English 202C: Technical Writing

Internet Resource Guide
Online Resources for Penn State Civil Engineering Majors

By: Brandon Costantino February 11, 2014

Table of Contents
1. Preface 1.1 What’s in the Guide…………………………………………………………………..3 1.2 Who the Guide is for………………………………………………………………….3 1.3 Assumptions about the reader…………………………………………………..3 1.4 How the Guide is organized……………………………………………………….4 1.5 Tips for use……………………………………………………………………………....4 2. Civil Engineering Websites 2.1 iCivilEngineer……………………………………………………………………………5 2.2 Engineering News-Record………………………………………………………….6 2.3 Institution of Civil Engineers……………………………………………………...7 2.4 LinkedIn……………………………………………………………………………………8 3. Professional Journal 3.1 Journal of Structural Engineering……………………………………………….9 4. Electronic Index 4.1 ASCE Database………………………………………………………………………...10 5. Government Resources 5.1 Statistical Abstract of the United States…………………………………….11 5.2 Catalog of U.S. Government Publications…………………………………..12


1.1 What’s in the Guide
In this Guide you will find information on useful Internet resources for civil engineering majors at Penn State University. These resources include an index, a professional journal, a government database, and multiple civil engineering websites. When used correctly, these resources can serve multiple purposes for a typical civil engineering student. They can help aid you in making a concentration decision, researching for a CE class, or finding a job upon graduation. All of the resources listed are available online through the link provided, giving you access to them whenever you are connected to the internet.

1.2 Who the Guide is for
This Guide was written for junior and senior level students majoring in civil engineering at Penn State University. A student that is not junior or senior level could still use the guide to learn more about the civil engineering major, but the information would not be applicable to their classes since they have not begun taking their core major courses. As a junior or senior, this guide can serve many purposes throughout your last two years at Penn State. If you are just beginning your first semester as a CE major, you can use this Guide to learn about the different concentrations associated with civil engineering. By doing this, you will find what interests you most and help you decide what classes to take. If you need to do research for a class, this Guide can help you find the right resource to the information you are looking for. Also, as a senior preparing for graduation, you can use this Guide to help aid you in job searching and networking.

1.3 Assumptions about the reader
It is assumed that the reader of this Guide has a basic understanding of what a civil engineer is and the type of work that they do. The reader should also be familiar with the five concentrations of civil engineering offered here at Penn State. Those concentrations being: structural, geotechnical, transportation, water resources, and environmental. The reader should have a basic understanding of what each of these five concentrations entails. Also, it is assumed that the reader knows how to access the Internet and can navigate their way from the Guide to the linked website. By having these basic understandings stated above, use of the Guide should be simple and straight forward.


1.4 How the Guide is organized
To make navigation through the Guide as simple as possible, a Table of Contents is located on the second page. The Table of Contents separates the resources into four categories: civil engineering websites, professional journal, electronic index, and government resources. Refer to this page to help locate specific resources. The Table of Contents is followed by a Preface to discuss everything one needs to know before reading. After the Preface, each page of the Guide is used to describe a single resource. At the top of the page you will find the title of the resource followed by the location of the webpage. You will then see an abstract describing to you what the resource is, what it covers, and how it can be helpful to you. Below the abstract, you will see a “Tips for Use” section. These tips describe ways to make navigation of the site easier for you.

1.5 Tips for use
Refer to the Table of Contents located at the beginning of the Guide to navigate through the variety of resources. The URL’s provided for each resource are hyperlinked, meaning you can click them directly if you are accessing the Guide on the Internet. If you are reading this in paper form, simply type the URL in your web browser and it will take you to the resource homepage. A “Tips for use” section is also located at the bottom of each resource page to help you get the most out of the provided resource.


Civil Engineering Websites
2.1 iCivilEngineer
Location http://www.icivilengineer.com/ Abstract ICivilEngineer.com is one of the top online resources for anyone that is interested in civil engineering. The online site is designed and maintained by civil engineers with the purpose of providing all users with the highest quality civil engineering content. The content found on the site includes current news, career resources, free online courses, and a page dedicated to the sub-disciplines of civil engineering. Through the “Career Guide” page, you can access links to finding jobs, locating career fairs, posting resumes, and more. This is a very useful tool for any civil engineering student whether you are looking for career guidance, an internship, or an entrylevel position. The site also offers any level student, undergraduate or graduate, access to free online courses that teach and test you on the civil engineering subdiscipline of your choice. This is a site that any civil engineering student should look to take advantage of. If you are unsure of your concentration, this site offers a variety of ways to help you learn what interests you the most. If you have already chosen your concentration and are looking to begin your career, the resources on this page offer you many ways to accomplish that. This is a website that should be used and recommended to all Penn State students majoring in civil engineering. Tips for use:  All of the resources mentioned above and more can be accessed from the tab bar located at the top of the site homepage. If you cannot find what you are looking for from there, utilize the search bar located at the top right corner of the homepage.


