Designing in Engineering Works

Description: Engineer at drawing board

Engineers use science and math to come up with practical solutions to problems.

Engineering is the application of science and math to solve problems. Engineers figure out how things work and find practical uses for scientific discoveries. Scientists and inventors often get the credit for innovations that advance the human condition, but it is engineers who are instrumental in making those innovations available to the world.

A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible. There are no prima donnas in engineering.”

Engineering is one of the cornerstones of STEM Education, an interdisciplinary curriculum designed to motivate students to learn about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

What does an engineer do?

Engineers design, evaluate, develop, test, modify, install, inspect and maintain a wide variety of products and systems. They also recommend and specify materials and processes, supervise manufacturing and construction, conduct failure analysis, provide consulting services and teach engineering courses in colleges and universities.

The field of engineering is divided into a large number of specialty areas:

There is often considerable overlap among the different specialties. For this reason, engineers need to have a general understanding of several areas of engineering besides their specialty. For example, a civil engineer needs to understand concepts of structural engineering, an aerospace engineer needs to apply principles of mechanical engineering, and nuclear engineers need a working knowledge of electrical engineering.

Particularly, engineers require in-depth knowledge of mathematics, physics and computer applications such as simulations and computer-aided design. This is why most college programs include basic engineering courses in a wide range of topics before students choose to specialize in a particular area.

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