I always think of civil engineering as impacting a person's daily life, from the moment you wake up in the and you go to the bathroom and you turn on the faucet to brush your teeth.
There's clean drinking water. There's the house that you're living in, or the apartment building that you're living in. The elevator that you take down to the main floor. There's the roads that you drive on, the bridges that you drive over. All of that physical infrastructure that builds our civilization is touched on by civil engineering.
Dr. MacDougall, Professor, Structural Engineering:
I think civil engineers have a bit more of that human touch. Like you're dealing with the public all the time. It's civil engineering, it's all the things you need to actually keep society running. It's like clean water, taking care of our waste, making sure we're not going to like pollute the environment. Civil engineers are involved in designing, making sure it's done properly.
Jared, 4th year undergraduate student:
Queen's has four sub-disciplines of civil, whether that's structural, hydro-technical, geo-technical, and environmental. Having that general knowledge of all the different sub-disciplines kind of gives you the opportunity to apply pretty much anywhere within civil engineering. I thought I would mainly be focused on structural and enjoying that. And some courses I've enjoyed, more than I thought I would, were hydro technical courses.
Jodie, 4th year undergraduate student:
After going to the discipline night, I decided civil engineering was a great fit for me. What really stood out was the career opportunities that came from the program. I liked that a lot of these potential future careers had a good variation in what you were doing, day-to-day and they were pretty, hands-on less sitting at a desk and more so you could go out in the field, do a site assessment and get involved with multiple parts of the project.
Millar, 4th year undergraduate student:
I chose civil engineering because it's the study of the natural and built environment. And that was very appealing to me because I've always had a curiosity for physics in the observable world around me. If you think about it anywhere where people are settled, infrastructure exists, and with that infrastructure comes a need for the design and construction of new infrastructure and the operation and maintenance of existing infrastructure. But with civil engineering, you can find yourself anywhere in the world doing any number of different things on any number of world-leading projects.
Dr. Silva, Professor, Hydrotechnical Engineering:
I deal with rivers. The goal of my research is to develop the basic science so that we can use rivers for societal and economic purposes, but at the same time, keep the rivers in as natural state as we can. So how can we do that type of construction without effecting the shape of rivers? And the health of their ecosystem. We make a special effort to combine the research and teaching. And we have students doing experiments throughout, their three years in civil engineering in this facility.
Meg, PhD candidate:
What really drew me to civil was the multidisciplinary approach. I got to do a little bit of all of the disciplines. I was also able to do a thesis in my undergrad, which was incredible because I not only got to see the consulting side of engineering, but I got to understand a lot about research. In my undergraduate degree, we got to see a lot of the facilities just through labs. It was incredible whether you head down to the structures lab or you're doing labs in water management and resources, and then you also get to come out here to West campus and see all the facilities that we have here.
We have a bunch of young professors who have started with the program recently. They are very student focused. What really stood out to me too was every year I have had a number of female professors, which has been really nice as a woman in engineering.
In my experience, I haven't met a single professor who isn't friendly and welcoming and really open to helping where they need to, and they're really easy to reach out to.
What really interests me is working along with other people in the field to solve problems that are applicable to the better society for the future.
In civil engineering, you get to shape and design and change the world around you.