Have little to ZERO knowledge about Civil & Environmental Engineering? Don't worry, you are not the only one. In this edition of #SeniorsTalk, we have the privilege of inviting the Chairperson of NTU CEEvil War 2019, Bryan Goh, who himself is a Year 4 Civil Engineering student, to tell us anything we want to know about the faculty, and hopefully be able to make better university decisions from there. On a personal level, I've actually been greatly intrigued by CEE before, but the mystery and uncertainty of it all eventually led me down a different path. This made me wonder, if I had a mentor then that could tell me more about the course, maybe - just maybe - I might be an engineering student today.. 🤔🤔
1) What made you choose to enter CEE and why NTU instead of other local universities?
As a child, I have always genuinely been curious about the building structures around me, wondering how they could be built so high yet so sturdy. It is actually amazing to see how buildings, roads and waterways came be made from scratch (virtually nothing!) to the massive actual sizes they soon become. I like to see architects as the dreamers and civil engineers as the realisers of these architects' dreams. Civil engineering, being the oldest form of engineering, has continuously evolved as it is a field where new and novel solutions are always required for the issues in our environment today, thus ensuring a good variety of prospective jobs in a number of civil engineering specialisations.
Personally, I joined NTU because of the study culture over here. It’s common to see students working together across different nationalities and races during projects. At the same time, it’s easy to find someone who is willing to help you with particular modules as well. Furthermore, NTU offers a second major in Society and Urban Systems, which provides me with skills necessary in designing solutions in a complex, multi-faceted built environment, ensuring that designs are not just structurally sound, but are designed with people in mind.
2)What are some of the common misconceptions that people have of CEE students? How different is it from reality?
Some people may see CEE students in our dirtiest attires and times: working in the concrete lab making samples or working with soil samples at test sites. However, civil engineering has become more than just mixing concrete and digging up earth. Nowadays, civil engineering projects employ robotics and modelling software to understand and improve current methods. Being a student in CEE does not mean that you would automatically be in a construction firm after graduation. Some CEE students can also venture into consultancy firms where they mainly do design work to ensure the stability of their structures using advanced calculation softwares and technology. Some students can even major in urban planning and development.
3)What are the best and worst things of CEE?
Civil Engineering actually has a broad variety of specialisations ranging from structures, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, hydraulics and hydrologic engineering, construction project management. After advancing beyond a bachelor’s degree, there are even more unique specialisations like fire safety and blast engineering. A CEE student can definitely find something that peaks his or her interests through the different exposure modules in the different specialisations.
However, undeniably civil engineering is rigorous in terms of the amount of build-up where a strong understanding of basic modules is required to grasp concepts in higher level modules. It’s not possible to just wing it during the exams as most questions would require you to understand underlying concepts. Rest assured, though, that the passionate professors in school will prepare you enough for their papers if you put in the proportionate amount of effort. They are also always ready for consultations and will go the extra mile to sometimes even entertain late-night, last minute questions via text.
4)What are some advices you would give to your prospective juniors who are considering your faculty courses as a degree?
I would say that only in Civil Engineering that you are spoilt for choice of specialisations and future career prospects as you are given such a wide range of different specialisations based on skills and interest. To all the prospective juniors out there, I would say that many CEE students eventually find something they like along the way and if you have even an interest in contributing to the built environment around you, this may just be the right course for you.
Study groups are definitely essential to help you get through tough times and tough modules. I’ve always relied on my friends who are better at particular modules to explain to me the concepts which I don’t get and in return, I’ll help them in those I’m better at. Sometimes, especially when it comes to practicing past year exam papers, it’s always good to have a second point-of-view with regards to answers since some papers are not provided with answers.
5)Why should I join and what should I expect from CEEvil FOP 2019?
CEEvil War 2019, in its fourth edition this year, is packed with fun-filled activities to help you meet friends that will last a lifetime. Rest assured that there are talks to help you integrate into the NTU way of life and to help you understand more about what it is like as a Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering or Maritime Studies student (the 3 courses of our faculty) in NTU. Do come for four days of OG bonding, adventures and exciting games and events that you will not regret!
With that, Seniorsays.sg would like to thank Bryan for his insightful contribution and we hope you have learnt more about NTU CEE after this! Ultimately, we hope his experience provides you a glimpse of the life of a typical NTU Civil Engineering student that will help you make better university decisions as you transition into adulthood. Should you wish to learn more about the other university-related contents that we have OR contribute, do feel free to explore think.seniorsays.sg and write in to us today! 😉