What is the difference between Civil Engineering and Architecture? The way I think of it, Civil Engineers design and build dams, roads, bridges and the foundations for buildings, among other things. Within Civil Engineering, you can major in Structural Engineering – dealing with the internal buildings structure. Will it stand up? What about in a fire? Architects design the look of the building and the layout of rooms, which will influence the air flow and heating systems, as well as the mood and feeling of the individual in the space.
Although this degree may seem to be directed towards majoring in Structural Engineering, you can choose any Civil major. The design skills you gain will also develop the way you think about a problem. Understanding the role and practice of an architect is useful in collaborative projects. Engineers work in teams so it is important to build good communication and teamwork skills, and to learn to respect the diversity of your team members.
I’m currently in my 2nd year of a Bachelor of Civil Engineering with Architecture. I chose this degree because I had been really interested in architecture when I was younger but I also discovered in high school that I really like maths, science and the challenges and satisfaction of that kind of problem solving. At the university Open Day, I realised that I wanted to be a civil engineer in a collaborative team working on new structures that pushed the boundaries of standard buildings and bridges today.
Engineers look at problems through maths, mechanics and materials while architects observe and solve problems through drawings, models and writing to find the new imaginative idea for their design. The combination of these two different approaches means you learn to balance and switch between different ways of thinking about a problem, which creates innovative solutions.
The Civil Engineering with Architecture degree program can be a lot of work at times, and it can be difficult to strike the right balance between civil study and exams and architecture designs and assignments. My first semester of university seemed like a blur, everything seemed to go so fast. I learnt so much and was making rapid adjustments to university life in such as short period of time. Some students decided that it wasn’t the degree for them and transferred to either Civil Engineering or Architecture. I had my doubts too but stayed with the degree and came out of that semester feeling really happy and satisfied with how far I had come and what I had accomplished.
One of my design projects from last session: Above ground studio designed for Rosalie Gascoigne and below ground studio designed for Tracey Moffat.