Civil Engineering Technologist Spotlight

Civil Engineering Technologists work closely with engineers to transform the world around us to meet specific needs. In the case of oil and gas, that need could include production, transportation or refining. From tailings ponds to refineries, wherever the engineer is needed, the technologist or technician will have an important role to play.

What a typical day looks like:

Civil Engineering Technologists are responsible for the many little parts that make up the whole of any project. In the office, they prepare cost estimates for the scope of civil work or budget estimates for survey work. They review technical specifications for bid documents and evaluate tenders. They also have a hand in designing engineering drawings using sophisticated software.

In the field, Civil Engineering Technologists monitor quality functions during project construction and become the engineer’s informant. They ensure work is being done to specification and take plenty of pictures and notes so that they can report back to the project engineer. They also act as an intermediary between their employer and contractors if there is a conflict. As they gain experience, Civil Engineering Technologists may take on more of a leadership role in reviewing technical specifications for bid documents and evaluating tenders.

Typically employed in the oil sands, exploration and production (E&P), oil and gas services and pipeline sectors of the oil and gas industry, Civil Engineering Technologists can expect both office and field work and generally a 40-hour week with some overtime.

The kinds of problems Civil Engineering Technologists solve at work:

Civil Engineering Technologists need to troubleshoot and solve problems throughout the day. For instance, if a hole is being dug for a foundation and they find ground water unexpectedly, they’ll have to troubleshoot how to stop the water. And, if the issue can’t be resolved onsite, they’ll send out a request to the engineer to get a recommendation.

Skills used most on the job:

A Civil Engineering Technologist is organized, logical and brimming with knowledge in math, physics and science. They’re capable of understanding and presenting data with a high degree of accuracy and detail and applying engineering theory and principles to the real world.

Every project has a lot of moving pieces. Civil Engineering Technologists have to be able to pay attention to all the details from pipes and instrumentation to steel structures and foundations. They bring technical expertise with oversight from the engineer before the shovels hit the ground.

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