Five skills for Civil Engineers

Essential skills for Civil Engineers for this decade

1. Ability to read literature

  • This is nothing but the ability to read and digest the college textbooks which are accepted by the wider civil engineering community. For example, Water resources engineering by Ray K. Linsley

  • Read and understand journals like Géotechnique, Cement-and-concrete-Research

2. Work with modern software

  • Calculations are generally done with Spreadsheets, CAD sheets

  • Not just do the calculations, we do need to know exactly the formula employed and do hand calculations to check.

  • If possible master the art of computer programming

3. People dynamics and teach

  • We need clarity in our thought and procedures, so that we could delegate the same

  • There is a new skill called emotional intelligence, we can learn more about it by reading some articles such as Harvard Business Review

  • How to teach is an important part of the day to nourish

    • How to fold engineering drawings

    • How to take notes

    • How to decide which option to adopt

    • How not to be lazy

    These are the skills we need to teach people around us without being mean.

4. Decisive

  • The ability to take decision. Seems easy but takes few years of practice to depending on the task

  • For example,

    1. How much approximation is okay

    2. Which work to prioritize

    3. Are the design calculations satisfactory

    4. Submit fast, and update fast with input from reviewers

5. Talk less

  • Not literally talking less. It means more action.

    • Carefully use the words - "Never", "Perfect", "100%", "hard work", "Wrong"

    • Use these words regularly - "Thank you", "Is this design seem okay?"

    • Add a factor of safety when updating a possible timeline. If the work can be completed in a week, add a safety of a day or two to account for other urgent work.

  • Get preliminary info (data), and do some calculations to know what other information is required.

  • Do not try to impress people. You do not need to.

  • Stay to the point, always keep the final objective of the discussion in mind.