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This report concerns the literature on the Engineering Community. It examines the current issues associated with this Community and puts into perspective the problems that are prevalent in this Community. In this report, I seek to explain the literacy practices of the Civil Engineering Community. According to this report, literacy is described as the ability to read coherently, comprehend the literature and thin critically about the written material. In addition, literacy practices have been defined as the typical social models that portray literacy as the key component of community regeneration and forms part of the lifelong agenda of acquiring knowledge. The conclusions of this report will help the national team that is currently undertaking reforms in the Engineering Sector make very informed proposals in their works. Besides, it will help aspiring students who wish to pursue a career in Civil Engineering make decisions that they will never stop to regret about.
In the context of the manual labor in the ancient Civil Engineering practices, a lot of great structures were built and most of these structures still have a considerable amount of historical significance. Although regarded by many as only a crude technology, these engineering works were carried out by artisans with adequate technical knowledge. Perhaps that is why some of their works are still standing in the Pyramids of Egypt. However, there is a general concession that it was a daunting task utilizing only manual labor without the heavy machineries of today to put up these structures. In light of this, it becomes very clear that the best practices in the field of engineering can be realized with the incorporation of the extensive use of skilled labor. (Chaddock, B.C.J., 1988).
History has laid grounds for claims that the science of civil engineering originated in Egypt during the period between 4000 and 2000 BC. This has been considered credible in that it was at this time that transportation gained prominence in Egypt to the extent that it subsequently led to the invention of the wheel to be used on the roads built by the engineers. Indeed, historians have it that the Egyptian Pyramids were built around 2800 and 2400 BC and this has been projected as the first constructions ever to come into existence. Moreover, The Great Wall of the Republic of China is said to have been built around 200 BC. To a very large extent, this wall has been regarded as another significant achievement in the history of civil engineering. In addition, great works were achieved in the Romans Empire. The ancient engineers then were able to construct complex structures that included bridges, dams and aqueducts. Indeed, it is acknowledged that it was at this time that scientific approach to engineering took it roots with the application of the Archimedes Principle of buoyancy and the other applications in the screw to raise water. (Chaddock, B.C.J., 1988).
There has been a great confusion between the use of the term civil engineering and architecture. In fact until recently, the two words were used interchangeably. However, it was in the 18th century that it became clear as to what civil engineering was. This was after the Norwich University established Civil Engineering as a separate career path in the year 1819. Thereafter, there began to emerge various Societies of Civil Engineers in the US and Europe followed with other similar institution in other countries later in the 20th century. The coming of the 19th and 20th centuries has however seen a rapid mushrooming several universities in the world that offer professional training in the field of civil engineering. This has come with great technological advancements especially the use of high-tech machinery in civil engineering works especially the computer aided manufacture and design. Indeed, the civil engineering professionals have used this technology to attain superb systems of construction and manufactures. (Jaeklin, F.P., 1986).
The Civil Engineering Community encompasses the all the people who deal in the construction works that have to do with the natural environment. These include but are not limited to students pursuing the course, the academic fraternity in the field, opinion leaders as well as the established professionals who own most of the Civil Engineering Companies in our cities. Ideally, it takes several years of learning and practice to make a good civil engineer. The literacy program imparts on the students skills that include perfect mathematical skills in statistics and probability. Besides, the graduating students of civil engineering are supposed to be adequately familiar with general chemistry and calculus-based physics. In addition, the graduates are expected to manifest extensive degree of literacy practices in conducting independent laboratory experiments, analyzing and interpreting the data streaming from the experimental procedure. Other literacy practices that are expected of a professional civil engineer include the proficiency to design structures to be undertaken in the civil engineering field and perfectly comprehend the procedures of procurement, selection of quality materials for construction works as well as show ability to professionally interact and engage with other professionals in the area of civil engineering. Moreover, the laws of the land as concerning civil engineering root for the individual appreciation of the process of licensure and continued training practices to keep up with the ever increasing technological advancements. Black, Sara, (Mar.-Apr., 2000).
These literacy practices are important because they are the core of national and international security. For once, civil engineering community has been able to protect the global community from the serious hazards related to oil spills in the sea and oceans. Basically, curbing these dangers almost entirely depends on the ability to trap and get rid of the spilt oil. As a matter of fact, the civil engineering community has always used their expertise to detect these spillages in a timely manner leading to their prompt mitigation to the protection of human and aquatic life. In the general practice by the community, these detections are done with the least cost possible including eye observations from aerial positions or through the video photographs taken from the aerial satellites. However, the major hindrance to these methods of detection remain the obstructions created by atmospheric conditions like cloud cover and precipitation of different forms. Indeed, due to these technical deficiencies, it has been warned all and over again by the Mineral Management Service that great caution has to be taken when estimating oil thickness by the visual observation techniques. This is significant especially because the technical team dealing with such a spillage may assume that the threat to aquatic life is limited when it’s actually too great to imagine. Besides, the fires that may result from these spillages have to be mitigated soonest depending on the extent of the spillage to avoid situations that may take too long to wipe out. (Milligan, G.W.E., Fannin, J. and Farrar, D.M., 1986).
