Your Career Guide to Pavement Engineering
Pavement engineering is a civil engineering component that utilizes engineering techniques to create and maintain rigid and flexible pavements. The pavements may include highways and streets and involve the knowledge of hydraulics, soils, and other material properties. Additionally, pavement engineering includes rehabilitation projects, maintenance of existing pavements as well as new constructions. Some pavements projects are specialized and require careful design to enable them to function appropriately. Examples of such structures may include football grounds, tramlines, and areas between a quarry and its processing plant. Read on to understand how pavement engineering fits into civil engineering and tips for specialization.
The Impact of Pavement Engineering
Ideally, without properly designed pavements and roads, travel can be a little slow and cumbersome. This will, in turn, affect communication and complicate trade. Successful earlier civilizations, mostly the Carthaginians and the Romans, were those who would master the art of building road surfaces and engineering pavements. For instance, Britain was very slow until around the 18th century when renowned engineers like John Loudon McAdam and Thomas Telford started to restructure its road system.
Perhaps you’re wondering how pavement engineering works. A pavement is a set or sequence of layers (materials) placed on the surface of the natural ground or subgrade. Some materials include asphalt or concrete. These layers often serve to spread the load of a vehicle or person. A vehicle or other road carrier that would get stuck in muddy areas can cross with less difficulty when pavements are in place. The most important thing is to use the right material for specific layers to sustain the stress caused by a lot of weight.
Career Guide for Pavement Engineering
If you want to specialize in pavement engineering, you may need to complete a civil engineering undergraduate program or equivalent. As a pavement engineer student, you need to focus on basic knowledge of civil engineering. You should also prepare for aptitude, physics, design structures, and mathematics. Sometimes an employer may want you to design an interview stage to see how efficient your drawing skills are on big projects without outside help. Similarly, if you’re unable to go through an on-campus interview, then you can go ahead and apply it to your preferred companies. In most cases, civil engineering offers you two options to choose from.
You can work as a contract civil engineer or consultant civil engineer. Contract engineering requires you to do both at the office and on-site. This means you will have to learn how to deal with workmates at the office as well as supervise workers on-site. On the other hand, consultant engineering requires you to work from an office where you’ll be advising clients and fellow engineers on various project executions. Besides these two categories, there are other engineering disciplines such as structural, civil engineering, which entails designing structures to make them strong before the actual kicks off. Students specializing in structural engineering must be excellent in drawing.
Tips to Getting Into Pavement Engineering
As a pavement engineer, you play a critical role in ensuring pavements and road surfaces are passable. Your work may involve designing, constructing, and maintaining public structures such as roads, railways, bridges, airports, schools, bridges, and pipelines. Additionally, you can decide to specialize in highway and transportation, buildings, waste management, rail, or coastal and marine constructions. However, as a pavement engineer, you need a range of skills to navigate the highly competitive industry. You may need to develop critical thinking, the ability to communicate effectively, and problem-solving techniques. To achieve this purpose, you need to implement some or all of these tips.
Get Work Experience
In addition to completing your pavement degree program, you may need to consider some work experience. While some degree programs provide a year of work experience to help you build contacts, some don’t. If your course doesn’t offer this opportunity, you will have to find your own experience. Remember that pavement internship and experience helps you break through the noise and gives a competitive advantage.
Study for Masters
Another way to stand out is to study for masters. This is essential as it helps you attain chartered status. You can combine your undergraduate program and postgraduate by enrolling for an MEng program. Similarly, you can study a BEng and proceed straight to a master’s degree.
Attend an Open Event
Attending a pavement engineering open event can be a great way to start your pavement engineering career. Most of these programs are fun, free, and provide valuable insights on what you need to know about engineering in a real-life context. Such events also allow you to meet and connect with like-minded people in the industry. That way, you will grow your network and discuss your career options.
Join a Professional Body
Joining a relevant professional body is also an excellent way to drive your career on the right path. This is beneficial as it provides you access to professional training as well as tailored industry support. This will also enhance your career and employment development prospects.