The Not-So-Secret-Society of Civil Engineers

Blog » The Not-So-Secret-Society of Civil Engineers

Posted on 07 Mar 2013 20:22

You can call civil engineers the building blocks or foundation of our society (no pun intended). No matter how you think of them, they’re just like any other branch of engineering; there are unions and societies that unite these individuals obsessed with concrete and construction. Being an aspiring civil engineer myself, I wanted to see for myself exactly how these infrastructure nerds communicated. I wanted to see how civil engineers functioned as a discourse community. What better way to do this then to look through the magazine of the American Society of Civil Engineers?

So when you flip through the magazine, aptly titled Civil Engineering, there’s really nothing secret or complicated connecting civil engineers like the Masons or Illuminati. Nope, civil engineers are just individuals hoping to make a living from designing infrastructure and manipulating the environment. You also get a feel for what civil engineers care about as you flip through the magazine. Lately, there has definitely been a strong concern on making everything built environmentally friendly and sensitive. Furthermore, civil engineers are always looking for ways to improve the design of their structures to make them more resistant to natural weather phenomenon such as strong winds or earthquakes. Most of all, there was definitely a concern on how politics played a role on their job. Civil engineering is a job that depends on the funding of the government so there is a strong concern for how policies passed by the national government. The magazine also preaches a high code of morality for those within it. On page 42, there is a blurb that says “Each of the society codes requires members to perform services only in their areas of competence, and each requires members to be truthful, objective, and honest in all public reports or statements. Clearly, civil engineers subscribed to this magazine are expected to have integrity. The magazine definitely reveals that civil engineering is a lot more then meets the eye and that by becoming one, you adapt a certain mindset.

So what is exactly does Civil Engineering do? Does it show pictures of the hottest new building and road designs? How about make constant jokes only civil engineers would get? Actually, despite my attempts to be funny and sarcastic, this is exactly what Civil Engineering does. There ARE articles highlighting new plans to create fascinating structures in Africa and Europe. There are also really bad (good effort I suppose) civil engineering jokes. “Every generation needs a roundabout revolution.” Yeah, you know you must be a civil engineering when you laugh at something like that. To a civil engineer however, I’m sure that almost everything written in this magazine is applicable to them in some way, shape or form. It is a magazine filled to the brim with terms that only those gifted enough to endure hours of classes on concrete and soil in college and find a job in a prestigious civil engineering firm will understand. Civil Engineering is a document used to update civil engineers who are subscribed to it of how their occupation is faring in the world. It is a document written for civil engineers, by civil engineers.

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