Discussion Thread

  • 1.  The Attention Civil Engineers get in the Media

    Posted 06-10-2021 02:29 PM
    When I was shown this video of John Oliver explaining where civil engineers are in the media and cinema, I started wondering how and why engineers get stereotyped.


    Infrastructure is an art form, yet without the artists behind the camera as well as in front, the artists are not receiving much attention in the public eye. What kind of attention have you seen brought up to engineers when political accidents and structural tragedies come to the forefront in the media? And is it comparable to people being passed by everyday, getting blank recognition until everyone else is paying the price?

    Alexander Granato A.M.ASCE
    Bexley OH

  • 2.  RE: The Attention Civil Engineers get in the Media

    Posted 06-18-2021 06:22 PM
    I think that a lot of the general public isn't fully aware of the process and personnel involved to create a piece of infrastructure. So most of the time, unless a tragedy occurs around a privately owned structure, "the government" is where people tend to direct their feelings to. There are a number of layers between public perception of infrastructure and the engineers who design it. These include the current property user (if its a building being leased), the owner of the infrastructure, the regulating body, the construction company, the design company, and finally the person on the design team.

    Personally I think this is pretty normal in the world.  We look at advertisements every day and don't know the content creator or the graphic designer. We wear clothing without meeting the garment-maker, and eat food when we haven't met the farmer. 

    Society is a collective, and personally I am okay with the lack of personal attention that civil engineers receive on most projects. The infrastructure itself could definitely gain more awareness though, particularly with respect to the national state of disrepair the USA is in.

    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer