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What do Civil Engineers do? This is a great question and one that I did not truly know the answer to until I stepped foot into the major myself, so don’t fret, take a deep breath, and allow me to give you some perspective from my point of view as a sophomore studying Civil Engineering.

Civil Engineers create ways to connect and move through the world.

The SparkNotes summary of what Civil Engineers do is that they build new infrastructure (streets, roads, bridges dams) and manage construction. They create means to interact with the world through transportation systems, urban planning in cities, and public works projects.

My personal goal is to be involved with and to spearhead the creation of new infrastructure that will utilize green energy in the construction field, and, so for me personally, civil engineering offers the broadest and most accessible means to target that area of engineering.

As the field of Civil Engineering is quite broad and all encompassing of every aspect of construction and infrastructure there are typical subsections that the field is broken down into for you to specialize in if you so choose to concentrate on a given area more (these areas mainly include: transportation, energy systems, environmental engineering, structural engineering and building sciences.)

At Viterbi, I am on the Environmental sub-track for my Civil Engineering major, so it in essence is like having a minor or concentration in Environmental Engineering and you get to take Environmental Engineering classes. This allows me to combine my interests of new infrastructure creation with their coupled effects on the environment to begin to greater understand how the two can be better integrated in the future.

To build a better world is the goal of Civil Engineering.

I personally find that Civil Engineering is a principled discipline that is built on the idea of leaving the world better than we found it. The inherent essence of the field is to create– and to create for good. If any of this sounds like it resonates with you, I strongly encourage you to take a look at Civil Engineering as it most likely is the field for you.

I hope you enjoyed my run-down on Civil Engineering. Thank you for reading!

Mitchell Kirby

MAJOR: Civil Engineering YEAR: Class of 2026 HOMETOWN: Scranton, Pennsylvania I am currently involved in Viterbi Makers as a Project Manager where I create a project idea for my team and I to assemble and build throughout the year for our project showcase to our sponsors in the spring to promote innovation in electronics.