Wier & Associates, Inc.

Back to History of Civil Engineering

Resource Center

Civil Engineers - You've Come A Long Way, Baby

There are currently 16 major recognized "disciplines" of engineering. The oldest of all engineering disciples is Civil Engineering.

In America, Civil Engineering could be deemed to have begun in 1776 when Congress authorized an "Engineer Corps". In 1821, the first reference to a developing distinction between "military" and "civilian" engineering activities occurred when Congress directed certain surveys of roads and canals be made by "Engineer Officers" and "Civil Engineers". West Point first offered a course entitled "Civil Engineering" in 1823. In 1835, the first Engineering degree was conferred by the first technological degree-granting university in the English speaking world, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (New York).

ASCE was founded in 1852 and by 1870 the new national organization had a membership of about 200. By 1900 the membership had grown to about 2,000. Today ASCE has a national membership of about 123,000 members.

The genesis of the Texas Section of ASCE occurred at a 1913 meeting in Corpus Christi of a dedicated group of professionally minded Texas civil engineers. This initial meeting later resulted in the chartering of the Texas Section of ASCE at a meeting in Dallas that fall. Today, the Texas Section has about 7,200 members.

The Fort Worth Branch was founded in 1931, with the main objective of the founders being to acquaint the public and community with the part that the Engineer plays in public life. Today, about 711 ASCE members live in the 21-county Fort Worth Branch area.

- John P. Wier, P.E., R.P.L.S., Historical Chair, Fort Worth Branch ASCE, October 2000

Contact Wier & Associates, Inc.