Civil engineering

Civil engineering is the design and fabrication of structures for improving the way we live and work and for enabling rapid, safe and high-volume transportation. Examples include building roads, railways, bridges, canals, skyscrapers and factories. Modern civil engineering often places a focus on aesthetic considerations and environmental impact.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion |

    Traditional coastal protection methods that rely on built, hard structures like seawalls may not be effective to keep pace with a changing climate. Nature-based coastal defences based on habitat restoration can be an adaptive coastal protection alternative.

    • Rebecca L. Morris
    • , Anthony Boxshall
    •  & Stephen E. Swearer
    Nature Climate Change 10, 485-487
  • Comments and Opinion |

    The world is not on track to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 on clean water and sanitation by 2030. We urge a rapid change of the economics, engineering and management frameworks that guided water policy and investments in the past in order to address the water challenges of our time.

    • Claudia W. Sadoff
    • , Edoardo Borgomeo
    •  & Stefan Uhlenbrook
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Characterizing infrastructure vulnerability to climate change is essential given the long asset lives, criticality of services delivered and high costs of upgrading and maintaining these systems. Reconciling uncertainty from past infrastructure design decisions with future uncertainty of climate change will help prioritize limited resources to high risk assets.

    • Mikhail V. Chester
    • , B. Shane Underwood
    •  & Constantine Samaras
    Nature Climate Change 10, 488-490
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Climate change will increase the intensity and frequency of a range of natural hazards, from floods to wildfires, which impact the built environment. More research is needed on buildings and infrastructure performance under different climate-driven events to support recovery predictions and effective mitigation policies.

    • Hussam Mahmoud
    Nature Climate Change 10, 482-485
  • Comments and Opinion |

    An international expert panel probes how engineers, architects and behavioural scientists can work together to learn about design behaviour for sustainability — and what all interested scholars and practitioners might learn from it.

    • Leidy Klotz
    • , John Pickering
    • , Ruth Schmidt
    •  & Elke U. Weber
    Nature Sustainability 2, 1067-1069