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Civil Engineering Is…

Civil Engineering Is…

After being so serious last week, I thought this week we’d have a little fun. Inspired by the apparent misogynistic undertones of Google’s auto-complete, I thought I’d ask the search engine to complete this common question

Civil Engineering Is…

Wiping my identity in a black-box virtual machine to remove the skews of the long and tattered history Google collects on you; I took note of the first five auto-completes from this ‘vanilla’ (well, I am British) query…

Civil Engineering Is Boring

Really. Depressingly my prediction that the majority of these matches would be on the lines of “Civil Engineering is Boring- No Sir, you are mistaken,” turned out not to be so. At least 50% of the front page believe Civil Engineers are boring or bored. Top quotes include “you may find real world civil engineering quite boring”, “what to do with a seasoned but bored Civil Engineer” and the surreal “I honestly can play SimCity 4 for hours… even the whole day without getting bored.”

Perhaps, however, this term is somewhat skewed by the many sites linking Civil Engineering to Boring.

Civil Engineering Is [?]

I suspect this is just the abstract question; Civil engineering is? Mainly born out of Google truncating the prefixing “what”. It’s a little be disappointing, nevertheless, where one of the main hits surrounding your profession is “just what do you do?”. Repeat complaints about the public’s general apathy to Civil Engineering, ad infinitum.

Civil Engineering Is Codes

Is civil engineering codes? It’s definitely a heavily codified field, but I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say it is defined by codes. Best practice and first principles are just as important; you think Brunel ever picked up a code?

Civil Engineering Is Hard

Yup. If you wanted to do something easy, why not take up alligator dentistry?

Civil Engineering is Code Books

Perhaps the more random match; at this point it seems Google is giving up a bit on the auto-completion. This is especially annoying because I found it necessary to get as far as Civil Engineering is Aw… before Google admitted that Civil Engineering is Awesome…

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  1. V B Sood

    It leaves out “Civil engineering is an art” from the list. Civil engineering is not such an exact science and as put beautifully by an unknown author in the context of structural engineering “The art of using materials that have properties which can only be estimated to build real structures that can only be approximately analyzed to withstand focres That Are Not Accurately Known so that our responsibility with respect to public safety is satisfied”

  2. Brian Duguid

    Tom, if you think those are bad, try Google autocomplete on “Civil engineers are …” and “Architects are …”

    • Civil Engineers need to learn some marketing- and I hate to admit it; but looking at Architects might be a good place to start.


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