What is Civil Engineering ? History of Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering is an art that has gained popularity from the age of human existence. It is an art that deals with analyzing, designing and bringing into real structures like buildings, roads, bridges etc.

The earliest practice of civil engineering may have commenced between 4000 and 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt, the Indus Valley Civilization, and Mesopotamia (Ancient Iraq).This is the time when humans found the need for having shelter. During those period no distinctions were there between civil and architectural engineering. 

The first instance of large construction was gained by Egypt (circa 2700–2500 BC) 

The Great Wall of China by General Meng T'ien under orders from Ch'in Emperor Shih Huang Ti (c. 220 BC) and the stupas constructed in ancient Sri Lanka like the Jetavanaramaya and the extensive irrigation works in Anuradhapura. The Romans developed civil structures throughout their empire, including especially aqueducts, insulae, harbors, bridges, dams, and roads.

In the 18th century, the term civil engineering was pinned out to differentiate with others. The first self-proclaimed civil engineer was John Smeaton, who constructed the Eddystone Lighthouse, Fig.2


Eddystone Lighthouse is Smeaton's most celebrated achievement, and the commission marked an upturn in both his fortunes and his reputation. Using manpower alone, over 40 years before battery-powered electricity became available, he designed and built a stone tower 22.5km from land on a tiny rock only accessible at low tide in summer. His ideas were to influence the design of lighthouses for the following 150 years.

Civil Engineering have widespread areas of study which are set as separate disciples in civil engineering profession. Its major categories include structural engineering, transportation engineering, architectural engineering, offshore engineering, environmental engineering, earthquake engineering, construction and management engineering..etc


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