What’s the difference between a mechanical engineer and a civil engineer?
Mechanical engineers make weapons; civil engineers make targets.
Is funny because ….. it’s sort of true. Much of engineering is war-related, and always was. In earlier times, an engineer was someone who made engines of war: catapults, battering rams, and the like. Nowadays, mechanical engineers are the main designers for tanks, cannons, and ships. A civil engineer is one whose projects have civilian applications. But as these projects have military uses (roads, ports, offices, and bridges, for example), civilian projects are major targets for an opposing army.
An observation about war and peace: if you are really at making peacetime products, you’re a hero in your country and outside; if you design weapons, you are vilified by the enemy and likely to become a prisoner in your own land. Consider the designers of the atom bomb in the US, Russia, Israel, India, or Iran. They can’t go abroad, and are likely suspect at home. The leaders have to worry that these scientists will give the same weapons to their enemies (it’s happened) or that they will not be dedicated enough to make the next iteration of the weapon (ditto).
My advice: specialize items for peacetime or civilian use if you can. Those who make better cars, music, art or architecture are welcome everywhere; advances in death usually rebound on the inventor. Here’s a joke comparing chemists and chemical engineers, a piece on a favorite car engine advance, on perfect tuning of musical instruments, an architecture joke, and a control engineer joke. People like civil engineers.