In this particular scenario, a lot of advancements have been made. This clearly exemplifies the rapid rate at which the field of civil engineering is developing and indeed what this portends to the otherwise uncertain future. As at now, remote sensors based on aircrafts that are able to detect chromatic patterns, reflect light and sense changes in temperatures and ruggedness of the surface of the sea have been applied especially in the area of site specific monitoring. However, the cost of erecting such equipment has posed a great challenge to the civil engineering community due to the fact that they are not only expensive, but also require hiring of highly specialized personnel to operate, record, analyze and interpret the resulting findings. Black, Sara, (Mar.-Apr., 2000).
The safety of the road networks squarely rest in the hands of the civil engineering community. These began on a simple premise with the use of wood and clay in the ancient world. This progressively got more complex with the entry into use of steel and other metals in the constructions. However, these metals did not pass the test of time as they were easy subjects to corrosion. It is this reality that sent everyone in the civil engineering community thinking of the best possible alternatives to the use of steel metals in the building infrastructural features like the bridge. The global use of concrete reinforced with steel in building most of the infrastructure was largely seen as an exercise in futility as corrosion still remained a significant challenge. Indeed, it was a common occurrence to watch concrete easily crumble leaving behind the steel that was supposed to reinforce it exposed to rusting. Further, such bridges are known to deteriorate whenever any de-icing was done on them or they came into contact with certain amount of environmental pollutants. These coupled with the increasing traffic on a daily basis, frequent cases of motor vehicle overloads and insufficient maintenance practices have made the use of the steel reinforced concrete bridges impossible in the modern world. In fact, statistics from the United States’ Federal Highway Administration indicate that well over 40% of bridges are currently either dysfunctional or structurally unfit for the modern transport systems. Redston, Jennifer, (1999).
Recently, the answer to this question seems to have been found with the invention of plastic reinforced with fibers. Indeed, this has seen an easy repair and replacements of several bridges in the United States of America. In the ideal sense, fiber reinforced plastic materials for civil engineering works are composite materials that are made of high strength fibers that have been immersed into the structural matrices made up of different types of durable resins. The most commonly used fibers for these structures are usually carbon and glass. These brittle materials usually gain a considerable amount of strength and stiffness when made into fibers for use in constructions. It is this magical realization that has sent the concerned institutions into the rampant upgrade and replacement of the majority of the bridges today. Black, Sara, (Mar.-Apr., 2000).
The invention and subsequent development of the subway has also been hailed as a significant achievement by the civil engineering community. In fact, it is becoming increasingly unimaginable in most cities in the world that there would actually be life without the subways. As a matter of fact, maps and signs have become an intimate part of great cities like the New York City and Paris. For instance, the Metro Department in Paris has built at least a station within a distance of five hundred meters from every building within the city. In the city of New York, they have put in place a subway system that has several stations packed into a single area. Recent approximations put this at 450 stations per 621.6 square kilometers. And in London, the story is no different. The London Tube serves as many as 275 stations in the entire vicinity of the city of London. Redston, Jennifer, (1999).
Besides this, these subways have been integrated into people’s life that no one remembers they once never existed. For instance, the oldest one was the London Underground that came into existence in 1863. This was followed closely by the Paris Metro in the year 1900 and finally the subway in New York City came into operation in 1904 due to various reasons. Yet still, these three have remained the oldest known popular subways. Indeed, the fact that they were all started around the same time says a lot about the history of the civil engineering in this area of expertise. Black, Sara, (Mar.-Apr., 2000).
The emergence of the Industrial revolution has been credited with significant advancements in the field of civil engineering and by extension the civil engineering community. It is during this period that people shifted from working on their simple farms to extensive works in the emerging factories. Furthermore, people coming to America from Europe caused a population influx that necessitated these advancements by providing the required manpower. Such an influx had the direct effect of congesting the transport system of the US especially in New York. This coupled with the complex interconnection of various rivers and roadway intersections called for an immediate action to curb congestion. As a result, this magnitude of advancements was made to the existing infrastructural bodies in America. (Milligan, G.W.E., Fannin, J. and Farrar, D.M., 1986).