Technology is radically altering civil engineering as we know it. The greatest changes are in areas like public works and construction, since they are under such pressure to do more with less. Anything that allows them to use resources more efficiently or avoid mistakes is quickly adopted. Here are six ways technology is transforming civil engineering as we know it. We’ll also explain why these technologies are having such an impact.

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Michigan Technological University civil engineering degree online, for example, is 100 percent online and nationally recognized. It is probably a better choice than earning an MBA or master’s in engineering at the state school closest to you.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things refers to the increasing intelligence of devices that report data back to central controllers. This may be your smart thermostat tracking how much energy you use and adjusting the thermal profile of your home to get your electric bill as low as possible. It includes power, water and gas meters reporting flow to the utility so that they have real time information. Then they can make decisions based on real-time demand and identify problems as quickly as possible. For example, one project is helping plumbers record leaks in real time while determining their location so that they can be fixed. This helps utilities minimize water waste, and that in turn eliminates the need to come up with new water supplies.

Several key technologies are radically transforming civil engineering as we know it because they dramatically lower costs, speed up work, or reduce the error rate. They can improve public safety and speed up response times to disasters as well.