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Civil engineering was developed as a discipline around the middle of the 18th century. John Smeaton was the first person to actually call himself a "Civil Engineer". He formed the Smeatonian Society the forerunner of the first engineering society, the Institution of Civil Engineers in England. The term “ Civil “ was used to describe engineering works which were not exclusively military in nature and included the design and building of a range of structures such as roads and bridges, canals, railways, tunnels, water supplies and sewers. The first charter of the Institute of Civil Engineering read as follows: "the art of directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and convenience of man, as the means of production and of traffic in states, both for external and internal trade, as applied in the construction of roads, bridges, aqueducts, canals, river navigation and docks for internal intercourse and exchange, and in the construction of ports, harbours, moles, breakwaters and lighthouses, and in the art of navigation by artificial power for the purposes of commerce, and in the construction and adaptation of machinery, and in the drainage of cities and towns."


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