Construction Engineering: Graduate Area of Work

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The gradsingapore Team
The gradsingapore Team
Construction Engineering

Primarily related to infrastructure in the built environment such as roads, railways, harbours, airports, tunnels, buildings and even facilities within buildings – like power generation and ventilation systems – core employers tend to fall into two categories.

The first are consultants, with organisations like Mott MacDonald, Surbana Jurong consultants and Arup counted within its ranks. Contractors such as Lendlease and Sembcorp Specialised Construction make up the second category.

These aren’t the only employers in the industry, though. Graduates may also find themselves approached by developers, retailers and even the public sector in the form of Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Housing Development Board (HDB).

Career overview

Fast-paced and with lots of teamwork, projects in this sector can vary in length from a scant few months to a decade from inception to completion. Moreover, depending on the complexity of the project, civil and structural engineers may find themselves being joined by specialists from other disciplines as well.

Typically, engineers are based in one geographical region, and are expected to travel to sites and client meetings. Available overseas opportunities tend to be optional should you prefer to stay on home turf.

Moreover, increased global awareness regarding environmental sustainability and pollution has also given environmental engineers a boost in this sector.

Trends and developments

Issues presently prevalent in this sector include cost efficiency and environmental sustainability. Clients, as well as the government, have also reduced their budgets for most projects, and the onus has fallen on engineers to find alternative solutions to minimise expenditure without compromising on quality and safety standards.

Rising concerns over chronic water shortages, global warming and sustainable energy use have also prompted engineers to keep an eye out for new and environmentally-friendly materials and processes, particularly in regards to carbon emissions and footprints.

Another trend is the growing use of advanced technology. 3D modelling technology, for instance, has burgeoned in popularity as it allows engineers to project and pinpoint setbacks in the planning stage, rather than encountering them after construction has begun.

Career highlights

Making a visible difference

Graduates working in this field tend to find great satisfaction in seeing their projects completed and making a difference to a local area.

Wide exposure

There’ll be opportunities to meet with, and learn from, engineers from other disciplines, leading to an enhanced understanding of the industry and engineering in general.

Working abroad

Certain positions with selected employers may also give graduates the chance to travel the world.

Required skills

  • Able to juggle several projects simultaneously and effectively
  • Able to work in a team
  • Basic understanding of other engineering disciplines
  • Good interpersonal skills