Pankaj Saharia : Civil vs. Structural Engineering

Pankaj Saharia is a structural engineer with both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. He is passionate about his field and has decades of experience working on projects around the globe. Fellow engineers and business associates know Pankaj Saharia as an intelligent engineer who reliably manages structural design and seismic analysis of commercial, academic and residential buildings.

Mr. Saharia has been a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for over twenty-five years and a member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for over ten years. He has passed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP) exams and maintains a positive professional reputation.When examining the career of a successful structural engineer like Mr. Saharia, it’s easy to assume that civil engineering and structural engineering are the same thing. Structural engineers are often members of civil engineering societies like ASCE and both professions sound similar.

Key points about civil and structural engineering, like those touched on below, will help you understand the differences between the two:

• Civil Engineering : Civil engineering is one of the oldest engineering fields. It dates to the first shelters constructed by humans and is taught at educational institutions worldwide as an undergraduate degree course. After completing studies in civil engineering, students typically specialize in one of its many subcategories, which include:

o Structural Engineering
o Geotechnical Engineering
o Transportation Engineering
o Environmental Engineering

• Structural Engineering : Structural engineering is, as noted above, a subcategory of civil engineering. It focuses on the design, analysis, construction and maintenance of structures and objects of all types, including bridges, dams, buildings and even vehicles.
Structural engineering is taught at educational institutions worldwide as a civil engineering specialization as a Master’s or Doctorate course.

• Key Differences : The key differences between civil engineering and structural engineering are in the focus. A civil engineer focuses more on design elements. A structural engineer focuses more on whether the materials and design can support the object or building. This is not, however, to say that structural engineers do not focus on the design, as evidenced by the following interview excerpt from Mr. Saharia.

“My aspiration in life is to make this world lively and peaceful by contributing as much as possible. As a Structural Engineer by heart I would love to be a part of the building process of this beautiful world and make it livable.”For students interested in structural or civil engineering, starting with a civil engineering degree will help you learn more about where your passions lie as an engineer. In a civil engineering degree program, you will learn about each subcategory of the trade and be better equipped to make your decision. If you’re considering a career in structural or civil engineering, speaking with an industry professional like Pankaj Saharia can give you a better perspective on the field.

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About Pankaj Saharia Shrewsbury

Pankaj Saharia is a civil engineer and project manager who makes his home in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. He attended Gauhati University in India, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1987, and the University of Detroit, where he received his Masters degree in civil engineering in 1992. He has gone on to complete numerous structures.He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
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