In about 1996 or 1997, when I joined Toastmasters (which I highly recommend to anyone who needs to speak in public), my first speech to that group was titled, “I Tell People that I’m a Civil Engineer”. The next line is… “But I’m not”. It was a great icebreaker as my first speech in Toastmasters. And that is true. I have never had a class that is specific to civil engineering. I have three engineering degrees, but none of them are in civil engineering. Here is how the degrees go:
- BS Mining Engineering
- BS Geological Engineer
- MEng Geotechnical Engineer
See? No degrees in civil engineering. I’ve never had a course in pavement design or concrete design. Please don’t expect me to design a bridge. Okay, in reality, I don’t tell everybody that I’m a civil engineer, it’s only when I don’t really have the time to tell the actual story. It complicates things when you consider that my registrations as a professional engineer are as a civil engineer… but geotechnical engineering is a specialty field within civil engineering. Or is it more complicated that my registration in South Africa is as a mining engineer?
People generally know what a civil engineer is, but you need a little more time to explain what a geotechnical engineer is, and that’s why I’ll have a blog called Geotechnical Engineering 101. I’ll also have blogs at some point called Mining Engineering 101 and Geological Engineering 101.