March 16, 2023

‘The future is primed for substantial growth’

The civil engineering program at NDSU provides students with hands-on learning experiences that prepares them to design sustainable solutions for societal challenges today and into the future.

The ABET-accredited program focuses on the development of sustainable infrastructure and is designed to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills they need to design, manage and construct projects. The curriculum provides students with a broad-based education in all aspects of civil engineering, including environmental engineering.

NDSU junior and civil engineering student, Aba Turner, said she feels prepared and confident thanks to her experience in the program. “Through challenging coursework, labs and different projects you can tell NDSU truly wants to prepare you for success post-graduation,” she said. She said the Fluid Mechanics Lab is a highlight of NDSU’s civil engineering program.

“The Fluid Mechanics lab has been so beneficial with putting what I’ve learned in the classroom into a controlled, hands-on environment,” said Turner, from Jackson, Minnesota. “We can use what we’ve learned in the lab setting to help solve real-world challenges. For example, we can measure both pipe and channel flow to determine how fast water streams through our sewer system when it storms. That knowledge is vital in ensuring our infrastructure works as efficiently as possible so we can avoid overflow and transport the water for proper sanitation.”

Turner always knew she wanted to major in civil engineering. The choice was easy when it came time to choose a college.

“NDSU’s engineering program is phenomenal and has a great reputation throughout the entire university as well as nationally. Plus, the faculty is extremely helpful,” Tuner said. “They are always willing to explain things in a way that makes sense to you personally.”

“Prospective students should consider NDSU because you get all of the amenities of a large university with the personality of a small university,” Turner said. “You’ll feel comfortable, safe and right at home.”

The program's reach goes beyond the classroom. Student organization Engineers Without Borders allows NDSU students to work on real world infrastructure projects around the world. Civil engineering student Alena Pringle said her experience in the group has been invaluable to her education.

“Our current project is in Guatemala where we are designing a water distribution system for a small community,” Pringle said. “Community members must walk three miles roundtrip to get access to water. But our distribution system will provide clean water right outside their homes for the first time in their lives.

“It’s just a great opportunity for NDSU students to apply classroom knowledge into practice and have a real impact on people's lives.”

The future of the civil engineering field is primed for substantial growth, according to Achintya Bezbaruah, professor of civil engineering and advisor for Engineers Without Borders.

“Civil engineering is projected to grow about 7 percent between now and 2031. With the monumental Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act providing $880 billion aimed at modernizing highways, repairing bridges, replacing rail transit, renewing airports, and technology innovation, the demand for civil engineers will grow even more,” said Bezbaruah. “Since 2018, the median salary of a practicing civil engineer has risen by about 20 percent to $120,000, with the entry-level median salary being at $67,000. NDSU records almost 100 percent job placement in civil engineering before or immediately after graduation. Many students having multiple job offers to choose from.”

For a closer look at NDSU’s civil engineering program, visit the official university YouTube channel.

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