within an office environment. Team work is considered essential to get high quality results. However, in order to capture essential details and monitor a large construction project, many of them head out to the job site for field work.
These workers are busy solving today’s problems and their technical expertise is vital. For example, a green building project in an area with high levels of snowfall might need to modify the load bearing ability of a roof-top solar installation. Or, a seismic evaluation may be needed for new building construction in an earthquake prone area. When construction project managers can’t find the civil engineer with the necessary expertise to help them through their project, they know that they have a real problem on their hands.
Contracting for Technical Assistance for Civil Engineering Projects
Fortunately, there is a solution. It is possible to hire these trained workers for short periods of time. Specialized companies find the engineers, ensure that they are fully trained within a particular specialty, and send them out to work through the problems and deliver the necessary solutions.
There are many companies that specialize in geo-technical construction. Typical problems include drainage, slurry walls, and soil composition. They work closely with contractors who are completing technically challenging jobs and they are prepared to send out engineering consultants who can either advise along the way. When a project requires more intense oversight, they send site managers who will stay with the job site from start to finish.
Just because a company can’t find a qualified civil engineer to help them complete large scale projects, they aren’t prohibited from bidding on or completing a job. By recognizing that contracting for technical assistance works for their civil engineering projects, construction companies can move forward and get the job done.