Open and close mobile menu


Insights The top civil engineering trends to watch in 2023

With ambitious targets and bigger challenges than ever before, the construction industry is both exciting and fast-paced. In fact, strategies for overcoming many of the biggest global challenges including climate change and population growth are closely linked to the future of construction.

Civil engineers will play no small part in helping hit these ambitious, but necessary targets. This is just part of the reason why, in the USA alone, it’s predicted that over 24,000 new civil engineering jobs will be created every year for the next ten years.

Whether you’re amongst those professionals looking to take on one of those newly created roles or if you’re well-established in your current role, here are the top civil engineering trends that you need to watch in 2023.

Augmented and virtual reality

Augmented and virtual reality are best known for gaming. Yet these advanced technologies have many further-reaching applications than their use in games.

Augmented reality is a technology that superimposes virtual objects into the real world. It is already widely being used to help civil engineers model and visualise real-world construction before works begin. This can be applied in many areas including on-site construction, damage detection, Building Information Modeling (BIM), underground and smart city management.

Virtual reality is a technology that immerses the user in a 100% virtual world. This is also being used to help civil engineers fully visualise projects, communicate with clients and for safety training.

Real-time collaboration software

Civil engineering is one of many industries that are benefiting from the increasing popularity of cloud computing. By centralising all tools and data in one location, civil engineers are able to seamlessly work on projects together and streamline workflows from anywhere with an internet connection.

This approach to collaboration drastically speeds up projects. It also improves the quality of data and information. For example, with real-time collaboration software, any civil engineers working on-site always have the most up-to-date versions of plans available, helping mitigate risks and lower the chances of costly mistakes.

Innovative materials

Material specification is an essential part of your role as a civil engineer. In 2023, we will continue to see the roll-out of new and innovative materials. Some of the most exciting include the use of bamboo to replace steel in reinforced concrete, concrete that encourages the growth of moss as part of its structure and kinetic paving which converts walking energy into usable energy.

Intelligent urbanisation

It is estimated that 83% of the U.S. population is focused within an urban location. This number is set to grow to 89% by 2050, a trend that is also being seen across the globe. This growth in concentrated populations, along with innovations in everything from transportation to energy production, produces new strains on urban infrastructure.

Finding intelligent solutions to increasing urbanisation will continue to be an area of focus for civil engineers. Both to help maintain and improve urban quality of life.

Improved sustainability

With significant media coverage and widespread concern, it is no surprise that sustainability is a trend that we will continue to see in civil engineering into 2023. Sustainability in civil engineering can cover anything from finding smart ways to reduce the use of environmentally harmful building materials to finding ways to increase the energy efficiency of buildings.

Forward-thinking companies, like AtkinsRéalis , have recognised the importance of driving sustainability through civil engineering, setting up dedicated programmes that will drive sustainable strategies into 2023 and beyond.

Your future civil engineering career

It is clear that civil engineering is set to be an exciting space in 2023. Key trends show that this is a fast-moving profession, which will continue to be on the cutting edge of technology, whilst driving the most important changes required to overcome global concerns.


Our civil jobs are based in a number of markets, specialising in ten core markets gives our civil engineers access to some of the most exciting projects.

We currently have some exciting roles in civil engineering available - don't miss out.

If you want to stay in the loop for all the best upcoming opportunities, you can join our talent community.