This is a guest blog post by Hamed Layssi, P.Eng, PhD
I started my bachelor’s in civil engineering in 2001, more than 15 years ago. I wanted to become a civil engineer, design new roads, buildings, power plants, and fancy high-rise buildings. “Design” is a core concept in the civil engineering curriculum, where students learn to calculate loads, predict capacities, and optimize their precise solutions in very specific cases. In doing so, they become familiar with another concept, “risk”. In school, engineering students learn how to identify risk, quantify it, and attempt to minimize it within their design.
As for precision, it is an important aspect of every engineering solution. Every great design, whether it is a high-rise building, a modern vehicle, or a personal computer is built with precision in mind. A perfect design has precision in every detail, from aesthetics to core functions.
Another aspect of life as a civil engineer is learning to work as a team member. Visit any engineering office or construction site, and you will realize how important effective teamwork is in engineering. I remember that during the second year of my studies, I teamed up with three of my classmates to enter into a concrete cube competition, organized by the American Concrete Institute (ACI). We spent the entire summer of 2003 working on our concrete cube samples in a materials laboratory. Working with my friends helped me to develop strong teamwork, and project management skills. [Read more…]