With huge levels of growth in the Irish construction industry at the moment, driven by both government and EU investment, Civil Engineering is a very attractive career path for the engineering graduate, or anyone with a qualification in a related discipline looking to specialise.
Civil Engineers are responsible for designing and implementing the larger structures in the built environment. They work on designing roads, runways, bridges, sewage plants, dams and other large buildings such as hospitals and universities. Their work also involves managing the project, seeing it through to completion and dealing with any problems that arise. Civil Engineers get to wear both a hard hat and a business suit.
There are many postgraduate qualifications in civil engineering and related areas to choose from. For example, the Department of Civil Engineering at NUI Galway offers two masters level research degrees (MengSc. for graduates with a primary degree in Engineering and MApplSc. for non-engineering graduates) as well as a PhD degree.
Candidates wishing to take a postgraduate research degree at NUIG must submit a proposal outlining the areas of research that they intend to study. The research interests of the staff at NUIG include Computational Methods in Engineering Structures, Coastal and Marine Engineering, Computer Modelling in Offshore Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Wind Engineering, Flexible Pavements and Environmental Engineering.
Graduates with good honours standard degrees are invited to submit proposals. Applicants can discuss topics of interest with appropriate staff members to agree on their topic for research. Students enrolled on masters programmes can usually transfer to Ph.D as their research progresses.
The NUIG Faculty of Engineering offers a wide range of research degree options across all departments. Thus, students undertaking research in Civil Engineering will be able to make use of institutional expertise in Electronic Engineering, Engineering Hydrology, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering, and Information Technology.
Other third level institutions throughout Ireland offer similar research and taught masters opportunities in Civil Engineering including CIT, Trinity, UCD and UCC. Similar qualifications in Building Project Management, Construction Management, Highway Technology, Materials Science and Engineering and Structural Engineering are also available around the country.
Graduates with Civil Engineering qualifications should find that there are opportunities within the construction and related industries as well as in the civil service, manufacturing, environmental management and IT sectors. This makes a postgraduate qualification in Civil Engineering a most useful addition to the CV of anyone intent on pursuing a career in these areas.