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Summary Article: civil engineering from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Branch of engineering that is concerned with the construction of roads, bridges, airports, aqueducts, waterworks, tunnels, canals, irrigation works, and harbours.

Civil engineering was first recognized as a separate profession from architecture and military engineering by the French. They established a department concerned with roads and bridges which, in 1763, became the Corps des Ingénieurs des Ponts.

The British engineer John Smeaton established his Society of Civil Engineers in 1771 to distinguish civilian from military engineering projects.

The professional organization in Britain is the Institution of Civil Engineers. Founded 1818 (granted a royal charter 1828), it is the oldest engineering institution in the world. It is a learned society of over 80,000 members. Its 11 engineering boards cover the main subdivisions of civil engineering: energy, environment and sustainability, health and safety, ground, maritime, municipal, structural and building, transport, waste management, water, and joint engineering survey. The institution publishes technical papers and arranges meetings to discuss engineering topics.

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