Engineering is the discipline and profession of applying technical and scientific knowledge and utilizing natural laws and physical resources in order to design and implement materials, structures, machines, devices, systems, and processes that realize a desired objective and meet specified criteria. The American Engineers’ Council for Professional Development (ECPD, the predecessor of ABET) has defined engineering as follows:
“The creative application of scientific principles to design or develop structures, machines, apparatus, or manufacturing processes, or works utilizing them singly or in combination; or to construct or operate the same with full cognizance of their design; or to forecast their behavior under specific operating conditions; all as respects an intended function, economics of operation and safety to life and property.”
Main Branches of Engineering Profession
Engineering, much like science, is a broad discipline which is often broken down into several sub-disciplines. These disciplines concern themselves with differing areas of engineering work. Although initially an engineer will be trained in a specific discipline, throughout an engineer’s career the engineer may become multi-disciplined, having worked in several of the outlined areas. Historically the main Branches of Engineering are categorized as:
- Aerospace Engineering – The design of aircraft, spacecraft and related topics.
- Chemical Engineering – The conversion of raw materials into usable commodities.
- Civil Engineering – The design and construction of public and private works, such as infrastructure, bridges and buildings.
- Electrical Engineering – The design of electrical systems, such as transformers, as well as electronic goods.
- Computer Engineering – The design of Softwares and Hardware-software integration.
- Mechanical Engineering – The design of physical or mechanical systems, such as engines, powertrains, kinematic chains and vibration isolation equipment.
With the rapid advancement of Technology many new fields are gaining prominence and new branches are developing such as Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, Nanotechnology, Molecular engineering, Mechatronics etc. These new specialties sometimes combine with the traditional fields and form new branches such as Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics and Electrical and Computer Engineering.