Civil engineering is about community service, development, and improvement. It involves the conception, planning, design, construction, and operation of facilities essential to modern life: without civil engineering, things like transit systems, offshore structures, and space satellites would not exist. Civil engineers are problem solvers, meeting the challenges of pollution, traffic congestion, drinking water and energy needs, urban redevelopment, and community planning. At the University of Utah, an integral part of studies in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department is an emphasis on environmental engineering. In addition to core courses in engineering, students also take a range of math, science, and technical courses, as well as general interest electives. Through their coursework, students of the program learn how to apply physical, chemical, and biochemical processes to environmental problems, ultimately improving the quality of life across the globe.
The Student Experience
Students who wish to enrich their studies can complete an undergraduate research project under the guidance of a faculty member, pursuing an individual interest area and gaining valuable research and professional skills. If you want to get involved on campus, be sure to participate in one of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department’s many clubs and organizations, such as the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) or Chi Epsilon (a civil engineering honorary).
Most civil engineers work for consulting firms as project designers and planners, or for state or federal government agencies as civil engineers assisting in the public works sectors. Consider joining the military or working for manufacturers (such as pump, pipe, or steel building companies). Other career possibilities include building control, geotechnical engineering (building solid foundations), and hazardous waste management and containment. If you enjoyed an undergraduate research experience or internship, consider pursuing the subject further at the graduate level.