Sustainability and the formation of the civil engineer

Paul W. Jowitt

    Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)


    Civil engineering is changing and needs to change more. This paper attempts to put the evolution of technology and the development of engineering into its historical context, and with it the emergence of problems whose solutions extend beyond technology alone if they are to achieve systems-level solutions. The balancing of economic, social and environmental objectives, both now and into the future, has become known as sustainable development and this is increasingly a key driver at a range of organisational and spatial scales. It is argued that sustainable development is now absolutely central to the practice of civil engineering and this needs to be reflected in the education and training of civil engineers. The outcomes from an Institution of Civil Engineers task group to address these issues are reported. A systems- and process-based approach is advocated which depends on the development of specific attitudes, systems skills and domain knowledge. Some of the barriers to such an approach are recognised and ways of overcoming them are suggested and discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)79-88
    Number of pages10
    JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Engineering Sustainability
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


    • Education & training
    • Social impact


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