The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Civil engineers are the bedrock of society, yet few people recognize how critical they are to maintaining cities, towns, and practically every community. Countless civil engineers are responsible for building and maintaining roads, walkways, and pipelines—all of which are necessary. Let’s talk about the importance of civil engineers in society and what they do.
From the assessment of land to the planning, preparation, and oversight of construction, civil engineers are vital for every step of the process. They don’t just execute construction plans and manage the logistics; they also design municipal infrastructure like walkways, street lighting, and underlying pipelines.
Every city is a complex web of utilities and public services to ensure we can all live comfortably, and civil engineers orchestrate everything—above and below ground—to ensure ever-growing cities remain functional. Engineers use technology to change construction and ensure safe, efficient, and livable cities.
Pipelines running under the ground are primary methods of transporting resources like water and energy into and throughout cities. These pipes transport important resources, so pipelines are in constant use. Even the smallest interruption can deprive many people of electricity, gas, or water. Civil engineers must perform services like line stopping or freezing to maintain pipelines without interrupting the transportation process. These specialty service workers manage this by isolating the sections of pipe that need maintenance while rerouting the resources the pipeline transfers.
Because civil engineers are so important in society, they must understand the impact our cities have on the environment and how to protect it. Environmental engineers treat chemical, biological, and thermal waste. They also purify water and air. They help society learn and adapt to be less impactful on Earth without depriving us of the utilities and luxuries we’ve come to rely on. Through their guidance, we are becoming more efficient and conscious of how cities co-exist with the natural world.