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eduFacts about civil engineering
what's an eduFact?

Good question! We made up the term to define a series of short articles we wrote about civil engineering.

A lot of people are a bit 'fuzzy' about what civil engineers do and what civil engineering involves. We thought that we'd try to remedy that by writing a series of short articles that describe some aspect of civil engineering.

We've written the articles without a lot of technical jargon, but have kept just enough to help you expand your vocabulary and perhaps pique your interest...


Most of us prefer visual images to written text, and the broad scope of civil engineering is best explained using images. These pages contain a combination of text and graphics to introduce you to the field of civil engineering. Where possible, we've given credit to the copyright holder or photographer — if we've erred, or neglected to give credit where due, please write and let us know.


Aqueducts & the Arch — The Romans built this two-tiered aqueduct 1900 years ago without mortar and it still functions today.


Galileo & the Birth of Mechanics of Materials — The remarkable Italian scientist attempted to define mathematically the fundamental principles of stress analysis and material behavior.

the glulam tree

the Glulam Tree — This innovative and whimsical structure mimics the way that trees support loads and makes full use of the potential of glued-laminated timber, or glulam, as it is more commonly known.

the Golden Gate Bridge — Still considered by many to be the classic suspension bridge of all time. Includes a brief explanation of the engineering principles behind a suspension bridge.

the Great Wall of China — This 3200 kilometer marvel is said to be the only man-made object on the earth visible from space.

the Ironbridge — Built in 1779, this bridge over the Severn River in England was the first bridge in the world built using cast iron as its primary material.

Painting a highway — Why would you paint a highway? And how would you go about it if you wanted to?

Earthquakes 101 — Do you know that the 1949 Queen Charlotte Islands earthquake (magnitude 8.1) was the most severe Canadian earthquake in the 20th century? Learn more with this tutorial on earthquakes and seismicity.