Authors & Contributors

Teacher Comments: The range of writing required of professionals in civil engineering

Interviewer: What kinds of communication do your students do?

Neil Grigg, Civil Engineering: I approach it as thinking about kinds of communication they're going to do in the workplace. There's a series of communication vehicles that our students seem to be unfamiliar with. Fundamental things like a business letter, an internal memorandum, a policy statement, which may be in the form of a memorandum. Various kinds. A lot of graphics. Executive summaries, technical papers for journals, speeches, or they may have to write for . . . . What else?

Tom Siller, Civil Engineering: Codes.

Interviewer: Is that similar to specs?

Tom Siller: No. Some of our engineers will be involved with writing specs, those codes, being involved with those writing standards versus specifications which are for a particular job.

Neil Grigg: Requests for proposals. In speeches, you have to have a good presentation, and that requires writing. I think they need to be able to do expository writing and to do various forms of that.