Engineering is a great profession
Engineering is a great profession. There is the satisfaction of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings homes to men or women. Then it elevates the standard of living and adds to the comforts of life. This is the engineer’s high privilege.”
Civil engineers:- design and supervise the construction of roads, airports, tunnels, bridges and sewage systems - to name just a few. They are problem solvers, meeting the challenges of pollution, deteriorating infrastructure, traffic congestion, energy needs, floods, earthquakes, urban redevelopment and community planning. 
History of civil engineering
Civil engineering is the application of physical and scientific principles, and its history is intricately linked to advances in understanding of physics and mathematics throughout history. Because civil engineering is a wide ranging profession, including several separate specialized sub-disciplines, its history is linked to knowledge of structures, materials science, geography, geology, soils, hydrology, environment, mechanics and other fields.
Throughout ancient and medieval history most architectural design and construction was carried out by artisans, such as stonemasons and carpenters, rising to the role of master builder. Knowledge was retained in guilds and seldom supplanted by advances. Structures, roads and infrastructure that existed were repetitive, and increases in scale were incremental.
One of the earliest examples of a scientific approach to physical and mathematical problems applicable to civil engineering is the work of Archimedes in the 3rd century BC, including Archimedes Principle, which underpins our understanding of buoyancy, and practical solutions such as Archimedes' screw. Brahmagupta, an Indian mathematician, used arithmetic in the 7th century AD, based on Hindu-Arabic numerals, for excavation (volume) computations.
Design is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system (as in architectural blueprints, engineering drawing, business process, circuit diagrams and sewing patterns). Design has different connotations in different fields (see design disciplines below). In some cases the direct construction of an object (as in pottery, engineering, management, cowboy coding and graphic design) is also considered to be design.
Design and engineering:- In engineering, design is a component of the engineering process. Many overlapping methods and processes can be seen when comparing Product design, Industrial design and Engineering. The American Heritage Dictionary defines design as: "To conceive or fashion in the mind; invent," and "To formulate a plan", and defines engineering as: "The application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems. Both are forms of problem-solving with a defined distinction being the application of "scientific and mathematical principles". The increasingly scientific focus of engineering in practice, however, has raised the importance of new more "human-centered" fields of design. How much science is applied in a design is a question of what is considered "science". Along with the question of what is considered science, there is social science versus natural science. Scientists at Xerox PARC made the distinction of design versus engineering at "moving minds" versus "moving atoms".
Surveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, and science of accurately determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional position of points and the distances and angles between them. These points are usually on the surface of the Earth, and they are often used to establish land maps and boundaries for ownership or governmental purposes.
To accomplish their objective, surveyors use elements of mathematics (geometry and trigonometry), physics, engineering and law.
An alternative definition, per the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM), is the science and art of making all essential measurements to determine the relative position of points or physical and cultural details above, on, or beneath the surface of the Earth, and to depict them in a usable form, or to establish the position of points or details.
Furthermore, as alluded to above, a particular type of surveying known as “land surveying” (also per ACSM) is the detailed study or inspection, as by gathering information through observations, measurements in the field, questionnaires, or research of legal instruments, and data analysis in the support of planning, designing, and establishing of property boundaries. It involves the re-establishment of cadastral surveys and land boundaries based on documents of record and historical evidence, as well as certifying surveys (as required by statute or local ordinance) of subdivision plats/maps, registered land surveys, judicial surveys, and space delineation. Land surveying can include associated services such as mapping and related data accumulation, construction layout surveys, precision measurements of length, angle, elevation, area, and volume, as well as horizontal and vertical control surveys, and the analysis and utilization of land survey data. Surveying has been an essential element in the development of the human environment since the beginning of recorded history (about 5,000 years ago). It is required in the planning and execution of nearly every form of construction. Its most familiar modern uses are in the fields of transport, building and construction, communications, mapping, and the definition of legal boundaries for land ownership.
