What are the basic knowledge for a Civil engineer?

This is a must read for all civil engineers…not only the students…so happy reading

Answer by A Quora admin:

Originally posted as an answer to the question: Rakshita Nagayach’s answer to What are practical things one should know being a civil engineering student?


The practical things a civil engineering student should know also depends on the future plans of the student after completing his/her graduation.

If going for a job

Most undergrads are recruited by construction companies in the country. So, as a field or design engineer (aspiring one), the following must be on the tip all the time:

  • All field and lab tests for cement, aggregate, sand and concrete.
  • Lab tests of soil, both surface and foundation soil.
  • Proficient use of all the surveying equipment, including auto-levelling         and triangulation devices.
  • Good knowledge of codal provisions of RCC structures and Steel.
  • Design parameters of both vertical and horizontal curves during road construction.
  • Length to height ratio, thickness of the wall and area of other rooms while designing a building.

As an architect and/or Cost-estimating engineer, the rates of construction materials, furnishing materials, knowledge of tenders and contracts, cost of labour and wage-management, cost estimation of a building project from foundation to furnishing.

If going for further studies

  • Command on all the design parameters and basic topics of the subject you’re going to take for specialization e.g. If one is going for transportation engineering, definitions of PIEV theory, setback distance, SSD, joints in pavement, signalling in Railways and Highways, Wind rose diagrams, etc. must be expertized at the time of under-graduation itself.
  • At least two methods for the calculation of moment and displacement in beams and columns. This is for every civil engineer actually.
  • Seconding Teja Jupudi’s answer to What are practical things one should know being a civil engineering student?.

In a nutshell, the practical things a civil engineering student must know are:

  • Lab and field tests of building materials.
  • Basic knowledge of soils and their properties.
  • Methods of force, displacement and moment calculation.
  • Tests like pH value, acidity, basicity, amount of Total dissolved solids (T.D.S.), etc. in water.
  • Standard formulae of RCC and Steel structure design.
  • Properties of fluids (water, to be precise) in laminar flow.
  • Use of theodolites, levelling machines and other surveying equipments.

Apart from Dilendra Maharjan‘s answer, I’d also like to say that the basic knowledge of Concrete and its components is a must. As most of the syllabus of Civil engineering comprise of practical work, knowing sufficient about the RCC components, their properties and market rates is appreciable, as its said Civil Engineering isn’t something you can read out in a book and learn. The only way to learn it is to have experiences.

Thanks for the A2A Harishankar Roy!

What are the basic knowledge for a Civil engineer?

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