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

    • SWAMY September 10, 2014 at 11:15 am

      Howrah bridge is a India’s largest 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


    • Kumudranjan Kumar April 20, 2015 at 11:46 am

      what subject is BDD friend

  • 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

  • selvamuni July 26, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    sir, i am studying BE final yr in civil, i need some project topics in concrete

  • 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

    • Laxman September 26, 2016 at 11:36 pm

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

    • KVV December 31, 2016 at 8:42 am

      it depends on nature of bending moment hogging/sagging which in turn depends on type and nature of loading

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

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  • 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

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  • seshu August 26, 2014 at 11:53 am

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  • Romeel khan August 31, 2014 at 4:55 am

    what is most importants of pail foundation?

  • Sandeep singh January 30, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Thanks to all share different ideas & thoughts.

  • 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.

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