Discussion Thread

Software Programs in Civil Engineering

  • 1.  Software Programs in Civil Engineering

    Posted 01-24-2019 10:36 PM

    What are the must know software programs for any Civil Engineer?

    Kelvin Msechu S.M.ASCE
    Chattanooga TN

  • 2.  RE: Software Programs in Civil Engineering

    Posted 01-25-2019 05:35 AM

    The maximum civil engineers are using ETABS and staad pro for analysis , AutoCAD and Revit for modeling and designing, Primavera P6 for management and execl sheets will be most one used in civil engineering sector. Hope your doubt got clarified. 

    If any queries mail me pmansoor.baba@...

    Mansoor Baba Aff.M.ASCE
    Anantapur AP
    919491 765115

  • 3.  RE: Software Programs in Civil Engineering

    Posted 01-25-2019 08:26 AM
    It may vary depending on which branch of civil engineering you use, but here is the software I use and understand to be prevalent as a structural engineer in Michigan:

    For drafting:
    AutoCAD basically everwhere.
    Revit is becoming more popular.

    For design:
    RAM Structural Systems for building design
    RISA for more detailed analysis of more complex parts of buildings (like stairs, frames not designed with RAM, canopies, and columns with more loads than can be easily entered in RAM)

    I believe Tekla Structures is also somewhat common (in place of RAM), but I dont know that for sure (I don't use it)

    Other software I use that I don't know has widespread use:
    Tekla Tedds: Great for single member calcs with a clear, thorough reports for the member's properties and design. 
    Struware: calculates loads on your structure based on code provisions (IBC and ASCE 7-10)

    Paul Chabot P.E., M.ASCE
    Structural & Forensic Engineer
    Grosse Pointe Woods MI

  • 4.  RE: Software Programs in Civil Engineering

    Posted 01-26-2019 06:48 AM

    I am providing a background from different regions.

    CSi Products; particularly SAP2000 and ETABS, are the main software used in almost the entire Middle East owing to dealing with earthquake events as no other software is that trustable.  

    In Oceania, engineers mostly use Microstran software. ETABS is also widely used.

    In South East Asia, different solution are being used todays. 

    In the United State, Most of engineers use CSi products too.

    To conclude, If you are dealing with seismic analysis or lateral analysis, ETABS and following it SAP2000 are the best as they practically used for mega towers like, Borj Dubai, Taipei 101, Petronas Tower, TRX tower, etc.
    CSi products have been furnished with very high standard features for both research and practical use which I strongly believe no one has.

    For routing use or daily basis practice, Bentley package is one of the good options like STAAD PRO, RAM Structural Systems, etc.

    Khaled Ghaedi M.ASCE
    Senior Structural Engineer & Software Consultant
    H/P: 6017 3406048

  • 5.  RE: Software Programs in Civil Engineering

    Posted 01-26-2019 06:49 AM
    1). Autocad
    2). Civil 3d
    3). Revit

  • 6.  RE: Software Programs in Civil Engineering

    Posted 01-26-2019 06:54 AM
    dd. pro - It is a 3D structural analysis and engineering design software. SAP 2000 - It's a most popular structural analysis and design software in the civil engineering world. ... MATLAB and PTC MathCAD – It is used for numerical analysis and mathematical operations
    • Autocad( For 2d )
    • Primavera( For project planning)
    • Geo Studio( slope/w for slope stability analysis)
    • Revit Architecture( For Building Designing)
    • GNIT( Used in Application of Soil Mechanics)
    • MIDAS( Structural Design and analysis)
    • POWER RAIL TRACK( Used in Indian Railways)
    • 3DS MAX( For 3d designing)

  • 7.  RE: Software Programs in Civil Engineering

    Posted 01-27-2019 08:37 PM
    Dear Kelvin, 

    The "Civil Engineer" is really a broad term! Which field in Civil engineering you are interested in?! Based on that you might find the proper answer to your question. 


    Hamzah Beakawi A.M.ASCE
    King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minierals

  • 8.  RE: Software Programs in Civil Engineering

    Posted 01-27-2019 08:52 PM
    As others have said, it depends on what sector of Civil Engineering you are pursuing. If you do structural engineering you will likely be exposed to Structural Modeling Software (STAAD, RISA). If you are doing Water Resource Engineer, you might be exposed to water modeling (WaterCAD, GIMS), 

    Some software that I highly recommend all engineers learn are:

    - AutoCAD Having the capability to produce and manipulate CAD models can be beneficial in planning and engineering design. You don't have to be an expert, but knowing basic functions can be enough to get good value out of the software and improve productivity,  

    - Excel: Knowing how to create spreadsheets can improve productivity and help you with engineering calculations. Many engineering calculations can be complex and having the ability to create a spreadsheet that can give you the answer you need is a valuable skill. 