Road construction
A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places, which has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by some conveyance, including a horse, cart, or motor vehicle. Roads consist of one, or sometimes two, roadways (British English: carriageways) each with one or more lanes and also any associated sidewalks (British English: pavement) and road verges. Roads that are available for use by the public may be referred to as public roads or highways.
Design:- Structural road design is the science of designing a road for its environment in order to extend its longevity and reduce maintenance. The Shell pavement design method is used in many countries for the design of new asphalt roads.
construction:-Road construction requires the creation of a continuous right-of-way, overcoming geographic obstacles and having grades low enough to permit vehicle or foot travel. and may be required to meet standards set by law or official guidelines. The process is often begun with the removal of earth and rock by digging or blasting, construction of embankments, bridges and tunnels, and removal of vegetation (this may involve deforestation) and followed by the laying of pavement material. A variety of road building equipment is employed in road building.After design, approval, planning, legal and environmental considerations have been addressed alignment of the road is set out by a surveyor. The radii and gradient are designed and staked out to best suit the natural ground levels and minimize the amount of cut and fill. Great care is taken to preserve reference Benchmarks Roads are designed and built for primary use by vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Storm drainage and environmental considerations are a major concern. Erosion and sediment controls are constructed to prevent detrimental effects. Drainage lines are laid with sealed joints in the road easement with runoff coefficients and characteristics adequate for the land zoning and storm water system. Drainage systems must be capable of carrying the ultimate design flow from the upstream catchment with approval for the outfall from the appropriate authority to a watercourse, creek, river or the sea for drainage discharge.
A tunnel is an underground passageway, completely enclosed except for openings for entrance and exit, commonly at each end.A tunnel may be for foot or vehicular road traffic, for rail traffic, or for a canal. Some tunnels are aqueduct[disambiguation needed]s to supply water for consumption or for hydroelectric stations or are sewers. Other uses include routing power or telecommunication cables, some are to permit wildlife such as European badgers to cross highways. Secret tunnels have given entrance to or escape from an area, such as the Cu Chi Tunnels or the smuggling tunnels in the Gaza Strip which connect it to Egypt. Some tunnels are not for transport at all but rather, are fortifications, for example Mittelwerk and Cheyenne Mountain.In the United Kingdom, a pedestrian tunnel or other underpass beneath a road is called an underpass subway. In the United States that term now means an underground rapid transit system.The central part of a rapid transit network is usually built in tunnels. Rail station platforms may be connected by pedestrian tunnels or by foot bridges.
Construction:- Tunnels are dug in types of materials varying from soft clay to hard rock. The method of tunnel construction depends on such factors as the ground conditions, the ground water conditions, the length and diameter of the tunnel drive, the depth of the tunnel, the logistics of supporting the tunnel excavation, the final use and shape of the tunnel and appropriate risk management.There are three basic types of tunnel construction in common use:
Cut and cover tunnels, constructed in a shallow trench and then covered over.Bored tunnels, constructed in situ, without removing the ground above. They are usually of circular or horseshoe cross-section.Immersed tube tunnels, sunk into a body of water and sit on, or are buried just under, its bed.
A bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle. There are many different designs that all serve unique purposes and apply to different situations. Designs of bridges vary depending on the function of the bridge, the nature of the terrain where the bridge is constructed, the material used to make it and the funds available to build it.
Sanitary sewer 
A sanitary sewer (also called a foul sewer) is a separate underground carriage system specifically for transporting sewage from houses and commercial buildings to treatment or disposal. Sanitary sewers serving industrial areas also carry industrial wastewater. The 'system of sewers' is called sewerage.Sanitary sewers are operated separately and independently of storm drains, which carry the runoff of rain and other water which wash into city streets. Sewers carrying both sewage and stormwater together are called combined sewers.
Civil Engineering Questions

