What is Engineering?

Engineering can be defined as the application of mathematics and science, including chemical, electrical, and physical principles and laws, to design and build the various paraphernalia that makes up everyday life. These varied items include nearly every conceivable manufactured technology, from structures and bridges to computers and home appliances. Engineers not only invent and produce these items but are also involved in extensive preliminary testing prior to their distribution. They seek to improve and refine existing products based on newer techniques and technological changes. In all of these endeavors, engineers are not solely focused on what can be done but also on what should be done. They regularly take stock of the current or possible impacts of those implements they develop, whether these are social, environmental, cultural, or political, as well as economic concerns. The labor and financial cost, sustainability, and efficiency of production are all aspects of development that engineers must carefully consider in their work.

The sheer amount and varied types of machines created through engineering require the inclusion of many specialized disciplines in the field. Civil, electrical, electronic, and mechanical engineering are the most common and most populated disciplines. Civil engineering is concerned with creating and maintaining public services, especially infrastructure, including municipal utilities, highways, and mass transit systems. Electrical engineers are involved with the testing and production of electrical equipment and power generation, while those concerned with electronics focus on communication devices and computers. Mechanical engineering deals with improving machines, from tools and robotics to car engines and climate control devices. Other types of engineering and engineering technology include:

  • Aerospace
  • Architectural
  • Biomedical
  • Chemical
  • Environmental
  • Geotechnical
  • Industrial
  • Manufacturing
  • Materials
  • Mining
  • Nuclear
  • Petroleum
  • Structural
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Engineering Resources

The field of engineering is a storied and important one, with many applied disciplines and specialty practices. The resources available at Study.com will introduce students of engineering to the history of the discipline, its fundamental principles, and various examples of the work. With informative courses, study guides, quizzes, flashcards, and lesson plans, students and teachers will have all the information they need on engineering to succeed in the classroom.

Engineering Courses

Engineering is an evergreen field, touching many applied areas of study, but with a relatively new presence on Study.com. Even so, there are several engineering courses on offer, covering the basics of the discipline, its applied fields, construction, and the importance of communication skills for engineers. These lessons have plenty of information to help students of engineering get on the right track.

Engineering Test Prep for Teachers and Students

Test Prep

Prospective Texas educators interested in teaching math, physical science, or engineering can prepare for their licensure exam by taking advantage of Study.com's TExES Math, Science & Engineering study guide. This course covers all important math topics covered on the exam, including trigonometry, calculus, geometry, probability, and mathematical instruction. The science review explores work, power, energy, physics, and chemistry. Topics in engineering include tolerance, pressure, engineering design, the role of information technology in engineering, and engineering in the classroom. This comprehensive study guide will provide prospective teachers with a solid preparation for this important test.

For teachers and parents

Engineering Lesson Plans for Teachers

Instructors looking to incorporate engineering as an application of physics or natural science classes may find these lessons plans useful. Study guides, quizzes, and project ideas on the applications of engineering make the field interesting for students. Lessons look at structural and electrical engineering and how they relate to physics and science.

Lesson plans
  • Electricity, Physics & Engineering Lesson Plans

    Teachers of engineering and physics courses may find these lesson plans and resources useful. Lessons look at machines, waves, electromagnetism, flight, electricity, and the types of engineering that make up the field.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What exactly do engineers do?

    Engineers design, test, and oversee the production of the many structures, systems, tools, and objects that make up everyday life. In doing this, they also factor in the possible broader effects of these things and what it will take to improve them in the future.

  • What is a simple definition of engineering?

    Engineering is the application of science and mathematics to design, refine, test, and produce the manufactured items and systems that support society. These created things include systems of utilities, the production of electrical power, buildings, cell phones, toys, computers, etc.