Department Chair's Message
Accepting annually around 150 under-graduate students, 20 M.S. degree students, and 5 Ph.D. degree students as of the 2009/2010 academic year, the teaching load of the Civil Engineering Department, which was founded in 1991, is considerably heavy. Our department is one of those having the greatest number of students per academic member in Erciyes university. Considering the number of papers published in domestic and international journals and those presented in national and international scientific meetings per academic member, the performance of scientific publications of our department is also pretty good.
First and foremost objective and duty of our department is to educate civil engineers with B.S. degrees in compliance with the relevant Turkish Standards, with technical rules and regulations, and with real-life applications of civil engineering, who will be successful, live up to responsibilities expected out of them, and have self-confidence, when involved in the civil engineering sector, either in Turkey or abroad. In a world of increasing transparency, and all direct and direct control mechanisms, the quality of B.S. degree education of our department has been continually checked and evaluated by our students, our graduates, and the parties involved in the civil engineering sector.
Our department has been in a continual effort of upgrading the quality of teaching. For example, our laboratories are already developed in a satisfactory condition, and are always available for the involvement of all the students. Some concerned students actively participate in most of the tests and experiments taking place in the laboratories with tangible contributions on a voluntary basis.
The world has entered into an era of fast exchange and dissemination of information thanks to an effective and ever-growing network of internet. In our university, we have access to fast and powerful internet facilities. The lecture notes of courses offered in our department and of those in renowned universities both in our country and abroad should be downloaded by the students, which will help students improve their knowledge about the courses they are taking.
As of 2010, there are civil engineering departments at 50 state universities and 7 non-governmental universities, and approximately 5000 new civil engineers graduate from these 57 departments each year. Because it is a rapidly-developing one, construction activities are widespread in our country. Therefore, the employment prospects in the civil engineering sector, which is one of those gearing the economy, will be good. Because of the large number of new civil engineers joining in the sector, however, a serious employment problem may emerge for young engineers even in the near future due to the supply-and-demand rule. This will cause competition among civil engineers, as more knowledgeable, more experienced, and more professional engineers will have better opportunities for higher-paying jobs since they will be the demanded personnel. I believe, the system of ‘Professional Engineering’ initiated by the Turkish Chamber of Civil Engineers, which is functioning on voluntary basis presently, will be legally binding in the near future. Hence, it would be wrong attitude for the B.S. students if they behave in a Bohemian way like: ‘We will graduate somehow, we will overcome so many, nuisance, courses by taking low or high grades, somehow, and once we get the diploma, the rest will be alright’. On the contrary, it would be very beneficial for his/her future if a student studies and puts a decent effort with a motto of: ‘learning tangible and concrete information out of every course taken as much as possible’. Being a student is a serious occupation, which should be lived up to by exercising full-time effort and devotion to fulfill the requirements of the curriculum. By putting an unsatisfactory effort during the study period, a student protracts the normally 4-year period of B.S. degree study up to 6 – 7 years, and hence distresses first himself/herself, then his/her parents, and finally his/her instructors, which is essentially harmful to the student himself/herself.
Attempting to cheat during an exam is a degrading and disgraceful act, having very harmful results. Thankfully, a great majority of our students exhibit honest behavior in this respect. Some students are not aware of the fact that any student who gets caught even with a slight wrong-doing in any exam will receive the punishment of exclusion from all educational activities for a period of one month at the shortest, and this penalty will be printed in a visible spot in his transcript as an embarrassing mark, which will cause him/her to be disregarded for any job position both in state and private organizations.
The civil engineering profession depends on technical knowledge, requires taking responsibility and accountability, necessitates doing research on matters in which the engineer’s information is insufficient, is occasionally strenuous, yet satisfying and also a little funny and entertaining. The courses offered and taught in the B.S. degree curriculum of our department are very similar to those of the civil engineering departments of universities in developed countries and in other universities in our country. These courses have evolved as a result of long time experience in teaching of civil engineering and they all have relevant significance in the civil engineering profession. Gain of knowledge and its accumulation after graduation during the professional activities are undeniable facts, but this enrichment and piling of knowledge must be placed onto a sound background established during years of undergraduate education.
In current times, movements of any types of goods and of people have become easier thanks to powerful internet connections and communication channels, and to all sorts of powerful, fast, and comfortable transportation vehicles. There are many Turkish companies which are active all around the world, carrying out successful contracts. Job opportunities in foreign countries, at either a Turkish or foreign company, for young civil engineers whose English proficiency is good, to be verified by a score of either TOEFL or ÜDS exam higher than 80%, is an option which should not be overlooked.