Skip to main content
Books On Engineering

Civil Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam, 14th Ed

Civil Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam, 14th Ed

Civil Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam, 14th Ed
By Michael R. Lindeburg PE

This item is not available for purchase from this store.
Buy at Amazon

35 new or used available from $160.00

Average customer review: logo
(126 customer reviews)

Book Description

Comprehensive Civil Engineering Coverage You Can TrustThe Civil Engineering Reference Manual is the most comprehensive textbook for the NCEES Civil PE exam. This book’s time-tested organization and clear explanations start with the basics to help you quickly get up to speed with common civil engineering concepts. Together, the 90 chapters provide an in-depth review of all of the topics, codes, and standards listed in the NCEES Civil PE exam specifications. The extensive index contains thousands of entries, with multiple entries included for each topic, so you’ll find what you’re looking for no matter how you search.

Due to the changes in codes for the 2015 NCEES PE exam, there are some updates to this edition. Though not all of PPI's products reflect the adopted editions of the new  design standards, in most cases the principles change very little. While specific procedures, equations, or values may change gradually from one edition of a design or reference standard to the next, PPI’s books continue to provide an appropriate overview of the design concepts presented, and will prepare you for the upcoming exams.

This book features:

  • over 100 appendices containing essential support material
  • over 500 clarifying examples
  • over 550 common civil engineering terms defined in an easy-to-use glossary
  • thousands of equations, figures, and tables
  • industry-standard terminology and nomenclature
  • equal support of U.S. customary and SI units
After you pass your exam, the Civil Engineering Reference Manual will continue to serve as an invaluable reference throughout your civil engineering career. 

Topics Covered

  • Construction: Earthwork Construction and Layout; Estimating Quantities and Costs; Construction Operations and Methods; Scheduling; Material Quality Control and Bookion; Temporary Structures; Worker Health, Safety, and Environment
  • Geotechnical: Subsurface Exploration and Sampling; Engineering Properties of Soils and Materials; Soil Mechanics Analysis; Earth Structures; Shallow Foundations; Earth Retaining Structures; Deep Foundations
  • Structural: Loadings; Analysis; Mechanics of Materials; Materials; Member Design; Design Criteria
  • Transportation: Traffic Analysis; Geometric Design; Transportation Planning; Traffic Safety
  • Water Resources and Environmental: Closed Conduit Hydraulics; Open Channel Hydraulics; Hydrology; Groundwater and Well Fields; Wastewater Treatment; Water Quality; Water Treatment; Engineering Economics

Book Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #395340 in Books
  • Published on: 2014-07-01
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 11.00" h x 2.25" w x 8.50" l,
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 1584 pages

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael R. Lindeburg, PE, is one of the best-known authors of engineering textbooks and references. His books and courses have influenced millions of engineers around the world. Since 1975, he has authored more than 30 engineering reference and exam preparation books. He has spent thousands of hours teaching engineering to students and practicing engineers. He holds bachelor of science and master of science degrees in industrial engineering from Stanford University.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Structural members subjected to axial compressive loads are often called by names identifying their functions. Of these, the best-known are columns, the main vertical compression members in a building frame. Other common compression members include chords in trusses and bracing members in frames.

The selection of a particular shape for use as a compression member depends on the type of structure, the availability, and the connection methods. Load-carrying capacity varies approximately inversely with the slenderness ratio, so stiff members are generally required. Rods, bars, and plates, commonly used as tension members, are too slender to be used as compression members unless they are very short or lightly loaded.

For building columns, W shapes having nominal depths of 14 in or less are commonly used. These sections, being rather square in shape, are more efficient than others for carrying compressive loads. (Deeper sections are more efficient as beams.) Pipe sections are satisfactory for small or medium loads. Pipes are often used as columns in long series of windows, in warehouses, and in basements and garages. In the past, square and rectangular tubing saw limited use, primarily due to the difficulty in making bolted or riveted connections at the ends. Modern welding techniques have essentially eliminated this problem.

Built-up sections are needed in large structures for very heavy loads that cannot be supported by individual rolled shapes. For bracing and compression members in light trusses, single-angle members are suitable. However, equal-leg angles may be more economical than unequal-leg angles because their least radius of gyration values are greater for the same area of steel. For top chord members of bolted roof trusses, a pair of angles (usually unequal legs, with long legs back-to-back to give a better balance between the radius of gyration values about the x-and y-axes) are used with or without gusset plates. In welded roof trusses, where gusset plates are unnecessary, structural tees are used as top chord members.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

54 of 56 people found the following review helpful.
5Essential for the PE exam
By J.L. Pettimore IV
If you're reading these reviews undoubtedly you know what this is and why you need this for the Civil PE exam.

That said, as far as I can tell this is pretty much the only comprehensive reference available for the exam so rather than talk more about the CERM itself I wanted to break down some things that helped me use the manual to study and pass the PE exam the first time:

1) Download and print out a copy of the index for the CERM from the PPI website, bind it separately, and use that to look stuff up while studying and taking the exam to avoid constantly flipping around in the manual between the index and the chapters. Saves lots of time and aggravation working from multiple places in the CERM. I learned this from people in my review class and never would've thought of this on my own which is why I wanted to share it here.