2.2 Engineering News-Record
Location http://enr.construction.com/ Abstract Engineering News-Record (ENR) is a widely known magazine that discusses news, data, analysis, and opinion on the construction industry. Although it is a magazine, all of Engineering News-Record’s content is available by subscription through their website that is linked above. The magazine is published weekly and discusses all aspects of the design and construction of structures, transportation, water resources, and environmental projects. It is also well known for posting the annual rankings of the top contractors and design firms in the United States. For these reasons, it is highly regarded in the civil engineering industry and its subscribers include some of the top professionals in the business. As a civil engineering student, this is a resource to find the most up to date news and data that the top employers in the nation use. Through ENR’s content, you can find out which industries are currently having the most success and which ones are struggling. Not only can you look at the status of an industry as a whole, but also you can see who the top employers are. This type of information can be beneficial to all civil engineering students whether you are looking for the most successful concentrations or seeking a job from some of the industries top employers. Tips for use:  To access ENR’s weekly content, a paid subscription is required. Before you are charged for an account, you get one week of free access. Take advantage of this free week to browse the site and decide on a subscription.  See the “Industry Jobs” tab located at the top of the homepage to search from over 300,000 jobs.


2.3 Institution of Civil Engineers
Location http://www.ice.org.uk/ Abstract The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is a registered charity that advocates the profession of civil engineering through improving knowledge and increasing awareness of its importance to society. The ICE currently represents around 80,000 members worldwide and their website is the place to keep these members connected. The goal of the Institution is to develop highly trained and qualified civil engineers by providing users with many services including training courses, career development, and current civil engineering news. As a civil engineering student, you should look to take advantage of these services to help better your education here at Penn State. Some of the services that will be most beneficial to you are the “Information Resources” and “Career Development” sections located at the main toolbar on the left side of the homepage. The “Information Resources” offers students access to hundreds of downloadable documents and the ICE library. You can use these resources to gain knowledge on specific subjects pertaining to civil engineering and keep up to date on current policies. If you are a senior that is approaching graduation, the “Career Development” section offers many services targeted towards helping you build the career you want. In this section you can find information, advice, and guidance to help you choose an informed career path that is most suitable for you. Tips for use:  Register with ICE online and build your own profile to get the most use from the site. By building your own profile the site will find information that pertains mostly to you.  Look to take advantage of the toolbar located at the top of the homepage. From here you can access your profile, choose specific CE subjects to research, and find an ICE near you.


2.4 LinkedIn
Location: http://www.linkedin.com/job/q-civil-engineer-jobs Abstract: LinkedIn is a popular social networking website that allows professionals from around the globe to stay connected. With over 250 million users, this website provides students and professionals with a great resource for staying up to date on their career. The link provided above is for finding civil engineering jobs. There are currently 2,500 jobs listed on LinkedIn related to civil engineering. This is a great way to help students preparing to graduate find a job, but it also provides younger students with a helpful tool as well. When deciding which area of civil engineering to study, it is insightful to see the job outlook on different industries. By reviewing the current job listings, you can get an idea of what type of positions are currently in high demand and which ones are not. LinkedIn is a great tool for anyone involved in the civil engineering major and will be for years after graduation. Tips for use:   To see job listings for specific concentrations of civil engineering, simply type in the name of the concentration at the top and hit search. On the far left side of the screen, there are two sections called “Top Companies for Civil Engineer Jobs” and “Top Locations for Civil Engineer Jobs.” These are great tools to see who hires the most and where these jobs are located. To take full advantage of LinkedIn, create an account so that you can start connecting with fellow students, professors, and future employers.