What are the main reasons of building collapse?
There are several reasons for building collapse. Passage of time is the main reason. Also, weak foundations, natural calamities like earthquakes, hurricanes, etc., are the major reasons for building collapse. Bombing and destruction is also another major reason.
State the applications of modulus of elasticity.

Modulus of elasticity is related to the flexibility of the material. The value of modulus of elasticity is pretty important in case of deflection of different materials used in building construction.  

How are the freeway bridges built?

The traffic that is likely to go over the bridge at a time is estimated and the cement, rocked with rebar stanchions is placed over the freeway to build a bridge. Off-ramp from freeway to the bridge and on-ramp from the bridge to the freeway are constructed. Cement slabs are used to build a platform.

What is the basic difference in absorption, adsorption, and sorption?

Absorption refers to the phenomenon where an atom, molecule or ions enter any bulk phase like gas, solid or liquid. Absorption refers to the phenomenon where energy of photon is transferred to other entity.

Adsorption is similar to absorption. It refers to the surface rather than a volume. Adsorption takes place when the gas or liquid solute accumulates on the surface of solid. A substance diffuses in liquid or solid to form a solution.  

Difference between routine maintenance and major maintenance for school facilities:  

Routine maintenance is handling the minor repairs of the school campus. Major maintenance can be total reconstruction or renovation of the school.

What is soil analysis?

Soil analysis is the testing of soil to determine the nutritional and elemental composition of soil. It is generally tested for knowing the contents of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous.  
State the building codes.

These codes are the set of specifications to ensure the safety associated with any building construction. These codes are associated with the height, spacing, and installation of the building. These codes play an important role in vacating the building in case of any emergency situations.

From these interview questions, you will get an idea of the questions interviewer can ask you in the civil engineering position interview. Refer to some more sample questions and revise all the answers carefully.

construction worker

A construction worker or builder is a professional, tradesman, or labourer who directly participates in the physical construction of the built environment and its infrastructure.

The division of labour of construction encompasses a diverse range of specialized skills, as well as manual labour.


Building Buildings come in a wide amount of shapes and functions, and have been adapted throughout history for a wide number of factors, from building materials available, to weather conditions, to land prices, ground conditions, specific uses and aesthetic reasons. Buildings serve several needs of society – primarily as shelter from weather and as general living space, to provide privacy, to store belongings and to comfortably live and work. A building as a shelter represents a physical division of the human habitat (a place of comfort and safety) and the outside (a place that at times may be harsh and harmful). Ever since the first cave paintings, buildings have also become objects or canvasess of artistic expression. In recent years, interest in sustainable planning and building practices has also become part of the design process of many new buildings. Building is defined in many aspects as: As a Civil Engineering structures such as a house, worship centre, Factories etc. that has a foundation,wall,roof etc. that protect human being and their properties from direct harsh effect of weather like rain,wind,sun etc. The act of constructing, erecting, or establishing. The art of constructing edifices, or the practice of civil architecture. That which is built; a fabric or edifice constructed, as a house, a church, castle, arena/ stadium, etc. The act of constructing or building something; “during the construction we had to take a detour”; “his hobby was the building of boats” The commercial activity involved in constructing buildings; “their main business is home construction”; “workers in the building trades” A structure that has a roof and walls and stands more or less permanently in one place; “there was a three-storey building on the corner”; “it was an imposing edifice” The occupants of a building; “the entire building complained about the noise” To differentiate buildings in the usage of this article from other buildings and other structures that are not intended for continuous human occupancy, the latter are called non-building structures or simply structures.


A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees (also known as dikes) are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions. Hydropower and pumped-storage hydroelectricity are often used in conjunction with dams to generate electricity. A dam can also be used to collect water or for storage of water which can be evenly distributed between locations.

Dams can be classified in number of ways. But most usual ways of classification i.e. types of dams are mentioned below:
Based on the functions of dams, it can be classified as follows:
1. Storage dams
2. Diversion dams
3. Diversion dams Diversion dams
4. Debris dams

5. Coffer dams

1. Storage dams: They are constructed to store water during the rainy season when there is a large flow in the river. Many small dams impound the spring runoff for later use in dry summers. Storage dams may also provide a water supply, or improved habitat for fish and wildlife. They may store water for hydroelectric power generation, irrigation or for a flood control project. Storage dams are the most common type of dams and in general the dam means a storage dam unless qualified otherwise.

2. Diversion dams: A diversion dam is constructed for the purpose of diverting water of the river into an off-taking canal (or a conduit). They provide sufficient pressure for pushing water into ditches, canals, or other conveyance systems. Such shorter dams are used for irrigation, and for diversion from a stream to a distant storage reservoir. It is usually of low height and has a small storage reservoir on its upstream. The diversion dam is a sort of storage weir which also diverts water and has a small storage. Sometimes, the terms weirs and diversion dams are used synonymously.

