Engineer Term: Civil and Environmental Engineer

We know that most part especially throughout europe and US, environmental engineering is usually part of civil engineering. This is because inside civil engineering, contains information, field of study which are now studied under environmental engineering. Upon graduation, we will be designated a “engineer” title. The term of civil engineer title itself came from a long history.

The most interesting part is that, before engineering like the way it is now, it was once only divided into only two fields: civil and military engineering. So, in other words, civil engineering is regarded as the oldest engineering field. Civil engineering was used to distinguish it from military engineering.

Basically, the field under both military and civil are very similar. They are dealing with almost the same activities such as building bridges, canals, constructions, include but not limited to, wider area, hydraulics, transportation, geotechnical. Basic disparity among those two is located on the purpose. While one serves for public concern, in some cases, acts on public behalf, the another serves to fulfill military needs.

That what John Smeaton feel when he built structures, constructions, roads in England. He realized that these facilities were made for public, not designated for military, thus that was why he claimed himself as civil engineer. He is well known as a “father of civil engineering”. More details about him can be found on another source.

Since that, the development civil engineering itself has brought to the differentiation between civil engineer and environmental engineer. Environmental engineers involve on all environmental related problems. They work on planning, exersize on designing and in process of decision making as well. Several areas that environmental engineers must get involved with, air pollution, land remediation, water and water treatment, hazardous waste management, environmental toxicology, risk management and risk assessment, to a certain extent public health. They may also be implicated by such case related to environmental management, regional planning, river management, on a wider topic, environmental policy and management. The latest even been made as one of major course in graduate institute of environmental engineering.

Topics that environmental engineers get involved can not just be limited on what above mentions. Because, there are extensive and huge bulb that we, environmental engineer, may enter. For example, we may also actively preserve wildlife, concerns with worldwide issues such as acid rain, global warming. Global warming is even still under great disputement between environmentalists and global warming skeptists. This is also an opportunity for environmental engineer to get the truth.

Some references:

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