2) For the most used equations, write the constants and such in the margins next to the equations. Highlight the equations to make them pop from the columns of text in the book. This did a few things for me: familiarize me again with the equations and constants, help me remember how to use the equations, and also save me time looking for constants in the back or whatever. I did this the month before my review class started, helped me find what's in the manual too before I got into the heavy duty working of problems during my review class for hours on end.

3) Tab everything possible. The exam is all about speed (~5 min/question...) so make sure you can find what you need real fast. I used a combination of heavy duty tabs with paper inserts and the sticky flags. I color coded the tabs by topic and tabbed my manual as follows: tabs across the top for tables of data (e.g. water demands per capita per day, wastewater production per capita per day, etc), tabs down the sides for specific topics/equations (e.g. shallow foundations, water hammer, that CM workflow diagram whose name escapes me right now, etc), tabs across the bottom for the reference tables in the back (e.g. head losses for specific fittings, moments of inertia for generic shapes, the Ten State's regs, etc).

Seemed to work real well, I probably had a few too many flags/tabs but I only needed to use the index to find something a few times during the exam so I guess I did okay there. I left all my tabs and flags in the CERM after finding out I passed since it makes the book look real salty and reminds me of the pain I went through studying and taking the exam.

Bottom line here: Know what's in the book and where to find it. The morning exam was pretty much straight out of the CERM and my review class, quite literally 95% of the questions were pure muscle memory from using the CERM to study. The PM exam was the similar but about 25% of the questions couldn't be answered out of the CERM and needed an outside reference (master's level stuff in my opinion and I don't have an MSCE so I just did what I could and guessed the rest).

4) Use the CERM as much as possible while studying. I know this sounds obvious but I first attempted studying with stacks of textbooks from engineering school in addition to my CERM and quickly realized it would never work. You need to become as familiar as possible with the CERM if you want a ghost of a chance of passing, and you'll be amazed what's in there if you look. Also, you will not have time to flip around between 20 books during the exam so just get used to using the CERM as much as possible while studying. Heck, sleep with your CERM if you have to and take it with you to lunch. Remember, there are many CERMs but this one is mine, without my CERM I am nothing, without me my CERM is a monitor stand.

For the exam, I only brought in my trusty marked up and tabbed CERM, my open channel hydraulics book, and my (undergrad) geotech book along with my notes and sample problems from my review class. I spent probably 80% of my time in the exam using the CERM, my other references were nearly useless save for some rando oddball questions I was able to find during my spare time to get some extra points. The CERM and a few other things were enough to get me through the WR exam and I am neither a water resources engineer by practice nor the kid from Good Will Hunting.

5) Take a review class if at all possible. I was fortunate to find one an hour away on Saturdays. It helped me get into the mode of studying a lot (I kept records and including 56 hours of class I spent about 250 hours preparing for the exam over about 3.5 months, did nothing the two weeks before the test due to burnout and a work trip during which I was not going to study in the hotel at night), helped me realize I wasn't the only one fighting my way through the pain and misery, and helped me learn enough to get by in areas that I had little to no college coursework on (e.g. transpo, econ, etc). The review was kinda costly but I figure I got off cheap passing the PE the first time.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
5Necessary reference
By JGtz
I passed the exam. This book is definitely all you need if your budget is constrained and can only afford one book. Just tab it well and know where all the major sections pertaining to your afternoon section are located and you'll do alright.
As many others I've bought the book to study for the Civil PE exam. Keep in mind that the publisher (PPI) sells this product for a smaller price and often has 15-25% off sales especially 4-5 months before exam time. I managed to get Amazon to price match PPI who sells it at MSRP price vs the markups seen here or on eBay. Buy here if you have Amazon Prime and need it real quick.

I think the material covered in the book is adequate for reference purposes as intended and probably good enough for the NCEES exam (I've yet to take it, 8 weeks to go!). It's definitely a great book to read up on a subject to at least become familiar with the subject and get a clue on what/where to look for a more in depth study on the subject.
Lindeburg does a great job explaining the material and includes a quip here and there along with some common conventions that you probably heard in school such as "a positive moment will make the beam smile" on page 44-8. So it's not just dry technical material.

For the price, I wish it included the tabs for at least the first pages of each subject but of course that's a separate sale item.

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful.
4Yes you need this book
By Lisa
Stop wasting time and get this book before you study. It is what you will use on the PE test. You need to be familiar with it and tab the important sections. It is very well organized and the index is priceless. I'd recommend getting the index in a separate 3-ring binder.

As a water-resources depth taker, I probably did NOT need the latest version. The math is the same and there are no real "codes" to update for that section. I used this book exclusively, with additional review course notes, and one wastewater book from college.

See all 126 customer reviews...
We strive to provide excellent resources for our site visitors.
We make available for information whatever we consider to be a good source of information to Engineering students and practitioners.
If you have any complaint about any of our partners products, please let us know by writing a review at Amazon Product Reviews, so that we may remove it from our store