Civil & Environmental Engineering
College of Engineering
Engineering is a very large profession. Almost
two million people are employed in this country as engineers, and the field
will continue to expand as long as there are technical problems to solve.
Engineers are problem-solving people who invent new products and make things
work better, more efficiently, quicker and less expensively. They turn ideas
Engineers have a variety of career possibilities
from which to choose and may specialize in research, consulting, planning,
design, manufacturing, construction, management, teaching, writing, or sales.
Engineering graduates have excellent prospects for finding employment in
private industry, government, military service, or academia.
Engineers receive rigorous training in the basic
sciences, mathematics, and the engineering disciplines. Students choose
to major in chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, or mechanical
engineering. While pursuing their undergraduate degrees, students also have
opportunities to participate in undergraduate research with the faculty
or to gain work experience through engineering internships and cooperative
employment with industry.
For further information about engineering, contact
the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Advisement, College of Engineering, 141 P.S.
DuPont Hall, 302-831-8659.
Civil and Environmental Engineering
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
offers its undergraduates the option of earning the degree of Bachelor of
Civil Engineering or the degree of Bachelor of Environmental Engineering.
Civil engineers design and supervise the construction of bridges, highways,
railroads, dams, buildings, airports, harbors, flood control systems, and
a vast array of projects that affect the quality of life for millions of
people worldwide. They are also planning for computer-controlled traffic
systems as well as structures and habitats in space and on the moon and
planets. Environmental engineers work to protect the environment from the
urban and industrial waste products of our civilization. They are trained
to understand the chemical, physical, and biological processes underlying
pollutant transport and control so that they can improve and maintain the
quality of the earth's atmosphere, land areas, and water resources. Because
of their vital role in building and maintaining our society's infrastructure,
a large fraction of civil and environmental engineers serve the public by
working in local, state, and federal government agencies. In the face of
serious environmental and urban problems, civil and environmental engineers
are being called on to design solutions that are workable and cost-effective
for our society. Few other careers have such immediate and direct impact
on our daily lives.
For further information, contact the Department
of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 301B DuPont Hall, 302-831-2442.
Career Caveat: Engineering
One of the frequent tendencies that students
in technical disciplines have is to inextricably link their career possibilities
with their academic major. They seldom realize that a major is largely an
administratively convenient tool used by a college or university to categorize
There is not always an obvious parallel between
your engineering major and an occupational field. In the same way that accountants
are used as computer information systems analysts along with those having
computer science backgrounds, engineers work in capacities other than hands-on
engineering. Said in another way, just as the same job can be filled with
individuals from a variety of academic backgrounds, so individuals with
the same major can qualify for many different jobs.
While the realization that more career options
are open to you as a technical major than you previously were aware of can
be uplifting, it also poses the dilemma of identifying and narrowing down
the appropriate options. To remedy this confusion, it is helpful to approach
your career selection in terms of the types of functions you wish to perform
within an organization. An example might be a mechanical engineer who determines
that he/she would like to function in a sales or marketing capacity instead
of in a manufacturing role due to his/her interests, persuasive skills,
and outgoing personality.
Job titles differ from industry to industry
and company to company. Because job classifications are not standardized,
trying to determine your fit among seemingly endless lists of titles can
be very confusing and frustrating. Thinking of jobs in functional terms
provides a way of organizing the multitude of job titles you will encounter
in company literature and employment ads. Thinking in terms of functions
will, therefore, allow you to clearly indicate to potential employers exactly
what you want to do regardless of what the job title is.
Structural Engineer: Plans and designs
all types of structures as well as support for equipment. Analyzes the forces
that a building or structure must resist.
Urban Planning Engineer: Combines construction
engineering and community and urban planning. Plans each job from beginning
to end, determining the equipment, plant, and workers required, as well
as estimating costs.
Environmental Engineer: Designs and supervises
systems that provide safe drinking water and prevent and control pollution
in the air, land, and groundwater supply. Plans and designs pollution control
and waste treatment facilities. Develops and administers regulations established
to protect human health and the environment Develops long-range community
or facility plans to serve the public and protect the environment. Conducts
research to develop new processes or new applications for existing environmental
Transportation Engineer: Designs and
maintains all types of transportation facilities, including highways, streets,
mass transit systems, railroads, airports, and ports and harbors.
Geotechnical Engineer: Analyzes the properties
of soil and rock that support and affect the behavior of structures, pavements,
and underground facilities.
Check the Dictionary of Occupational Titles under
section 005 for additional related careers.
- Participate in Internships,
Field Experience Placements and Alumni Mentor Network.
- Sample UD Field Experiences: Del. D.O.T.,
Sussex Conservation District, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.
Some Employers of Civil Engineering Majors
*federal, state, & local government
Other Sources of Information
American Academy of Environmental Engineers
American Association of Engineering Societies
American Society of Civil Engineers
Civil Engineering Jobs
Environmental Career Opportunities
Graduating Engineer Online
My Perfect Gig (job listings)
National Society of Black Engineers
Search Engineering Jobs
Society of Women Engineers
The Riley Guide
Ultimate Civil Engineering Directory
Resources for Finding Employment
Found at the Career Services Center's Career Library (first floor):
- Blue Hen Careers -- Internships, Part-time, Summer, and Full-time Jobs -- All in one place
- Careers for Environmental Types & Others Who
Respect the Earth (CSE 449)
- The Eco Guide to Careers that Make a Difference
- Careers for Scientific Types & Others With
Inquiring Minds (CSE 457)
- Career Opportunities in Engineering
- Is There an Engineer Inside You? (CSE 536)
- Opportunities in Engineering Careers (CSE
- Great Jobs for Engineering Majors (CSE 538)
- Careers in Focus - Engineering (CSE 539)
- Graduate Programs in Engineering & Applied
Sciences (GS 35)
CSC's Internet Resources
Further information including: Skills to Develop,
Strategies for Contacting Employers, Grad School Information and where to
get assistance is available in the CAREER LIBRARY located at 401
Last updated: December 15, 2011 (CH)