Civil Engineering Resource Guide

The work of civil engineers is evident everywhere you look, from roads and bridges to water supply systems and skyscrapers. And as populations grow and new infrastructure is needed, the demand for qualified civil engineers can be expected to increase, as well. Whether you’re a student of civil engineering, a teacher or just someone who is interested in the field, this guide is for you. It includes links to 40 high-quality resources, including study resources, teaching resources, news sources, academic journals and more.


General Civil Engineering General Resources

Check out these general resources to learn about the history of civil engineering, industry group information, helpful forums and the basics of civil engineering.

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) – As the oldest engineering society, founded in 1852, ASCE represents over 150,000 members in 177 countries. Member benefits include access to professional conferences and continuing education opportunities. Also, refer to the ASCE as an excellent resource for field-related content and standards and codes that govern the profession.

Interactive Civil Engineering Timeline  – Enjoy browsing profiles and information about civil engineers starting in 18th century. This interactive timeline features civil engineers such as John Bradfield and Peter Rice.

Engineer Boards  –  A useful forum for all those interested in engineering. Forum sections include general, exam and technical discussions. Use this forum if you have questions about the profession or need help studying for your engineering exam.

Top 10 Civil Engineering Projects  – From ancient times to modern ones, engineers have been constructing masterpieces. Find out which structures made the top 10 on this colorful and detailed infographic, and see if you agree.

Five Civil Engineering Failures – Even though the design technology of these civil engineering projects were failures, they led to new design innovations and technologies. Look over this infographic that shows the failures and the effects of the failures.

Introduction to Civil Engineering  –  A concise explanation of the basics of civil engineering for those who are interested in the field but unsure of exactly what it entails.

Report Card for America’s Infrastructure   – Every four years, American civil engineers complete a comprehensive assessment of the nation’s infrastructure. This assessment is formatted in the form of a report card that assigns grades to the various major infrastructure categories and makes recommendations for improvements. Learn about the current report card here.


Civil Engineering Study Resources

To be sure, there’s a lack of free, quality materials available for the Civil PE Exam, and prep materials are often costly. However, all is not lost. Browse the list below to find some of the best free study resources for civil engineering that we found on the Web.

MIT Open Courseware –  The Massachusetts’ Institute of Technology offers free and open access to civil engineering course content. Use this resource to supplement your studies or to engage in a course of independent learning. Find close to 50 courses in the civil engineering field for downloading.

Fundamentals of Civil Engineering  –  This study guide, reviewed and approved by a professor of engineering at Utah State University, can help you strengthen your knowledge of nine fundamental civil engineering concepts.

Civil PE Prep  – When Kristin Wood was preparing for her PE exam, she regularly updated her blog with her thoughts of the study process and examples of problems she worked. While that time has passed, the blog is still available for aspiring engineers to gain some insight into what it’s like to study for the Civil PE exam.

Shear and Moment Diagram Formulas  – Thirty-two examples of shear and moment diagrams, complete with formulas, are available with this link. These are helpful for designing beams under different static loading conditions.

Engineering Licensure Exams Video Reviews –  Sixty-two hours of exam material are covered in these free video reviews located on The Texas A&M University website. The reviews address material on the General FE exam and the Civil Engineering PE exam.

How to Get Study Materials for the F.E. Exam  – This link offers good advice for purchasing textbooks for the General FE exam. Learn how to spend your money wisely.

Civil Engineering Practice Questions  –  Take advantage of a trial offer through this link. Take a free sample test containing 50 practice questions in civil engineering. Tests are written and approved by field experts, and each question offers a detailed rationale.

Civil Engineering Videos  –  Use these helpful videos to study for your PE exam. Watch the process as civil engineering problems, similar to ones that will be on the exam, are solved. As an alternative, write down each problem as it’s presented, pause the video and solve it before resuming and watching the solution.


Civil Engineering Teaching Resources

It’s never too early to start teaching students about civil engineering topics. Discover resources for elementary, high school and college students. From videos to full-blown projects, everything you need can be found here.

Lesson Plans from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) – Over 61 lesson plans related to civil engineering are available from this site. Lessons are tagged with the appropriate grade level. Lessons are available for K-12.

Utah Engineering Lesson Plans – Find modern applications for civil engineering in the form of lesson plans, handouts, demonstrations and worksheets. In addition, units on towers, bridges and water structures are also available.

