In order to adapt to the development of steel structure engineering, on the basis of Newtonian mechanics, material mechanics, structural mechanics, engineering structure design theory came into being. The theory of construction machinery, construction technology and construction organization design has also developed accordingly. Civil engineering has become a science from experience, with a new look in engineering practice and basic theory, thus contributing to the more rapid development of civil engineering.
Concrete came into being in the 1820s when Portland cement was made. Concrete aggregates can be locally sourced and concrete components are easy to form, but the tensile strength of concrete is very small and its use is limited. After the middle of the 19th century, the production of iron and steel surged, followed by the emergence of reinforced concrete, a new type of composite building material, in which the steel bears the tension and the concrete bears the pressure, giving full play to their respective advantages. Since the beginning of the 20th century, reinforced concrete has been widely used in various fields of civil engineering.
From the 1930s, prestressed concrete appeared. The crack resistance, stiffness and bearing capacity of prestressed concrete structure are much higher than that of reinforced concrete structure, so it is more widely used. Civil engineering has entered the historical period when reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete dominate. The appearance of concrete brings new economical and beautiful engineering structure form to the building, and makes the civil engineering produce new construction technology and engineering structure design theory. This is another leap in civil engineering.