As the second millennium draws to a close, NCE is celebrating 20 centuries of civil engineering with a weekly focus on the key events and projects that have shaped its development.
Civil engineers have left an indelible mark on the world, from Roman aqueducts in the first century to the Channel Tunnel in the 20th. The lessons of disasters and failures, together with advances in engineering understanding, have allowed increasingly challenging projects to be achieved. These have brought huge benefits in public health and quality of life as well as improved working conditions within the industry.
Today engineers are no longer just designers and builders of infrastructure, they are being asked to refurbish and manage it. Increasing awareness of the impact of civil engineering on the environment is pushing some to develop new areas of expertise. With the emergence of integrated transport policies, some engineers are working out ways of restricting the use of existing infrastructure.
A review of 2,000 years of civil engineering will inevitably have its gaps. But we hope, in the next 12 months, to go some way towards showing the evolution of the profession.