Civil Engineering

civil banner 5Civil engineer, abbreviated as CE, is someone that works with planning the design and construction of facilities such as buildings, environmental and water projects, transportation, etc.


  • CVL - civil
  • CE - Civil Engineer
  • LS - Licensed/Land Surveyor


Civil Engineering Subtopics

Civil Engineering


Civil Associations


Civil Related Articles


Professional Engineering Licence


Civil Terms


  • Angle  -  Two rays sharing a common point.
  • Aquifer  -  Undergroung layers of saturated rock and sediment through which water is stored and can move.
  • Azimith  -  The direction of a line related to north.


  • Back sight (BS)  -
  • Back tangent (BT)  -
  • Bar spacing  -  The minimum spacing should allow the largest expected concrete gravel size to pass between the bars freely.
  • Beam  -  A structural shape used to carry a load on its horizontal axis.
  • Bearing  -  An angle in degrees measured clockwise from north.
  • Beginning of vertical curve (BVC)  -
  • Bench mark (BM)  -  A relatively fixed point whose coordinates and elevation datum are used for leveling and construction.
  • Borrow  -  Material taken from one location to be used in another.
  • Borrow pit  -  A bank or pit where earth is taken from for use as fill elsewhere.
  • Boulder  -  A large detatched rock.
  • Boulder wall  -  A wall constructed of boulders and set in morter.
  • Boundary survey  -  A mathematically closed diagram of the complete outside boundary of a site.
  • Building restriction line (BRL)  -
  • Building setback line (BSL)  -


  • Capped rebar (CRB)  -
  • Center line (CL)  -
  • Chord  -  A line segment on the interior of a circle.
  • Clay  -  A soft, loose, fine grained natural soil mineral less than 4 micrometers.
  • Coarse Aggregate  -  Any particle between 3/8 and 1.5 inches in diameter.
  • Cobble  -  Rock fragments between 3 and 6 inches in size.
  • Collapse slump  -  The fresh concrete collapses completely.
  • Closed joint  -  A joint that is invisible or barely visible between two adjacent slabs or stones.
  • Column  -  A structural shape used to carry a load on its vertical axis.
  • Concrete  -  A composite material that is created by mixing binding materials, aggregates, and water in specific porportions.
  • Concrete monument found (Con Mon F)  -
  • Concrete slump  -  An on the spot test to determine the consistancy and workability of fresh concrete.
  • Corner  -  The location of intersecting boundary lines.
  • Coordinate system  -  A grid where the axes are apart 90 degrees.
  • Corrosion  -  A process through which metal deterioates and returns to its natural oxidation state by a chemical reaction.
  • Culvert  -  A pipe or tunnel that carrys a stream under a road or highway.


  • Datum  -  An abstract coordinate system used to reference a known location.
  • Dead load  -  The full weight or pressure applied downward to a fixed location on the ground and relatively constant over time.  The weight is usually measured in pounds per square foot (psf).  The dead load can be calculated accurately because the load is constant.
  • Deep well  -  A well that draws water from beneath an impermeable stratum.
  • Deflection circular curve (DC)  -  The deflection angle for a full circular angle measures from tangent at PC or PT.
  • Density  -  The ratio of the amount of matter in an object compared to its volume.
  • Dynamic pressure  -  The amount of total pressure resulting from the media velocity.


  • Easement  -  The legal right to use another persons personal property.
  • East boundry line (EBL)  -
  • Elastic modulus  -  The ratio of the stress applied to a body or substance to the resulting strain within the elastic limits.
  • End of vertical curve (EVC)  -
  • Existing iron pipe (EIP)  -


  • Footing  -  Distributes the weight of a building or structure foundation, walls and columns.  Footings are generally associated with shallow foundations.  Piers are normally associated with deeper foundations.
  • Forward shot (FS)  -
  • Foeward tangent (FT)  -
  • Found (FD or FND)  -
  • Foundation  -  Supports a building or structure and transfers the load level across the soil.
  • Friction  -  The mechanical resistance to the relative movement of two surfaces.
  • Friction coefficient  -  The ratio between two contacting surfaces and the frictional force that resists the normal force of the object.


  • General property parcel map (GPPM)  -
  • Grade of back tangent (\(g_1\))  -
  • Grade of foeward tangent (\(g_2\))  -
  • Grid north  -  The direction of the north-south grid lines on a state plane coordinate system.
  • Gunter's Chain  - A distance of 66 feet or 4 poles.