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) – One goal of ICE is to allow teachers to “bring civil engineering to life in the classroom.” Choose from videos, slide presentations and detailed activities.

Cool Content and Activities  – Build a bridge out of index cards or design your own zip line. Find over 140 hands-on activities, videos, games and lesson plans related to civil engineering.

It’s Cool to be a Civil Engineer  – PBS Learning Media offers valuable supplemental resources for teachers via video segments and interviews based on civil engineering careers.

Merlot II  –  With this link, reach an educational portal that offers resources and learning materials for teachers of higher education. Find over 200 teaching and learning options in the civil engineering category.


Civil Engineering Journals

Read or share research articles or review articles or other relevant contributions with these civil engineering journals. Unlike many of the journals on the Web, these selections are open access.

Open Journal of Civil Engineering – The OJCE is an international journal that offers a platform to discuss and share issues as well as the latest developments in the field of engineering.

Journal of Civil Engineering and Construction Technology – The JCET offers full-length research articles, shorter pieces and reviews based on such areas as hydrology, soil mechanics, shear moments and forces and surveying.

Advances in Civil Engineering  – This journal offers peer-reviewed, open access material such as original research articles and review articles in the various areas of civil engineering.

Journal of Civil and Environmental Engineering – Based on the fields of civil and environmental engineering, this journal provides an open access platform to publish contributions.


Civil Engineering News

Stay up-to-date with the field of civil engineering by visiting one of the following news links. Find news, analysis, commentary, advice and much more.

Civil + Structural Engineer  – Whether you’re an owner or manager of a civil engineering firm, an independent engineer or other related professional, this resource provides news and advice on technology, design and regulations related to water systems, erosion control, transportation infrastructure, site development and historic preservation projects.

Science Daily  –  Read top, high-quality news stories provided by the world’s leading universities and research organizations. Use the search term “civil engineering” to find relevant stories.

Engineering News-Record  – Discover the news service that helps engineering industry professionals do their jobs more effectively. ENR reports on top design firms, construction companies and projects in the U.S. and the world.  –  Publishing more than 100 high-quality articles every day and reaching 1.75 million people, is a news service covering a full spectrum of topics, including civil engineering.


Civil Engineering Podcasts

Podcasts are the busy person’s answer to receiving valuable information on the go. Check out these six selections to find one – or more – that can become a favorite for information and advice related to civil engineering.

The Civil Engineering Podcast  –  With over 500,000 downloads, this podcast must be doing something right! Most likely, it’s the unique dedication it provides to civil engineers striving to develop their careers and lives in remarkable ways. Episodes include topics such as “The Path to Partnership from Experienced Civil Engineers” and “Marketing for Civil Engineering Firms.”

The Engineering Commons Podcast  – This podcast is hosted by four people who are practicing engineers and offers down-to-earth insights for those in the engineering field.

Beyond CAD by Civil FX – This blog is focused on 3D project visualizations in the field of civil engineering. As software programs evolve, so does the ability to create 3D modeling of roads, foundations, sites and bridges.

Keep it Civil  – From University College London (UCL) Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering comes this biweekly podcast that explores the world of engineering via talks with top engineers from the university.

Ask a Civil Engineer Podcast  – This podcast is hosted by Dan, a 30-something civil engineer from New England, who interviews civil engineers and other professionals in the field to provide their valuable insight to the audience. He routinely takes suggestions for podcast topics from listeners.

Dabldo Talk –  Host Brian Wagner shares tips and information for those in the civil engineering industry who are interested in career advancement, job-related tools or even insight into job market competition.


Civil Engineering Blogs

Civil  – Suryakanta Padhi, young civil engineer and part-time blogger, uses this blog to cover topics such as surveying, geotechnical engineering and construction materials with the goal of aiding other civil engineers in their quest to be one of the best in the field.

ASCE News Blog  – The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) blog promotes the civil engineering profession, provides leadership views and explores career growth all in keeping with current issues in the field.

Public Works Group     –  For civil engineers in need of research and planning ideas for the public works field, this blog examines land management, policy and civil engineering issues.

Urban Workbench  –  Urban planning, civil engineering and design are all concepts that are discussed and debated on this blog. In addition, useful, new technology is reviewed.

Goodspeed Update  – Rob Goodspeed, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, uses this blog as a way to promote topics about civil engineering such as planning and research.