What exactly is a civil engineer?

Following what was the apparently entertaining broadcast this week of “Masterchef: The Professionals” from the HQ of the Institution of Civil Engineers in London, a number of people have asked me “what exactly is a civil engineer?”
The stock response about “…the art of directing the great sources of power in nature”, hasn’t been going down very well. So rather than Tredgold’s words from 1828, I’ve been quoting a more recent, very wise man, “A civil engineer is a person who solves problems you did not know you had, using methods you don’t understand”.
Perhaps surprisingly, most people seem to get it.

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