Civil Engineering History

• In the beginning, Civil Engineering included all engineers that did not practice military engineering; said to have begun in 18th century France.

• First “Civil Engineer” was an Englishman, John Smeaton in 1761.

• Civil engineers have saved more lives than all the doctors in history — development of clean water and sanitation systems.

• Henry H. White, first KY Civil Engineering Graduate from Bacon (Georgetown) College in 1840.

• Fall of 1886, “State College” (UK) established civil engineering degree.

• John Wesley Gunn of Lexington received first Civil Engineering degree from A & M College (UK) in 1890.

Civil engineering has evolved tremendously in aspects relating to building, designing and maintaining the world’s built and natural environments. Historically, the term ‘civil engineering’ did not exist. It is only recently that engineers whose duties were civil and non- military were categorized as civil engineers to differentiate them from military engineers. A military engineer is one who makes ‘machines of war’. In ancient times the bridge, waterways, fortifications and machines of war were all projects also projects undertaken by the military engineer. Kings, Queens, Emperors or Pharaohs required these military building services from their engineers in order to build massive structures that created a powerful and imposing image of themselves. This was the ultimate form of self-promotion. The reason the ‘civil’ and ‘military’ engineers were grouped as one, was because the techniques of designing these projects were similar and one who worked on military construction projects also worked on civil projects. Also the structures such as roads, dams, buildings and bridges facilitated for the military agendas of certain rulers. Definitely, before the term civil engineer was coined, civil engineers were in existence. Millennia ago when the pyramids of the Mayan and Egyptian empires were building pyramids, the people designing and supervising the construction of the pyramids must have been an engineer. Certainly, those endowed with the responsibility of devising ways to solve the day to day problems of construction, transportation, water irrigation, city planning were engineers. The engineers of the past often worked on technical problems of their day by using mechanics, available materials and technicians of the day and often worked in areas that ranged from mechanical, military inventions to architecture, which involved the design of aesthetic structure and the overall shape and form of structures.

Taken from book named – “An Introduction to Civil Engineering” by Valdengrave Okumu

  • Santosh D. Cheke March 15, 2013 at 11:52 am

    frnd i am student of amravati university. I want to know about howrah bridge.

    • shaikh ayaz August 15, 2013 at 9:44 am

      howrah bridge is a indias large cantilever bridge

  • Habibullah April 2, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Thank you so much for the information. I have found this webpage quite useful.

  • pankajchourasia May 2, 2013 at 6:34 am


  • rajiv kumar June 9, 2013 at 8:25 am


  • Vaibhav June 30, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Dear Sir,

    Please help me in deciding that what should I choose between Civil Engineering and Architecture.

    It is very important for me to make that decision.

    Thanking You,


  • Itu... July 1, 2013 at 6:16 am

    thanks a lot to CEP,ur site is the best site for every civil engg students & civil engg.

  • Harsh July 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    plz give me this project ppt. and preport

  • M.SUDHAKAR August 1, 2013 at 5:36 am

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  • jigar September 20, 2013 at 10:12 am

    in cantilever beam maximum reinforcement is provided in bottom or top????? I would like to clear my confusion

    • Saikat Ghosh March 7, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      I think maximum reinforcement is provided into top. Because when the beam is bent it will get tension into the top surface of the beam, for this maximum reinforcement is give into the top of the beam.

      • satre January 3, 2016 at 12:32 am

        were there steel ,the maximum reinforcement is provided into top by steel and meanwhile provided into bottom by concrete,for steel functions well being pull and concrete performs a good job being compressed

  • Nagesh Sachan October 25, 2013 at 7:54 am

    I am very thankful to the website owners for sharing this information

  • Narendra March 8, 2014 at 8:34 am

    More reinforcement are provided in the bottom of beam. Because as we know the compresion zone are developed below the N.A. So as to redused the bending and failure of structure more reinfocements are provided at the bottom

    • Saikat Ghosh March 7, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      sir i just want to say you, that if you see the bending in the cantilever beam you will see that cantilever beam are one side fixed and other side is free for that when the load is apply in this beam the beam will bent in the down side so the tension is in the top and compression is in the bottom. and i think you know that concrete is weak in tension an to prevent the weakness of the concrete we will give the reinforcement. so as to my knowledge maximum reinforcement is give into the top of the beam. if i wrong please clarify my confusions and help me to grow up my knowledge.

  • S.Navaneethan June 12, 2014 at 4:31 am

    in cantilever bear maximum reinforcement provided in bottom or top portion ???? i would like to clear my confution

  • S.Navaneethan June 12, 2014 at 4:36 am

    how to prevent the vibration to the nearest building while doing pile foundation

  • P.Singaravelan,Rajkumar.B June 12, 2014 at 4:48 am

    How to find out the length of cantilever in stair case for residency buildings inside and out side.

  • punam bhalekar June 26, 2014 at 1:19 am

    I am very thankful to the website for giving important information

  • Zuber qureshi June 12, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Thank you sir for your information. I highly appreciate your work it will help me a lot for my future.

  • yohannes teka June 1, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    how i can improve my knowledge in civil engeenering and how i will create my own work. i am 4th year student

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