Professional Journal
3.1 Journal of Structural Engineering
Location: http://ascelibrary.org/journal/jsendh Abstract The Journal of Structural Engineering is a monthly publication by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Users of this online journal have access to twelve issues a year dating back to 1983. Each issue contains many papers that discuss everything structural engineering, from modeling and design to investigation and rehabilitation. The editorial board is composed of over 50 doctors and professional engineers who have spent their career working in the industry of structural engineering. This journal allows students and other professionals to stay up to date on the latest structural practices and concepts. As a civil engineering major, this is great place to learn about your interests in structural engineering. Structural engineering is a big part of the civil engineering community and a path that many people choose. It is important to know if this is the right concentration for you because you will have to enroll in multiple structural engineering classes throughout your junior year in order to be ready to take the proper capstone design course. Not only will this help students learn of their interests, but this journal can be used by anyone in civil engineering doing structural research or by any professional currently active in the field. Tips for use:   The link provided for this journal takes you directly to a page of available issues. The issues are listed by year and by clicking on the year you are interested in, the monthly issues will appear below. To see the most recently published articles see the link at the top of the homepage that reads “Just Released articles.”


Electronic Index
4.1 ASCE Civil Engineering Database
Location http://cedb.asce.org/ Abstract The ASCE Civil Engineering Database (CEDB) is a free bibliographic database that offers students and professionals over 200,000 publications by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Included in the publications are journals, books, magazines, and more that cover all disciplines in the civil engineering field. By updating these publications each month, all information is current and relevant to anyone looking to expand their knowledge about their subject of choice. This database provides a great resource for civil engineering majors regardless of their semester standing. If you are a junior just entering the major, you can use the database to help broaden your knowledge of the different disciplines offered in civil engineering. The database can also serve as a resource for students doing research for their major classes or for professionals in the industry looking to stay up to date on civil engineering research and practice. Tips for use:  To narrow down your search results, use the advanced search section of the CEDB located directly on the homepage. The search box allows users to select the type of document they are looking for and search for specific keywords such as author, title, or subject. If you are looking for a specific journal, click on the tab labeled “Serial Title” and a drop down menu will appear that allows you to select a journal of a specific civil engineering discipline.


Government Resources
5.1 Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Location http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/ Abstract The Statistical Abstract of the U.S. is a government database that provides a summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. It is intended to serve as a statistical reference for users, and as a guide to more sources that are available in print and on the Web. Documents were first published in 1878 and continued until 2012 when it was decided by the Census Bureau to eliminate the program, effective October 1, 2011. Although new data is no longer published, data as recent as 2012 is available and can still be used to get an idea on current data. The Abstract contains information on many national topics such as education, health, population, employment, etc. Also included in the database, are topics that are relevant to students studying civil engineering, such as construction, environment, and transportation. Civil engineering majors can use this vast range of data to help them decide what area of civil engineering they would like to concentrate on. A subject from the database that all civil engineering students will find helpful can be found under the “Construction & Housing” main topic, as well as, under the subtopic “Construction Industry.” From here, a PDF document can be downloaded called “Construction – Establishments, Employees, and Payroll by Kind of Business.” This document breaks down the construction industry by giving data on the three statistics listed in the title. Since construction is a part of all civil engineering, this can be helpful because it lets you know what industries are the biggest, how many employees they hire, and a typical salary you could expect from working in that industry. Tips for use:  To access data on different subjects, use the sidebar located on the far left of the homepage. By clicking on a main subject, a list of subtopics will appear that helps you narrow your search.  For civil engineers, see these specific subjects: Construction & Housing, Geography & Environment, and Transportation.


5.2 Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
Location http://catalog.gpo.gov/F Abstract The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications is a search tool to locate current and historic federal publications that may be available in print or online. The Catalog database includes more than 500,000 government records from the judicial, executive, and legislative branches of the U.S. government. These records date back to 1976 and continue to be updated daily. Publications that are available online are provided to you with a direct link to the document location. If publications are only available through print, the Catalog allows you to search for a nearby Federal Depository Library where the printed version may be available. Most records from the Catalog are very subject specific, so one would not typically look to this resource to learn more about the general subject of civil engineering. These publications will be most useful to a civil engineering student who is doing research on a specific topic or wants to broaden their knowledge on that subject. For example, if a civil engineering student concentrating in environmental engineering wanted to do research on Superfund sites across the nation, a search of the word “Superfund” yields results like the article Superfund: Information on the Nature and Costs of Cleanup Activities at Three Landfills in the Gulf Coast Region, by David C. Trimble, 2011. This article discusses the effort of the EPA to remove harmful hazardous waste from certain landfills and analyzes the results. This article could provide this student with helpful information on actual environmental problems that the government faces. Tips for use:  Since the database includes so many documents, it is important to use the advanced search feature, accessible by clicking on the tab “Advanced” located on the toolbar at the top of the page. This could save you lots of time and effort by reducing the amount of results you get from a basic search.  To find the most recent publications, click on the tab “New Titles” located on the top toolbar. This will give you the ability to limit searches to records published within the last week, month, year, etc.


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