Civil Engineering, Drilling & Tunneling(All You Need to Know)

Civil Engineering, Drilling & Tunneling

The bridges, roads, dams, canals, and buildings we see today are all the works of civil engineers. The civil engineering division is responsible for designing, constructing, and maintaining the "concrete jungle."

Civil engineering, drilling, and tunneling relate to one another to provide reliable infrastructure. Either highways or underground transportation, without the combination of scientific principles and innovative techniques of these three divisions, all of this was impossible.

We wouldn't have this modern society without the civil engineering, drilling, and tunneling department. And today, in this blog post, we will explore more into the world of these three exciting divisions. We will learn their significance and their methodologies.

Civil Engineering

They are responsible for building the backbone of society. Civil engineers build structures and facilities to be used by the general public. It is a branch of engineering that deals with designing, constructing, and maintaining public projects. However, the field itself divides into three categories based on their functions:

  • Before Construction: Where you perform feasibility studies, do site investigation, and present a design.
  • During Construction: Then comes the stage where you deal with clients, consulting engineers and contractors, and finally
  • After Construction: The final grade for civil engineering functions to research their projects and complete maintenance.

Safe to say that a wide range of projects: buildings, roads, bridges, or airports are all the products of civil engineers. Nonetheless, the main goal of a civil engineer is to provide safe, sustainable, and efficient structures that bring convenience to your lives.

Areas of Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is a broad profession that includes many sub-specializations. The significant five of these specializations are as follows;

  • Structural Engineering: Includes creating towers, skyscrapers, homes, or structural arts. The goal is to design safe, economically, and aesthetically pleasing structures. They work alongside architects and other engineers.
  • Geotechnical Engineering: A field where we focus on the relationship between the ground and the project. Test and analysis can determine the risk to humans and the environment. These risks may evolve from avalanches, sinkholes, rock falls, and earthquakes. Geotechnical engineers study the soil and rock of a site to determine if it is suitable for the project. They also work to develop a foundation that can withstand larger projects.
  • Transportation Engineering: Rails, roads, cycle paths, or highways; a transportation engineer focuses on designing and managing such systems. They apply technology and scientific principle to present a design that optimizes traffic flow for the general public and goods transport and improves safety.
  • Environmental Engineering: They deal with environmental issues and provide solutions. They work for waste management, water and air pollution, and manage public health. And present ideas to conserve energy and protect the environment from further destruction.
  • Water Resources Engineering: This field deals with developing new strategies to preserve freshwater sources and find new ones. As natural resources are already limited, it includes its safe management and distribution through dams, reservoirs, and water supply systems.

All these projects require in-depth knowledge and expertise in physics and maths. Nonetheless, no two sub-areas are alike. And it requires different experts to make a project successful.


Consider this technique as a way of unleashing the mysteries of the earth's stratum.

Underground drilling and boring Americans require careful planning, geotechnical analysis, and advanced equipment to ensure safety, precision, and successful project outcomes. It involves creating holes to extract soils and rocks for analysis.

Drilling is also vital for installing the project's foundations or underground resources. There are many drilling methods to choose from depending on the condition of the subsurface and the project's requirements.

Common Drilling Methods

Drilling engineering has vital space in modern society, given the requirements of high-rise structures (that require deep foundations). A variety of drilling methods are adopted, some of these are as follows;

  • Percussion Drilling: The repetitive lifting and dropping of a heavy hammer or drill bit is called "Percussion Drilling." This method is common to install casing inside deeper boreholes or break the ground to extract materials.
  • Rotary Drilling: A rotating drill bit includes a rotary cutting head at the end of the shaft that rotates to cut the base and remove cuttings. It also involves air, water, or drilling mud to cool the cutting head.
  • Auger Drilling: Used for installing auger piles in depth through soft soil. It helps balance the foundation of a structure in smooth surfaces or loose rocks. It usually includes a helical screw-like blade called the "flighting" used to drill out the material.
  • Diamond Core Drilling: Add a diamond drill bit to a rotary drill, and that's it. To cut clean and accurately measured holes, experts opt for diamond core drilling to obtain high-quality samples for geological research.

You can apply different methods depending on the purpose of your hole drilling (exploration of the ground or its modification). Whether in oil and gas industries, installing sewer pipes for a residential building, or creating a secure foundation for large-scale projects: drilling plays a crucial process in the construction of modern society.


It is a civil engineering technique of creating routes under buildings, water, hills, or roads. The main goal is to connect the unreachable corners of the area. It allows feasible transportation or accommodates pipelines. Tunneling is beneficial to cross either natural barriers or avoid traveling across populated areas.

Key Tunneling Methods

There are many methods used for designing and creating a perfect tunneling plan. Depending on the available space, the condition of the ground, and the purpose of the tunnel: decide the method to construct the tunnel. Some of these methods are;

  • Cut-and-Cover Method: A technique that involves creating a shallow trench first. Then you prepare the roof of the tunnel slab and construct the tunnel. Now, you can backfill the rest of the surface.
  • Boring Machines: In Tunnel boring machines (TBMs), a rotating head excavates the soil or rocks. It also installs simultaneous concrete support enhancing the tunneling process. They are perfect for large-scale tunneling projects.
  • Sequential Excavation Method (SEM): SEM or the New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM) uses the strength of the surrounding soil to create a more durable tunnel. It is different from other tunneling methods as it provides temporary, as-needed support on the go. Later a permanent cast-in-place concrete lining is placed.
  • Shield Tunneling: This is a trench-less method. This method is helpful where soils are soft and could cave in or have another safety hazard. In this method, there is a rotating cutting head at the face of the shield. The machine drills through a short distance (metal shield providing temporary support) while the engineers set permanent support: and the project can move further.

Tunneling can be dangerous and requires a proper and well-revised safety scheme. Potential hazards may include; movement of soil, rock burst, the inflow of mud, blasting, dust, fumes, and no oxygen. Therefore, you must follow a proper code of practice to reduce these risks and make a tunneling project successful.


Finally, before we wrap this blog post, we can say that civil engineering, drilling, and tunneling connect. These three disciplines work together to build the modern society we live in today.

With innovations in technology and more discoveries in the engineering field: we are now bringing more outstanding projects to life and aiding economic growth. Whether a beautiful skyscraper or an accommodating transportation facility, civil engineering, drilling, and tunneling work together to make our lives easier.

With the dedication of these hard workers, we can get a bright future for our country. So, the next time you see a tunnel or an aesthetic building, remember that the expertise and devotion of civil engineers, tunnellers, and drillers; made this possible.

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