    Zaid Admani P.E., Aff.M.ASCE
    Sugar Land TX

  • 9.  RE: Software Programs in Civil Engineering

    Posted 01-27-2019 08:52 PM
    As a graduate student in civil engineering, I would say that AutoCAD is probably the most widely used regardless of the sector where you are. As a civil engineer, everyone needs to have an idea of drafting and being able to read the drawings.

    My specialization is construction engineering and management, and I am using Revit a lot. I also instruct Revit for undergraduate students. Enenthough AutoCAD is widely used, Revit is much more advanced and easier. 3D modeling is today's hot topic. BIM is becoming very popular (Revit is a BIM software). I really like that civil engineering students are learning Revit in their curriculum. Technology in civil engineering is getting sophisticated and at the same time easier because different stakeholders can participate, which makes construction simpler and faster.

    Of course, software vary according to the field. I can see lot of structural software names mentioned in earlier threads. You need to define your field and then the suitable software. The most important thing, in my view is the concept of engineering. No matter which software you use, the fundamental of working is the same. It is just that we need some time to get used to the software.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Aakash Parajuli S.M.ASCE
    Tuscaloosa AL

  • 10.  RE: Software Programs in Civil Engineering

    Posted 01-28-2019 10:08 AM

    I would second what many have said here and say that it really depends on your concentration.

    For Transportation, at least in the US, Bently MicroStation and it's suite of products (GEOPAK, Open Roads, etc.) are the primary modeling software.  Most, if not all, Departments of Transportation from the federal to the state level require you to use MicroStation.  Since the software is less accessible I didn't use it until I started working.  In college I primarily used AutoCAD, which a lot of local municipalities still accept or even prefer.

    One that's been said before that everyone should know is excel and really all Microsoft Office suite products (Powerpoint, Outlook, Word, etc.).  Excel is probably the most important and most in depth of those programs though.  Learning how to write equations and scripts to manage your data is an essential skill.  Whenever you find yourself repeating a simple task often, you can usually simplify it.

    You'll also want to be familiar with PDF editing tools, from the more basic like Adobe to the more advanced like BluBeam Revu.  Doing mark-ups digitally is the future and being proficient with these tools is going to be essential.  In Michigan, we use BluBeam with MDOT projects and use the sessions feature to allow multiple people to comment on the same PDF simultaneously.

    You'll also likely run into specific software that isn't widely used outside your sector.  For MDOT there's a number of software programs they've developed (or Universities in the region have) that you'll need to learn.  Listing them wouldn't do you any good, but the point is to work on learning new things quickly and always be on the lookout for new things to learn.

    On the traffic side there's programs like VISSIM and SYNCHRO and other's I'm sure.  I haven't used these in some time, as I don't do much traffic engineering, just Transportation Engineering.

    So in short, it varies greatly depending on what you want to do. Be familiar with at least one type of CAD software and it'll make it easier to learn a different type.  Starting with AutoCAD is a good idea as it's widely accessible and translates to other software well.  Know excel, Microsoft Office suite products, and PDF review tools.  That will serve as a great base for you to learn more industry specific software from there.  Happy learning!

    James Smith P.E., A.M.ASCE
    Project Engineer
    Grand Rapids MI

  • 11.  RE: Software Programs in Civil Engineering

    Posted 01-30-2019 09:42 PM
      |   view attached
    Get familiar with as many as you can. If youre a student the amount of free subscriptions and training certifications are endless. Im not saying learn all of them, but get a feel or at least a look at what they are and do. Here are my recommendations:

    TRIMBLE. Anything with trimble, just follow them on linkedin and see how everything they touch turns into gold. 
    CAD software are all the same more or less. Those you should have a feel for them since inception.
    B2W is an amazing and powerful cost analysis-Bid software that has evolved over the years and know go beyond just cost estimating process.
    HeavyBid another great for costs.
    Plangrd, Procore, Planview are all easy to learn and extremely useful cloud based software for easy project interaction among participating groups.
    Attched you'll find a great guide for software ranking, companies who use them, and projections. Yes it says construction, but they're all more than anything project planning type software tools for civil engineers. 

    Eugenio Alonso S.M.ASCE
    Project Engineer/Assistant Project Manager
    Miami FL