Civil engineering is the field of engineering concerned with structures, most commonly buildings, but also bridges, dams, pipelines, roads, container port facilities, railway lines and stations, airports and towers. It is therefore one of the oldest fields in engineering, dating back to the first city states in Sumer. This engineering field is offered in universities as a first degree course and includes sub-disciplines such as transportation engineering, municipal engineering, geotechnical engineering, environmental engineering and structural engineering. Civil engineers may also work in the private sector as consulting engineers, project managers or construction contractors or in various government departments.
Civil engineers are responsible for the design, construction and management of all our utility and transport infrastructure. They also plan, design and test the structures of private and public buildings and facilities. In addition, civil engineers can assess the impact of large scale projects on the environment, critical in areas such as the collection and treatment of sewage and industrial wastes, pollution control and resource protection.
Civil engineers typically commence work by examining an architect’s plans and consider whether the chosen materials for a particular building will be strong enough to hold a structure of that height, weight or design. This aspect is called structural engineering, ensuring that the projected building will be safe, serviceable, durable, aesthetically pleasing, economical and be able to be built within the forecasted time. Engineers analyse how the project might affect its surroundings and at the same time, how the environment affects it. It is the responsibility of the structural engineer to produce safe, economical and environmentally-sound structures. Structural engineers apply mathematics and physics to traditional construction materials such as concrete, stone, steel, timber, glass and innovative engineering materials including aluminium, ceramics, tempered glass, fibrous cement, polymers and carbon fibre.
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Expertise in Action
When assisting our clients with disputes which require expert opinion, there are a range of ways in which this knowledge can be applied in the case of civil and structural engineering. Where accidents have occurred involving dams, bridges, pipelines, towers and public buildings, experts will be needed to assess the design and integrity of the infrastructure. Transport and utility infrastructure is often under stress from a range of factors (use, environmental impact, fiscal constraints, limitations in material technology, etc) and experts will be needed to discern the precise facts of what took place in order for any legal proceedings to reach a conclusion.
For some fields of expertise we have some sample sections of de-identified reports. Please contact our office if you are interested in a sample.
The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:
- The need for a view or inspection of a location
- The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
- Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
- Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype