Mathematical methods that every civil engineer needs to know

11/11/2022

In an industry that is vital towards the future construction of the country, civil engineers are in demand; with the number of engineering graduates needing to double to meet the projected industry demand. In fact, in the lead-up to this year, engineering companies reported to need 182,000 employees per year with relevant engineering skills.

On a civil engineering degree, students spend a lot of time learning the mathematical methods that civil engineers need to know: mastering this approach is essential for anyone who wants to have a successful career in the field, so keep reading to find out some of the techniques you can expect to learn about and how a BSc (Hons) Civil Engineering degree can support your ambitions in a challenging sector.

Differential Equations

A good understanding of differential equations is essential for any civil engineer who wants to be able to design and analyse complex systems.

Differential equations are one of the most important tools that civil engineers have at their disposal. They can be used to model everything from how fluids flow to how structures deform under loads; either linear or non-linear. Linear differential equations are much simpler to solve than non-linear ones, but they don't always provide an accurate representation of the real world. Non-linear differential equations are more complicated to solve, but they're often necessary if we want our results to be realistic.

Linear Algebra

Linear algebra is a powerful tool that can be used to model and solve problems in civil engineering. Consider the problem of designing a bridge, for example. The first step is to determine the type of bridge that you want to build. There are many different types of bridges, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Once you have chosen the type of bridge you want to build, you need to select the location where the bridge will be built. The next step is to determine the load that the bridge will need to support. This includes the weight of the vehicles that will cross the bridge, the wind load, and any other external forces that may act on the bridge. Once you have determined the loads that the bridge will need to support, you can begin to design the bridge structure. The structure of a bridge must be strong enough to support the loads it will experience during its lifetime. To design a safe and strong structure, engineers use linear algebra to calculate the stresses on individual members of the bridge. This allows them to identify potential failure points and design countermeasures to prevent collapse.

Calculus

Calculus is the mathematics of change, which makes it a natural fit for a profession like civil engineering that deals with the design and construction of physical infrastructure. Calculus can be used to model and understand complex systems like traffic flow, water distribution, and structural loads. It also allows civil engineers to optimise their designs by finding the most efficient way to use resources like time, money, and materials. Calculus is also used to analyse the stress distribution in a structure and to predict how it will respond to different loads.

If you are thinking about studying a civil engineering degree, then it is essential to have a good understanding of calculus. If you’re an A-level student applying to university, then a great way to get ahead is to get plenty of practice in solving calculus problems before starting your course.

Studying BSc (Hons) Civil Engineering Degree at Bolton University

Interested in studying a civil engineering degree?

At the University of Bolton, students become a valued member of our School of Engineering. Gaining access to our unique design studio space, which includes the latest computer-aided design (CAD) software and hardware, as well as an impressive range of other specialist facilities. Our students study in the heart of our supportive learning environment with the dedicated guidance of our passionate and experienced lecturers. This support is extended by the fact that our course has been designed to fully satisfy the educational basis for an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and to partially satisfy the basis for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.

Want to find out more? Click here to view our full course details.

Come and explore #UniAsItShouldBe by booking on one of our Open Days. Speak to our students and lecturers and find out why we have been voted first for Student Satisfaction for the past five years*.

For more information, contact us by email at enquiries@bolton.ac.uk or call us on 01204 903807.

*Complete University Guide – 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019 – Northwest

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