3. Diversion dams Diversion dams: Detention dams are constructed for flood control. A detention dam retards the flow in the river on its downstream during floods by storing some flood water. Thus the effect of sudden floods is reduced to some extent. The water retained in the reservoir is later released gradually at a controlled rate according to the carrying capacity of the channel downstream of the detention dam. Thus the area downstream of the dam is protected against flood.

4. Debris dams: A debris dam is constructed to retain debris such as sand, gravel, and drift wood flowing in the river with water. The water after passing over a debris dam is relatively clear.

5. Coffer dams: It is an enclosure constructed around the construction site to exclude water so that the construction can be done in dry. A coffer dam is thus a temporary dam constructed for facilitating construction. These structure are usually constructed on the upstream of the main dam to divert water into a diversion tunnel (or channel) during the construction of the dam. When the flow in the river during construction of hydraulic structures is not much, the site is usually enclosed by the coffer dam and pumped dry. Sometimes a coffer dam on the downstream of the dam is also required.

Based on structure and design, dams can be classified as follows:

1. Gravity Dams
2. Gravity Dams 
3. Earth Dams 
4. Rockfill Dams 
5. Arch Dams 
6. Buttress Dams  
7. Steel Dams
8. Timber Dams
9. Rubber Dams

1. Gravity Dams: A gravity dam is a massive sized dam fabricated from concrete or stone masonry. They are designed to hold back large volumes of water. By using concrete, the weight of the dam is actually able to resist the horizontal thrust of water pushing against it. This is why it is called a gravity dam. Gravity essentially holds the dam down to the ground, stopping water from toppling it over.

2. Gravity dams: are well suited forblocking rivers in wide valleys or narrow gorge ways. Since gravity dams must rely on their own weight to hold back water, it is necessary that they are built on a solid foundation ofbedrock. Examples of Gravity dam: Grand Coulee Dam (USA), Nagarjuna Sagar (India) and Itaipu Dam (It lies Between Brazil and Paraguay and is the largest in the world).

3. Earth Dams: An earth dam is made of earth (or soil) built up by compacting successive layersof earth, using the most impervious materials to form a core and placing more permeable substances on the upstream and downstream sides. A facing of crushed stone prevents erosion by wind or rain, and an ample spillway, usually of concrete, protects against catastrophic washout should the water overtop the dam. Earth dam resists the forces exerted upon it mainly due to shear strength of the soil. Although the weight of the this structure also helps in resisting the forces, the structural behavior of an earth dam is entirely different from that of a gravity dam. The earth dams are usually built in wide valleys having flat slopes at flanks (abutments).The foundation requirements are less stringent than those of gravity dams, and hence they can be built at the sites where the foundations are less strong. They can be built on all types of foundations. However, the height of the dam will depend upon the strength of the foundation material.

Examples of earthfill dam: Rongunsky dam (Russia) and New Cornelia Dam (USA).

4. Rockfill Dams: A rockfill dam is built of rock fragments and boulders of large size. An impervious membrane is placed on the rockfill on the upstream side to reduce the seepage through the dam. The membrane is usually made of cement concrete or asphaltic concrete.
In early rockfill dams, steel and timber membrane were also used, but now they are obsolete. A dry rubble cushion is placed between the rockfill and the membrane for the distribution of water load and for providing a support to the membrane. Sometimes, the rockfill dams have an impervious earth core in the middle to check the seepage instead of an impervious upstream membrane. The earth core is placed against a dumped rockfill. It is necessary to provide adequate filters between the earth core and the rockfill on the upstream and downstream sides of the core so that the soil particles are not carried by water and piping does not occur. The side slopes of rockfill are usually kept equal to the angle of repose of rock, which is usually taken as 1.4:1 (or 1.3:1). Rockfill dams require foundation stronger than those for earth dams.

Examples of rockfill dam: Mica Dam (Canada) and Chicoasen Dam (Mexico).

5. Arch Dams: An arch dam is curved in plan, with its convexity towards the upstream side. They transfers the water pressure and other forces mainly to the abutments by arch action.
An arch dam is quite suitable for narrow canyons with strong flanks which are capable of resisting the thrust produced by the arch action.The section of an arch dam is approximately triangular like a gravity dam but the section is comparatively thinner. The arch dam may have a single curvature or double curvature in the vertical plane. Generally, the arch dams of double curvature are more economical and are used in practice. 

