Civil engineering constitutes of building dams, bridges, buildings, skyscrapers, canals, pipeline layouts, surveying, geotechnical engineering, etc. It is one of the widest branch present in engineering world. The most important as well as wise thing to do is understand every concept of the field, what is good, bad or worse.
Our engineering relies on the game of probabilities. You should be a good player, you should understand of the probability of occurrence of particular event. You should know the outcomes of every event. Suppose you build a dam and you say the the probability of the failure of the dam is 0.001 but that’s a big number, because the outcome of this event will be a disaster, it will destroy cities that will come in it’s way. So the important thing is, you need to be a good observer and a deep thinker. You should know the limits, you should know the different possibilities. A good engineer is one who designs anything considering multiple possibilities and their outcomes not the one who can just do calculations.
So I would recommend you to open the mind, think, observe and understand the field rather than just calculating everything and anything. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t study anything from books. You should study from the books, but along with it understand.
A good civil engineer should have proper knowledge of different tests of building materials. Some important tests are listed below.
Concrete Test: Slump test, compression test, split tensile test, soundness etc.
Soil Test: Core cutter test, compaction test,sand replacement test, triaxial test, consolidation test etc.
Bitumen Test: Ductility test, softening point test, gravity test, penetration test etc.