The West of England is growing; we need more roads, more offices, more homes and improved services. Research commissioned by the Local Enterprise Partnership suggests that, given the rate and scale of city region’s growth, by 2016 we may need three times more civil engineers than we have at present. Everyday we use and rely on things which have been created by civil engineers. From supplying energy and clean water to our homes, to processing and recycling our waste, finding solutions to problems like pollution and travelling around the region: civil engineering systems and structures are all around us.
Civil engineers design, build, maintain and operate the infrastructure that we all depend on in our daily lives. The industry has close links with construction, architecture, surveying, transport, utilities and planning - feeding into the local economy on numerous fronts. In addition to those directly employed in the industry, civil engineers enable companies to have the offices and transport connections they need to operate successfully.
The sector has a wide range of disciplines, including building, transport, water, energy and geotechnics. Technical roles are available from apprenticeships through to directorships. Most roles involve a mixture of office and site based work with the balance varying depending on specific projects in addition to your specialism. Civil engineers can gain professional qualifications as Technician, Incorporated or Chartered Engineers through the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Institute of Highway Engineers and the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation.
• Structural – dams, buildings, offshore platforms and pipelines
• Transportation – roads, railways, canals and airports
• Environmental – water supply networks, drainage and flood barriers
• Maritime – ports, harbours and sea defences
• Geotechnical – mining, earthworks and construction foundations
There are a large number of globally renowned civil engineering consultants based within the West of England. Buro Happold, which designed the Olympic Park: London 2012, was established in Bath in 1976 and is now an international consultancy specialising in buildings and cities. Clarkebond, whose main offices are in Bristol, not only supported the redevelopment of Hengrove Park, but also developed the Yashat Satellite Tracking Station over the United Arab Emirates. There are also many smaller consultancies making an impact nationally, including; Craddys, Mann Williams, KB2, and regional offices of global practices including; Arup, Atkins Global and Opus. On the contracting side Laing O’Rourke, BAM and ISG Pearce are just some of the companies working in the region.
‘If you are a creative person with a social conscience then a career in civil or structural engineering gives you everything: the opportunity to invent, design, analyse, save people money, help conserve the earth’s natural resources, provide socially worthwhile structures and ultimately make the world a safer place’ - Simon Pitchers, Director at CRADDYS.
Civil Engineers normally need to complete a degree or postgraduate masters degree in Civil Engineering which can be done at three of our local universities, or through apprenticeship routes. In addition, our local colleges also offer courses in Construction and Built Environment at level 3 and 4 all of which are excellent starting points for a career in civil engineering.