The Think Smart Blog

Career Encounters: Civil Engineering

by Gurjinder on 26 Apr 2018

This month I interviewed several civil engineers and it was extremely eye-opening for me. Engineering is a career path that I had previously known very little about. No one in my social network is an engineer and I didn’t really consider it when I was at school.

Key takeaways:

  • Engineering is a broad career; on one project you may be helping build a new tunnel, while on another one you may be asked to help with post-earthquake reconstruction

  • There is a lot of innovation going on right now in this field. For example, one engineer I spoke to is working with the European Space Agency to use their satellite images to analyse infrastructure, like bridges, to spot in advance whether they may fall down!

  • It often comes down to money! For instance, in one instance even though the tunnel would have been relatively cheap to construct if done in a straight line, it would’ve involved taking down some billboards while construction was ongoing, which actually would cost 20 times more. Sometimes engineers have to be creative and build around obstacles like this.

  • Safety always comes first - clients often ask engineers for cheaper rates and while they will try to offer a good rate, they always put safety in front of winning contracts!

After learning more about engineering, I wish I had done STEM subjects at A-level and considered this career path. Oh, how I wish Think Smart was around when I was working out what to do with my life!