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jaya Ramchandani

Significance of Software in Civil Engineering

By: Prof. J. R. Ramchandani (
Date: 23rd May 2022

AutoCAD is a computer-aided design (CAD) software that is widely used by Engineers, Architects and Designers to create 2D drawings and 3D models of structures across the world. This software enables us prepare realistic images and models which help us visualize our concept and understand how a structure would look like in real life.

STAAD PRO for Design and Analysis

STAAD Pro (Structural Analysis and Design) software is widely used for structural analysis and design across the world. This software was originally developed by Research Engineers International which was later acquired by Bentley’s System. Using this software one can design and analyse different types of structures like building, tower, bridges, industrial, transportation and utility structures and building materials like concrete, steel, timber, aluminium etc. While AutoCAD is used mainly for drawing, STAAD Pro is mainly used to analyse the structure like computing stress and load.

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PRIMAVERA for Construction Management

Primavera is project management tool originally developed by Primavera Systems which was later acquired by Oracle. The software enables engineers to plan and monitor multiple projects, control resources and prepare reports more effectively. The software can also be integrated with other software like ERP and SAP further increasing its usefulness. MS Project is also a similar kind of software.

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REVIT Architecture & Structure for Building Information Modelling (BIM)

BIM (Building Information Modelling) is a process of creating and managing information of a structure throughout its life cycle. The process involves usage of different tools and technologies to create an information model of a structure including Revit Architecture, Revit Structure, ETAB and Navisworks. REVIT helps engineers and architects create more accurate and high-quality architectural designs.

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ETABS for Design and Analysis

ETABS stands for Extended Three-Dimensional Analysis of Building System. This software is used for analysis and design of buildings. It comes with the facility of 3D object-based modelling and visualization tools. It also has fast linear and nonlinear analytical power, comprehensive and sophisticated design capabilities for a variety of materials with graphic displays, reports, and schematic drawings which allow customer to easily understand the output. These drawings can directly be provided on site for execution of work.

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SAP 2000

SAP2000 software is also used for design and analysis of structures. SAP2000 comes with multiple templates for modelling of a structure. SAP2000 offers many basic templates for Staircases, Simple Beams, 3D Trusses, Dam Structures, 3D Frames, Storage Vessels, and Pipes.

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Microsoft Excel

Developed by Microsoft, Microsoft Excel is software program used to organize data on spreadsheets. Empowered with formulas and functions it allows the user not only to organize but also visualize and analyse the data more efficiently and in less time. Widely used by different types of professionals like accountants, financial planners, project managers etc., the software helps civil engineers and architects to collect, organize, visual and analyse project related data.

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ARCGIS for Surveying

ArcGIS is a Geographical Information System (GIS) software used to create information-rich maps that can be used to explain and analyse data. A cloud-based mapping and analysis software, it also allows to share and collaborate in real time with team members. The layered and thematic maps created using ArcGIS can hold different types of valuable data and represent them in an easier to understand manner. ArcGIS also helps collect and manage data, perform traditional and advanced spatial analysis and solve real life problems.

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3DS Max - Modelling

3DS Max is an animation software which produces visuals. It is modelling and rendering software which is basically used for interior design and visual graphics. The software is developed by Autodesk.

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EPANET is an open source software which was developed to create ideal water distribution systems. Today, it’s used worldwide to design efficient water infrastructure, optimize its operations, save energy and check water quality problems.

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HEC-RAS stands for Hydrologic Engineering Center's River Analysis System. This software is used to perform 1D steady flow, 1 & 2-dimensional unsteady flow calculations, mobile bed computations/sediment transport and water quality / modelling water temperature.


Revolutionary advancements in technology has dramatically changed the way people operate in various fields and civil engineering is not an exception. Many mundane and important tasks of the profession like drawing, designing, mapping, and analysis of information which were previously done manually are now performed using sophisticated software. Above, we learnt about some of the extremely useful software used by Civil Engineers. However, it is not an exhaustive list. You would come to know about more software as you enter the world of Civil Engineering. The usage of these software and tools saves a lot time and effort and helps achieve far superior results compared to the work done manually. In all probability, their usage is only going to increase by leaps and bounds in the future. So, it is but obvious that the curriculum of Civil Engineering should contain training in these technologies. The autonomous Department of Civil Engineering at MGM University completely understands this need and hence, constantly upgrades its curriculum to include study of the latest civil engineering software.

(Author is Assistant Professor from Department of Civil Engineering of Jawaharlal Nehru Engineering College which is constituent college of MGM University, Aurangabad)