COVID-19 and Civil Engineering

Over 14 months into a global pandemic, you’d be hard-pressed to think of an industry that hasn’t been drastically impacted. Like many professions and industries, the effects of COVID-19 on civil engineering in Rockville, MD have been dramatic. Even though things are returning to “normal,” there have still been some shifts that will continue indefinitely—perhaps even permanently. Here are some of the trends in civil engineering:

  • Finding a way to work remotely: Most companies and industries have pivoted to remote work during the pandemic, whenever possible. In civil engineering, that’s not always feasible—but plenty of firms have done their best to make it happen. Meetings are usually conducted virtually instead of in person, and even conferences are held online. In some ways, this makes everything more accessible. When you cut out barriers to meetings, conferences and other learning opportunities (like travel time), more people can participate. Some engineers expect to see remote work and learning opportunities continue well past the pandemic.
  • Better communication: With so much of our normal project communication unavailable, engineers—especially owners and project managers—have had to make adjustments to keep in touch with everyone. An increased focus on good, clear communication has been one of the more positive things to come out of the pandemic.
  • Social distancing and health monitoring: Social distancing has thrown a wrench into many construction and engineering projects—places where people normally work together, often in close quarters. Enacting rules about health and safety has been a challenge for some firms, since employees and clients may not necessarily agree that the pandemic is an issue—yet they still want to get their project done as soon as possible.
  • Keeping options open for similar global emergencies: Some civil engineers point out that even if things go back to “normal” for now, there’s always the possibility that a similar global emergency may occur in the future. Whether it’s a pandemic or another event that prevents us from operating normally, engineering firms are now realizing that it’s a good idea to have backup plans in place. Whether that’s an enhanced focus on remote work, health monitoring or different ways to provide value to clients, it’s unlikely we’ll ever completely go back to the way things were.
  • A greater focus on improving infrastructure: Above all, the one thing civil engineers seem to agree upon is that the pandemic has forced us to take a long, hard look at our infrastructure. From freeways and roads to clean water, public transportation and urban environments, our public infrastructure needs some serious overhauls. Some engineers are hopeful that this crisis and the Biden administration will be what the country needs to move forward, while others think it may take more time to see lasting changes.

It’s safe to say that COVID-19 has changed the way people interact, work and communicate—including civil engineers. However, the field has persevered.

If you have any questions about how COVID-19 may affect our civil engineering projects in Rockville, MD, call EMC2 Inc. today to learn about how we’ve adapted to the challenges posed by the pandemic.