Engineering is one of the most ancient human endeavors. Long before modern technology was developed, the ancient Egyptians used their knowledge of geometry and mathematics to construct their pyramids. The Romans were excellent engineers too – they constructed buildings with arches, aqueducts, bridges and roads, many of which are still in use today. The Great Wall of China is another big feat of engineering.
What an engineer does
Until 1750, an engineer’s job was restricted almost entirely to construction. Today, engineers work to design a variety of things, including tiny electronic circuits and complex equipment that astronomers use to probe the depths of outer space. They also plan the electricity and water supply systems of communities and do research to improve the way computers, cars, TVs and other consumer products work.
Branches of engineering
Engineering consists of many specializations, each of which has its own requirements. They include:
• aerospace engineering – designing aircraft
• biomedical engineering – developing artificial limbs and other medical devices
• chemical engineering – producingchemical products for industrial and consumer use
• civil engineering – This is one of the oldest and most complex branches of all; it involves the supervision of complex projects like bridges and railroads.
• electrical engineering – producing electrical and electronic devices and equipment
• environmental engineering – creating devices for measuring and controlling pollution
• industrial engineering – applying the techniques of engineering to the production of goods and services
• materials engineering – includes mining and metallurgical engineering, preparing metals for use
• mechanical engineering