Engineering applies mathematics and science to solve real-world problems. It is the link between scientific discoveries and the commercial applications that meet the needs of the consumer and society.. Types of engineers include: Aeronautical, Agricultural, Biomedical, Ceramic and Materials, Chemical, Civil, Electrical and Computer, Environmental, Geological, Industrial, Mechanical, Nuclear, and Petroleum. Each main branch can have subdivisions, and engineering professional societies recognize numerous specialties. Institutions offering engineering degrees have their programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Engineers develop new products such as cosmetics, artificial limbs, bridges, and toys. Engineers use computers to produce and analyze designs; to simulate and test how a machine, structure, or system operates; to generate specifications for parts; to monitor the quality of products; and to control the efficiency of processes. Nanotechnology, which deals with materials on the scale of nanometers and involves the manipulation of atoms and molecules to create high-performance materials and components, is introducing entirely new principles to the engineering design process.
Engineers who work in areas that affect public health and safety are required to obtain a license from their state’s professional licensing board. The National Society of Professional Engineers oversees the licensure of engineers in the United States. In order to obtain an engineering license and become a Professional Engineer, or PE, one must have an accredited four year engineering degree, have practiced four years under the supervision of a licensed Professional Engineer, and pass two extensive competency exams given by their state’s licensing board. Once licensed, a Professional Engineer can prepare, sign and seal engineering plans, review and approve plans, supervise engineers and others involved in engineering design and construction, and practice engineering as a consultant. Many government engineering positions require licensure. (NSPE, 2017).
Overviews of Engineering Branches
- Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
- Free Online Engineering Dictionary – Engineering dictionary compendium; dictionaries and glossaries with explanations and definitions of terms, phrases, acronyms and abbreviations related to engineering.
- Chemical Engineers (1:31) – Applications of chemical engineering and the role chemical engineers play in product development.
- A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer (1:12)
- Electrical Engineers job description (1:31)
- A Day in the Life – Mechanical Engineer (1:00)
- American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES)
- American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
- American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
- American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
- National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)