Civil engineering is a branch of engineering that encompasses the design, construction and maintenance of naturally and physical built environment including construction works such as canals, dams, roads, bridges and buildings among many other structural components. Professionals in this field are known as civil engineers among other titles. The work of civil engineers entails overall structural design, construction, supervision, operations as well as the management of large scale construction and building projects and systems. These projects include; buildings, dams, roads, airports, bridges, tunnels, systems for water supply and sewage treatment among other projects. Civil engineers possess technical skills in the general areas of transportation systems, structural, environmental, geotechnical, hydro-systems and highways among other structural components.
The Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering is a five year course that has been developed in response to the civil engineering problems both local and regionally and the desire to offer appropriate solutions to such challenges affecting this industry. The problems affecting civil engineering industry range from construction, environmental, structural, water conservation, transportation among other areas. The curriculum of this course has been designed to produce competent civil engineers with skills and knowledge that can enable them offer innovative solutions to the problems affecting the industry.
The coursework covers topics such as; engineering geology, soil mechanics, public health engineering, theory of structures, transportation planning and development, hydraulics, irrigation engineering, foundation engineering, structural design, water resources engineering, environmental engineering, civil engineering practice among other important civil engineering topics. Upon successful completion of the course, graduates will be competent to work in building construction industry, engineering fields, environmental management and road construction among other related areas. Graduates can also start their own ventures within the field.
For self sponsored students, at least a mean grade of B- in KCSE. For Government sponsored students, the minimum cut point which is announced annually applies. The students should in addition have good performance in the following cluster subjects; Subject 1 MAT A, Subject 2 PHY, Subject 3 CHE, Subject 4 BIO or any GROUP III or any GROUP IV or any GROUP V.
Becoming a civil engineer
If you enjoy maths and interested in designing, building and maintaining various types of infrastructure such as; buildings, bridges, airports, roads, tunnels, dams or even sewerage systems, then pursuing this course might be a good choice for you. In addition, you should be prepared to develop skills that can help you grow and succeed in this profession.
Civil engineers must have good decision making skills and be able to balance multiple and frequently conflicting objectives, such as determining the feasibility of plans with regard to financial costs and safety concerns. Other professionals such as urban planners among others seek civil engineers for advice on matters related to planning and should be able to give decisive reports. These professionals must also have excellent leadership skills and be able to lead a team of other professionals such as; construction managers, surveyors, engineering technologists among other experts. Good report writing skills are equally important as civil engineers must be able to write reports that are clear, concise, and understandable to those with little or no technical or scientific background.
Civil engineers must have excellent maths skills as they regularly use principles of trigonometry, calculus among other advanced maths topics for design, analysis and troubleshooting in their work. Professionals in this field must be well organized and be able to organize, monitor and evaluate the work at the job site as the project progresses to assure compliance with design documents. Civil engineers deal with some of the toughest challenges in the industry and should have the ability to evaluate and resolve complex problems within projects, this requires good problem solving skills. Civil engineers must also have good communication both oral and in writing to enable them communicate professionally with other professionals, such as architects, landscape architects and urban planners among others.
Civil engineers work both in office and on construction sites.
Civil engineers can work in many areas related to construction works. These engineers can work at highways projects, railroads, bridges, tunnels, airports, dams, harbours, channels, irrigation systems, oil and gas extraction, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Graduates can also start their own businesses in related field.
You may explore these courses
Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.)
Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering Technology
Bachelor of Science in construction management
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture
Bachelor of Technology in Building Construction
Bachelor of Science in Mining & Mineral Processing Engineering
Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering
Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering