Civil Engineer Spotlight
- Career Planning
Civil Engineer Spotlight
For oil and gas facilities to exist, they must first be built. Civil Engineers sweat the details to make sure that every road, utility corridor, wall and office is laid out, designed, and built exactly as planned.
What a typical day looks like:
Civil Engineers design all of the infrastructure at an oil and gas facility or office. Buildings and roads are the items that might come to mind first, but they are also responsible for the less noticeable items such as wastewater solutions and hydraulic systems.
Civil Engineers start by gathering information about what structures are needed and about the environment where they will be built. They consider how to protect from erosion, route flood and waste waters, and where roads are located or needed. They analyze the necessary energy assessments, budget numbers and layout optimization before starting their conceptual and detailed engineering designs. The designs are created using engineering software, and they make sure that all of the necessary health and safety codes and standards are met.
Civil Engineers also prepare cost estimates, construction schedules, budgets, and technical reports for managers and construction representatives. They need buy-in from decision makers before their plans can become a reality. They may also meet with provincial or federal regulators to gain approval for their projects.
Much of their work is done in an office, but Civil Engineers also go to project sites to oversee the construction of their designs. They make sure projects are being built as planned and answer any questions construction superintendents may have about the engineering drawings.
The kinds of problems Civil Engineer solve at work:
Civil Engineers try to identify key issues early so that the project development can address major technical factors to gain approvals, meet quality and performance requirements and be economic. When projects are being built, sometimes the documented plans do not match reality, so Civil Engineers revise their plans to find solutions that stay within a project’s framework.
Skills used most on the job:
Civil Engineers are creative problem solvers who are also logical. They have a strong understanding of mathematics, science, and construction. They also have strong interpersonal skills and can collaborate with a number of other professionals.
The oil and gas industry is only as strong as the infrastructure it uses to explore, produce and refine. Civil Engineers play a key role in the day-to-day function of each and every facility.