The study of civil engineering has resulted in some of humanity’s greatest achievements including the English Channel tunnel, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam, and the Panama Canal. These engineering feats have benefited the human race greatly, but given the rapid advancement of modern technology and the daunting challenges of the 21st century, our best is still yet to come.
MAGIC’s Executive Director Graham Dodge recently presented our Westminster-based Autonomous Corridor project to the ARTBA (American Road & Transportation Builders Association) Northeastern Regional conference in Port Jefferson, NY. With so many industry experts onsite, we wanted to talk today about some key takeaways and insights learned regarding the future of civil engineering, why its development as a field is so crucial moving forward, and why young professionals and college students should consider pursuing a career as a civil engineer.
A Field With a Bright Future
Civil engineering is at a crossroads. It has been studied ever since the ancient Egyptians built the Great Pyramids of Giza, and will be studied for years into the future. Currently, in the United States, there’s a demand for civil engineering students with college degrees because older generations are beginning to retire and new technologies are being implemented to enhance our engineering capabilities. It is especially attractive to those who have a strong interest in technology as there is an industry-wide eagerness to get robotics and smart technology to the forefront of new projects. If you’re thinking about getting your degree, going back to school, or changing your career then consider a path in civil engineering!
Civil Engineering Can Lessen the Effects of Climate Change
Climate change is arguably humanity’s largest existential threat. While combating the negative effects will only get harder over our lifetimes, finding sustainable solutions to the growing list of challenges will require the collective knowledge and concerted energy of local municipalities, world governments, and private entities. Environmental problems such as rising sea levels, rising temperatures, and more frequent/increasingly severe weather are expected to lead to more political emergencies over refugees seeking freshwater or moving farther inland to find safe shelter. Yet it’s not just the former poli-sci students or politicians who find solutions to these issues; it’s our community’s civil engineers who are the ones on the front lines combating the direct effects of climate change.
In short, the more civil engineering experts trained to work in the field, the better chance society has to achieve the lofty goals set out by the international scientific community to offset the negative effects of climate change.
Civil Engineering Can Stop Community Decay
While communities change and develop over time, cities and towns often decay when left to the mercy of the environment and unchecked human expansion.
Local roads, bridges, levees, and transportation systems depend on advancements in civil engineering to withstand the stress of new traffic and weather conditions. Older buildings and public works need structural reinforcement to combat natural erosion and severe weather. Additionally, the majority of old structures and systems are outdated and need to be upgraded with more energy-efficient appliances/machines, heating/cooling systems, and green energy generators (solar panels, wind turbines) to meet new climate regulations.
Unless a plan is developed to save them, some of America’s oldest communities may be left in the past or at extreme risk of future damage. Communities across the country depend on empowering civil engineers with the financial, robotic, and technological resources needed to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Civil Engineering is World Building
Those interested in world building in video games should consider how that passion translates to civil engineering. As more projects like MAGIC’s Autonomous Corridor rely upon the infrastructure development of connectivity and digital twin technology, playing in the virtual sandbox of an actual city could have real world benefits. Imagine building a bridge within the digital twin of the City of Westminster that could actually be built in real life. Digital twins could be the conduit between gamers and civil engineering!
Civil Engineering is a Profession That Will Build Our Future
At MAGIC, our goal is to inspire our community and youth to do great things through the power of education and technology. After talking with the experts at the ARTBA, we’re driven to inform and prepare the next generation so they can play a critical role in solving civil engineering problems. Interested in learning more? Leave your comments or questions on our social media posts to discuss how students, business professionals, and society at large can enjoy a brighter future through civil engineering!