  • Individual property parcel map (IPPM)  -
  • Instrument height (HI)  -
  • Intermediate shot (IS)  -
  • Iron pipe/pin found (IPF)  -
  • Iron pipe/pin set (IPS)  -
  • Iron rod found (IRF)  -
  • Iron rod set (IRS)  - 




  • Licensed/Land Surveyor # (LS)  -
  • Lightweight concrete  -  This concrete has strengthening properties that are not the same as normal concretes, with the mixing of binding materials, a lighter aggregate, and water in specific porportions.
  • Limit of disturbance (L.O.D.)  -
  • Live load  -  These loads are the dynamic forces from occupancy and use.  They are the forces that move through the building such as momentum and vibration.  But also included are appliances, cars, furnature, people, etc.  The weight is usually measured in pounds per square foot (psf).  The live load can not be calculated exactly because it can change over time.
  • Long chord (LC)  -
  • Long tangent (LT)  -
  • Low point (LP)  -


  • Magnetic concrete nail (MAG)  -  Stamped on top of nail.  Makes them easier to be found by metal detectors.
  • Magnetic north  -  The direction in which a magnetic needle of a compass points.
  • Manning equation  -  Is a commonly used equation for the uniform flow in open channels.
  • Meridian  -  An imaginary north-south lines converging at the north and south poles.
  • Minimum building setback (MBS)  -
  • Monument  -  A physical object uesd to fix the location of a property corner or line.


  • Nail in power pole (NPP)  -
  • Nail on top of corner fence post (NTCFP)  -
  • Nail on top of fence post (NTFP)  -
  • No monument found (NMS)  -
  • North boundary line (NBL)  -
  • Not to scale (NTS)  -


  • Overhead electric (OHE)  -
  • Oxidation  -  The loss of electrons in a chemical reaction.


  • Point of beginning (POB)  -  In a survey it describe the point at which a meets and bounds description begins.
  • Point of compound curvature (PCC)  -  A point where curves of different radii meet.
  • Point of ending (POE)  -  In a survey it description to describe the point at which a meets and bounds description ends.
  • Point of intersection (PI)  -  A point where two non-parallel lines intersect.
  • Point of reverse curve (PRC)  -  The point in an S-type compound curve where two curves of different polarity meet.
  • Point of tangency (PT)  -  The point at which a curve ends and a straight line begins.
  • Point on circular curve (POC)  -
  • Point on curve (PC)  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Point on line (POL)  -  When the endpoint can not be seen from the transit or even may fall in the water.
  • Pressure  -  It is the force exerted perpendicular to the surface of an object and is expressed as force per unit area.
  • Private storm drain easement (PSDE)  -
  • Property line (PL)  -
  • Public drainage easement (PDE)  -


  • Quarter corner  -  A corner halfway between the corners of a section.


  • Radius of a circular curve (R)  -
  • Radius point (RP)  -
  • Rebar and cap (R/C)  -
  • Reinforced concrete  -  Concrete containing steel reinforcement (steel rods or mesh) provides resistance to internal forces that weaken the structure.
  • Right of way (R/W)  -
  • Roughness coefficient  -  Measures the roughness of the flow against the ground surface in an open channel.


  • Section  -  A portion of a township, approximately 1 square mile (640 acres +/-).
  • Set concrete monument (SCM)  -
  • Set MAG nail (SMN)  -
  • Shear slump  -  If one half of the cone slides down an inclined plane.
  • Shear Modulus  -  The ratio of the tangential force per unit area applied to a body or substance to the resulting tangential strain within the elastic limits.
  • Shear stress  -  Tends to deform the material by breaking rather than stretching without changing the volume by restraining the object.
  • Short tangent (ST)  -
  • Silt  -  Finer than sand but coarser than clay.
  • Slurry  -  The measurement of the height loss from a compacted cone of fresh concrete.
  • Southern boundary line (SBL)  -
  • Span  -  The distance between supports.
  • Steel rebar (SR)  -
  • Steel rebar set (SRS)  -


  • Tangent  -  A line that touches a curve at just one point such that it is perpendicular to a radius line of the curve.
  • Thermal expansion coefficient  -  The percentage change in the length of the material per degree of temperature change, heated solid or liquid.
  • Torque  -  It is a measure of how much twisting is applied.
  • Township  -  A quadrangle having sides approximatelly 6 miles in length with parallels and medians.
  • Traverse  -  A series of randomly located survey lines run in order to locate something or set property corners.  The distance and angles between points are measured to pindown locations.
  • True north  -  A direction parallel to the earth's axis pointing to the north pole.
  • True slump  -  The concrete just slumps a little and more or less maintains its moulding shape.
  • Turn angle  -  Using an instrument to measure or set an angle.
  • Turning point (TP)  -


  • Utility easement (UE)  -


  • Vertical distsnce from VPI to curve (E)  -
  • Vertical point of intersection (VPI)  -


  • Weephole  -  A hole that allows water to escape from, such as the bottom of pipe support to stop corrosion, or from behind a retaining wall to relieve pressure.
  • West boundary line (WBL)  -
  • Witness corner (WC)  -




  • Zero slump  -  The fresh concrete maintaines the actual shape of the mould.


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Equipment Location Plan