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

  • Samuel May 5, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you so much for this information. This website is amazing and I hope you continue making more informational pages!

  • 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

  • mandeep July 29, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I am also a civil engineer. Please any one can tell me temprature of conc at time of pouring

  • Laxman September 26, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Max reiforcement sould be provided at top portion of the C. L. B. Because of max. Tension development is there.

  • Nadeem Akhter November 11, 2016 at 11:09 pm

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

    Thanking You,

    Nadeem Akhter

  • Mohammad Fareed November 14, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Thnx for this information. I highly appreciate your work

  • madhuripittala January 4, 2017 at 7:04 am

    It is good and very useful for civil engineers thanking you sir

  • madhuripittala January 4, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Good and useful to civil engineees

  • R.HARIGUHAN February 19, 2017 at 4:05 am

    interesting to study and know about civil enginneering and helping for studying

  • Avinash Mogare March 2, 2017 at 3:17 am

    It’s very big and more useful information for civil engineers …

  • vipul saini April 14, 2017 at 11:11 am

    This is not complete information about civil engineering, but enough for beginners

  • ABHIJHTH RM August 8, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Very useful thank you

  • Tamil Mohammad April 21, 2018 at 2:52 am

    It is a great & useful deed for civil engineers.
    Thanks a lot sir.

  • obadiah sunday adams June 21, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Civil engineering has proof to us the up coming engineers that having the best impact ever.will never allow ways of thinking about a specific construction to be complicated.niether a best courage.
    Thanks a lot sir…….proudly a son to John Smeaton

  • shreyansh June 24, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    anyone can tell me which most recently problems in civil engineering?
    i want to select my final year project

  • Md. Syful Islam November 6, 2018 at 12:36 am

    Very good. Instructive for people.

  • Peter Azuma January 17, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    Amazing and educative

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