10 Words for…Civil Engineering

In the engineering world, blueprints and measurements are straightforward. But even though numbers are universal, communicating on projects can present a challenge. Given the multicultural nature of our world today, language barriers often arise, which is why we’re here to help!

This blog series will explore the top 10 useful words for specific industries, so you can learn the English you can actually use in the real world. This week, we’re looking at some basic concepts and vocabulary words related to civil engineering.1. hydraulics (noun): parts of a machine or system that use the pressure of water or other liquids to move or lift things

Ex. In order to design an efficient pipe system, the civil engineer applied his knowledge of hydraulics to move the water smoothly through the building.

2. blueprint (noun): a diagram or technical drawing

Ex. Jane looked at the blueprint to figure out the exact dimensions of the building.

3. sector (noun): a specific area of economic or commercial activity, categorized as either public or private

Ex. Engineers work in either the public or private sector, which means they are involved in projects for public government or private corporate purposes.

4. discipline (noun): area of specialization

Ex. Civil engineering is traditionally broken down into more detailed disciplines focusing on applications within architectural, environmental, structural and transportation fields.

5. competency (noun): the ability to do something successfully or efficiently

Ex. In an increasingly multicultural world, civil engineers must possess a global competency to collaborate with coworkers from diverse cultures.

6. structure (noun): something built or constructed, like a bridge, building or dam

Ex. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is an interesting structure because it manages to have strong foundational support despite being tilted off center.

7. maintenance (noun): the process of keeping a structure in good condition or in working order by repairing it regularly

Ex. With proper maintenance, the pipe system throughout the old building should last for several years.

8. license (noun): a permit from an authority to engage in an act

Ex. The zoning department gave the engineering firm a license to build the apartment complex in the neighborhood.

9. infrastructure (noun): basic physical and organizational structures, like buildings and roads, needed for society

Ex. After the hurricane, the engineering firm helped rebuild the plumbing and road infrastructure around the devastated community.

10. model (noun): a three-dimensional representation of a proposed structure

Ex. She showed the investors her model, a scaled down version of the redesigned corporate headquarters.

For additional practice with industry-specific terms in English, check out the Unit Catalog in your Voxy course for more work-related materials!

Learn more about Voxy’s Career-Aligned Courses here.