Examples of Arch dam: Hoover Dam (USA) and Idukki Dam (India).

6. Buttress Dams: Buttress dams are of three types : (i) Deck type, (ii) Multiple-arch type, and (iii) Massive-head type. A deck type buttress dam consists of a sloping deck supported by buttresses. Buttresses are triangular concrete walls which transmit the water pressure from the deck slab to the foundation. Buttresses are compression members. Buttresses are typically spaced across the dam site every 6 to 30 metre, depending upon the size and design of the dam. Buttress dams are sometimes called hollow dams because the buttresses do not form a solid wall stretching across a river valley.The deck is usually a reinforced concrete slab supported between the buttresses, which are usually equally spaced.
In a multiple-arch type buttress dam the deck slab is replaced by horizontal arches supported by buttresses. The arches are usually of small span and made of concrete. In a massive-head type buttress dam, there is no deck slab. Instead of the deck, the upstream edges of the buttresses are flared to form massive heads which span the distance between the buttresses. The buttress dams require less concrete than gravity dams. But they are not necessarily cheaper than the gravity dams because of extra cost of form work, reinforcement and more skilled labor. The foundation requirements of a buttress are usually less stringent than those in a gravity dam.

Examples of Buttress type: Bartlett dam (USA) and The Daniel-Johnson Dam (Canada).

7. Steel Dams: Dams: A steel dam consists of a steel framework, with a steel skin plate on its upstream face. Steel dams are generally of two types: (i) Direct-strutted, and (ii) Cantilever type . In direct strutted steel dams, the water pressure is transmitted directly to the foundation through inclined struts. In a cantilever type steel dam, there is a bent supporting the upper part of the deck, which is formed into a cantilever truss. This arrangement introduces a tensile force in the deck girder which can be taken care of by anchoring it into the foundation at the upstream toe. Hovey suggested that tension at the upstream toe may be reduced by flattening the slopes of the lower struts in the bent. However, it would require heavier sections for struts.
Another alternative to reduce tension is to frame together the entire bent rigidly so that the moment due to the weight of the water on the lower part of the deck is utilised to offset the moment induced in the cantilever. This arrangement would, however, require bracing and this will increase the cost. These are quite costly and are subjected to corrosion. These dams are almost obsolete. Steel dams are sometimes used as temporary coffer dams during the construction of the permanent one. Steel coffer dams are supplemented with timber or earthfill on the inner side to make them water tight. The area between the coffer dams is dewatered so that the construction may be done in dry for the permanent dam.

Examples of Steel type: Redridge Steel Dam (USA) and Ashfork-Bainbridge Steel Dam (USA).

8. Timber Dams: Main load-carrying structural elements of timber dam are made of wood, primarily coniferous varieties such as pine and fir. Timber dams are made for small heads (2-4 m or, rarely, 4-8 m) and usually have sluices; according to the design of the apron they are divided into pile, crib, pile-crib, and buttressed dams.
The openings of timber dams are restricted by abutments; where the sluice is very long it is divided into several openings by intermediate supports: piers, buttresses, and posts. The openings are covered by wooden shields, usually several in a row one above the other. Simple hoists—permanent or mobile winches—are used to raise and lower the shields.

9. Rubber Dams: A symbol of sophistication and simple and efficient design, this most recent type of dam uses huge cylindrical shells made of special synthetic rubber and inflated by either compressed air or pressurized water. Rubber dams offer ease of construction, operation and decommissioning in tight schedules.
These can be deflated when pressure is released and hence, even the crest level can be controlled to some extent. Surplus waters would simply overflow the inflated shell. They need extreme care in design and erection and are limited to small projects.
Example of Rubber type: Janjhavathi Rubber Dam (India).

What are the advantages of a dam?
Advantages of dams:
Dams are constructed based only on safety
Dams are used to store water
Dams are used in hydroelectric power generation
Dams are used in irrigation purposes.
Dam's water is used to produced electricity generation 
Dam's water is used for to supply water to domestic & industrial uses 
Dams are used for agriculture in village
Dams prevent flooding
Dams create a walk way
Dams create hyrdroelectric power 
Most dams are built to make a hydroelectric plant or to control the amount of water in a body of water, or both. so it could control water or generate electricity

More information coming soon...