Civil engineering is a very diverse field, in which you have to deal with so many areas of discussion. Civil engineering covers construction, material, structure, hydrology, transportation, and geotechnical engineering. Every field works on a particular set of problems. In order to sort out problems in these fields, you have to research on them. First of all, you have to select a particular field to make your research area one-directional. After that, you have to narrow down your problem and select a topic of research. Based on a research problem, research techniques and tools are used.
Research techniques and tools provide a path to sort out the query. As an engineer, you must follow the research guidelines and standards while selecting techniques and tools. In this way, you can avoid failure in the project. As per its importance, this article aims to discuss about research techniques and tools to use in civil engineering.
Research Techniques and Tools
Research techniques and tools are the strategies for conducting research. In civil engineering, different problems require different techniques and tools. The selection of techniques and tools is not random at all. Once you have finalized your research question, now you have to see which technique is best suitable for it. Similarly, the research tool is also decided in a specified way. There are three main research techniques. Each technique has its own tools. Experts of The Academic Papers UK have shared the following three main techniques of research:
- Quantitative research technique
- Qualitative research technique
- Mixed research technique
Let’s discuss each research technique and tool briefly.
Quantitative Research Technique
One of the research techniques is quantitative research. In this research technique, you can see bundles of numerical data. In this research technique, you can utilize pre-existing data, or you can collect whole new data. The objective of the research is to decide which form of data is good to use. The purpose of quantitative research is to check the impact of something. In civil engineering you can check the impact of the environment on a particular structure. Similarly, there are many more issues that are resolved through quantitative research techniques. Quantitative research makes it easy to take decisions on complex problem.
Deductive reasoning works for the testing of a hypothesis. The end results of testing a hypothesis are always certain. Either your hypothesis is true or false. There is no in-between true and false. Civil engineering includes so many operations and designs. For the final decision for a particular operation, you must see its impacts. Similarly, the implementation of a design is decided through deductive reasoning.
The data for the quantitative research technique can be collected through the following means:
- Questionnaire: Close-ended questions are asked in the questionnaire. In this way, it becomes easy to sort out the numeric data.
- Survey: The survey of the targeted area provides useful data. Based on the research objective, you have to focus on potential participants.
- Polls: Another way to collect data for quantitative research is the use of polls.
Qualitative Research Technique
The qualitative research technique is a strategy to deal with subjective data. In this technique, you would not see data in numerical form, but all the data is in subjective form. In civil engineering, the use of qualitative research techniques is very frequent. Civil engineering demands to have insights into a problem. In this way, you can better understand the cause and effects of a problem.
Qualitative research does not forbid the analysis of a large sample. It always focuses on a large sample, so that you can end up with precise results. All complex problems need great attention and detailed study. In qualitative research techniques, you can achieve such goals.
Used by most of UK dissertation writing services, the approach of inductive reasoning works well for a general perspective about a particular problem. The subjective data and analysis of the problem do not end up with certain results. You need to make one thing clear in your mind; inductive reasoning is used to explore something.
For example, you have selected the field of transportation engineering for research work. Here, the area of study is to explore the information related to signal-free corridors. In this case, you have to go with inductive reasoning. In this way, you will collect detailed information related to signal-free corridors. Based on the collected information, you can develop new theories in the field of transportation engineering.
Data collection is the most important part of the research. Research techniques and tools are used to conduct effective research. Following are the research tools that are used for the qualitative research technique:
- Interview: For conducting an interview, you must have experience. In an interview, you get open-ended answers. With the help of such answers, you can better explore the research problem. In an interview, participants feel free to express their opinion. A detailed assessment is one of the best things about an interview.
- Focused group: In order to save time, you can go for a focused group rather than the individual. The purpose and advantages of a focused group are the same as an interview.
- Observation: It requires high experience and research skills. If you are a fresh researcher, you cannot collect data through observation.
- Experimentation: Geotechnical engineering and pavement engineering are the fields that require lab experiments.
- Case study: It is also a tool that works well in qualitative research techniques. In this, you have to study past research work.
Mixed Research Technique
The mixed research technique is the combination of qualitative as well as quantitative research. The purpose of mixed research is to work on different aspects of a problem. The results obtained through mixed research are considered as the most valid and précised one.
A clear understanding of all of the above-mentioned research techniques and tools can help you complete the civil engineering course effectively. These points can help you get the best from your research work.