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Civil engineer

The term civil engineer refers to an individual who practices civil engineering. Originally the term "civil" engineer worked on public works projects and was contrasted with the military engineer, who worked on armaments and defenses. Over time, civil engineering has spun off a variety of fields e.g. architectural engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and what is still called civil engineering.

An interesting definition could be, "The profession of Civil Engineering is the art of directing the great sources of the power of Nature for the use and convenience of Man."


In Scandinavian countries, some Master of Science degrees are called civil engineer (civilingenjör). That is if they have their graduation, or "diploma", from an institute of technology. The word has its origin from one of the English meaning of 'civil engineer' [1] (compare [2] );

an engineer whose training or occupation is in the design and construction especially of public works (as roads or harbors).

Although the English language meaning is very narrow, during the middle of 19th century (before [3] 1874), its Swedish interpretation also becamed "a person graduated from institute of technology", and now the profession represents all fields within engineering professions, like civil engineering, computer science, electronics engineering, etc. However, it might also mean only the civil engineering topic.

Although a 'college engineer' (högskoleingenjör, diplomingenioer) represents a Bachelor of Science in Scandinavia, to become a 'civil engineer', one has to almost re-start the education from zero and it will take a half up to one year extra compared to B.Sc./M.Sc. studies. This is because the higher educational system is not fully suited to the international standard graduation system, since, at least in Sweden, it is treated as a professional degree.

A Scandinavian "civilingenjör" usually calls himself "Master of Science in engineering".

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Last updated: 02-07-2005 18:19:24
Last updated: 05-03-2005 09:00:33