Civil engineering is a great and wonderful thing. Civil engineers are able to give people blueprints of the roads, the buildings, and the bridges that cover the great country of America. Civil engineering does this through highly specialized technology such as Lidar surveying and photogrammetry, two techniques that aid civil engineers in their struggle.
To become a civil engineer, one has to go through numerous processes in school to be able to become a full fledged engineer. This training is rigorous in some cases and involves the detailed use of mathematics, science, and the study of physics significantly. The issue that happens with engineers is that they become significantly interested in their work.
It’s not a bad issue. Civil engineers are those that are tasked with understanding and designed the construction of our road system. Our road system is one that began in the 1950s, when President Dwight Eisenhower passed the Federal-Aid Highway Act. He was inspired by the high speed roads he saw in Germany.
The law funded the first 41,000 miles of paved glory that made up the early U.S. interstate system, which now boasts 46,876 miles and runs through all 50 states. It enabled U.S. residents and those immigrating and those visiting the country to be able to cross roads quickly and move across the country in style.
There are many facts about our roadways today but seemingly every month a new article comes out about how our roadways are deteriorating, or maybe it’s just the statistics that are seen every day. It is estimated that over one third of America’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
More than half of America’s interstate miles are at 70% of traffic capacity and nearly 25% of the miles are strained at more than 95% capacity. Nearly a third of all highway fatalities are related to substandard road conditions, obsolete road designs, or roadside hazards.
And more than 25% of bridges in the United States need significant repairs or are handling more traffic than they were designed to carry. Although it has not yet materialized, Americans at least in the comments section of the news articles, are calling for an increased focus on roads and infrastructure.
It was thought that the new Trump administration would focus first on infrastructure as a project that would unite democrats and republicans, but that did not materialize, with President Trump putting into place his travel ban, which specifically targeted countries that are predominantly Muslim.
This has led to a further deterioration of our infrastructure system where the bridges are crumbling, the roads are being torn apart, the highways are being messed up with potholes, and everything is nearing capacity or over capacity. This takes to mind the importance of transportation planning, traffic engineering, roadway design, and structural design.
Civil engineers are supposed to help with these issues and they certainly go through enough schooling, even at the undergraduate level, to be able to help. They use detailed techniques such as Lidar surveying and photogrammetry, Lidar technology, and more to look at the urban development, water infrastructure, roadways and more.
Lidar surveying is a technique that uses a laser pointed at an object to determine the distance from the point of the laser to the object. This gives engineers in theory a better look at the distance between a point and point. It works because the laser disperses light, causing it to give an indication of distance.
In most applications, photogrammetry is the process by which two or more two dimensional (2D) images are translated into three dimensional (3D) measurements or models. It typically involves analyzing and comparing 2D photographs. Lidar surveying and photogrammetry are two of the tools available to engineers.
Civil engineers use Lidar surveying and photogrammetry to be able to build and design bridges, roadways, buildings, and more. Their work takes them all around the world and all across the country. This poses an issue for many, because their work may take them away from family members or loved ones.
There are other projects that civil engineers work on. They include water infrastructure for dams, watershed management, GPR pavement, work within transportation planning firms, transportation infrastructure, and geotechnical engineering firms. They are important to the structure and design of their project. They are educated.