Educating the 21st Century Civil Engineer

“The road to success is always under construction.”
– Lily Tomlin

For centuries, civil engineers have dedicated themselves to serving the public. But as the world and society’s needs evolve, so does civil engineering. Ensuring the viability of the profession and the built environment begins with how 21st century civil engineers are educated.

In this episode of “ASCE Interchange,” Kevin Hall, professor of infrastructure engineering at the University of Arkansas and the chair of the 2019 Civil Engineering Education Summit program committee, discusses the future of civil engineering education.

The breadth of technical civil engineering knowledge is expanding and will likely continue to do so as the profession evolves. The emphasis on professional skills has also grown immensely. Current education systems must adapt to effectively prepare the next generation of engineers.

“One of the misconceptions of a lot of folks is that civil engineering education is absolutely a zero-sum game. If you add something in, you must take something out. We believe that through innovation in education we can begin to incorporate these professional skills into our current curricula and really not miss a beat,” said Hall.

He also discusses COVID-19’s impacts on the civil engineering education model.

To view all “Interchange” episodes, visit ASCE’s YouTube channel.

“ASCE Interchange” is brought to you by Contech Engineered Solutions, a leading provider of site solutions for the civil engineering industry. Contech’s portfolio includes bridges, drainage, erosion control, retaining wall, sanitary, stormwater and wastewater treatment products. For more info, visit or call 800-338-1122.

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  1. Perhaps you might look into the continuing project damage the lack of civil engineers with little to no education in why, what, and how to play nice with others is causing.

    Stop labelling these essential life skills as being “Soft.”

    When one analyses problems with projects using 4 categories . . . people, process, technolgy, and leadership,
    only 15% is attributed to technology. So given at the least some 75% or more are in the “Soft Skill” zone…..


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