What is Peer Review and Why is it Needed?

Peer review blog

The field of civil engineering involves designing, building, and maintaining infrastructures such as bridges, highways, buildings, and water supply systems. The work of civil engineers is critical as it directly affects the safety and well-being of the public. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the work of civil engineers is accurate, reliable, and safe. One of the ways to achieve this is through the peer review process.

The peer review process in engineering involves having experts in the same field evaluate the work of other engineers. The process is a rigorous and objective evaluation of the design, methods, and results of a project.

The experts are typically from outside the organization that conducted the work. The experts then review the work and provide feedback on its quality, accuracy, and safety. The feedback may include suggestions for improvements, corrections, or recommendations for further testing.

The peer review process involves several steps.

Errors and Omissions

Peer reviews helps to identify errors and omissions in the design or specification that could lead to safety hazards or costly rework. For example, a peer review might notice a design flaw in a bridge that could cause it to collapse under certain conditions, or identify an error in a water supply system design that could lead to contamination. By catching these issues early on, peer review can help prevent costly mistakes and ensure the safety and integrity of public infrastructure.

Professional Standards

Peer reviews help to ensure that the work meets the required standards and codes. Civil engineering is a highly regulated field, with strict codes and standards governing the design, construction, and maintenance of public infrastructure. Peer review ensures that the work meets these requirements and helps to ensure that public infrastructure is designed and constructed to the highest standards of safety and reliability.

Quality of Work

Peer reviews can help to improve the quality of the work by providing constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement. For example, a peer reviewer might suggest alternative materials or construction techniques that could improve the efficiency or durability of a structure, or identify areas where the design could be simplified or streamlined to save time and money. By providing this feedback, peer review can help to ensure that the final product is not only safe and reliable, but also cost-effective and sustainable.

Trust and Confidence

Peer reviews can help to build trust and confidence in the civil engineering profession. By ensuring that the work is accurate, reliable, and meets the required standards and codes, peer review helps to demonstrate the competence and expertise of civil engineers and helps to build trust and confidence in their work. This is especially important in the public sector, where taxpayers rely on civil engineers to design and construct public infrastructure that is safe, efficient, and sustainable.


The peer review process is a valuable tool to identify potential construction issues, ensure code compliance and other regulations and to mitigate errors or omissions.

MFS can help, contact our team today for a consultation.