CIVIL ENGINEERS: CAREER NEEDS, PROBLEMS, AND SOLUTIONS

The aspirational vision of a future world challenges you, the civil engineer, to rise to a new level of leadership and professionalism. The society has entrusted you with a vision to achieve a sustainable world and raise the global quality of life. To get that confidence, civil engineers, as a body of professionals, should exhibit mastery in five key areas:

Master Builders

To achieve the first vision, civil engineers as leaders in planning, designing, and constructing the built environment will have to position themselves as the helm of multi-disciplinary, global, collaborative, team that carry out successful projects. They will have to acquire a new, more expansive body of knowledge, provide ethical guidance, attract a diverse workforce, and define the knowledge and responsibility for each member of a well-defined hierarchy of professionals.

Care Takers Of Environment

Civil Engineers will have to put new technology, techniques and financial methods in place for sustainable planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance for the built and natural environment and will have to encourage owners to adopt new environmental technologies and techniques to improve the quality of life, while environmental stewardship becomes an integral part of engineering education and research.

Innovation And Strategic Research

Innovation and integration of new technology are the way forward and it will help define the research agenda. This will take a variety of efforts, including identifying and prioritizing emerging technologies and innovations, fostering civil engineering input into strategic research planning, influencing and bolstering funds for research, promoting faster application of new technologies and multi-national knowledge exchange, championing diversity and inclusion in the profession, and accelerating the integration of technology through spirited partnerships among diverse sectors.

Risk Management

Civil engineers need to have mettle in assessing and managing risk—forging new tactics for reducing the incidence and effects of natural and man-made disasters. Civil engineers will lead enterprise-wide risk management efforts and routinely make project-specific risk decisions, communicating risks and mitigation options to project colleagues, clients, government agencies, and the general public. At the same time, they will advance new approaches to balance business risk and reward. To have an impact, risk management must become part of every civil engineering project—a step as basic as scheduling and budgeting—and a key ingredient of all communication channels.

Role In Public Policy

There is a greater need for civil engineers to expand their role in public policy making. Through the efforts of civil engineers, policy-makers, and the public will understand the hard-wired link between infrastructure and the quality of life. That means civil engineers must be given the tools and training for engagement in public policy work while they become more vocal participants in public policy forums and increasingly serve in appointed and elected positions. Civil engineers will learn to lead and become motivated to initiate, communicate, negotiate, and participate in cross-professional efforts to envision societal changes that shape the quality of life.

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