Engineering Term Paper

Engineers have invented modern necessities such as automobiles, airplanes, and computers. All of these inventions better our life and make our world an easier place to live in. According to McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms engineering is defined as the science by which the properties of matter and the sources of power in nature are made useful to humans in structures, machines, and products (542). Chemical, electrical, and mining engineering are a few of the additional fields in engineering that have a major impact on our humanity. Engineers have one of the most important occupations in the world because they construct almost everything that we utilize on a daily basis.

Engineering is the profession that puts scientific knowledge to practical knowledge. The words engineering and ingenuity are linked to the same Latin word-root and that the verb ‘to engineer’ means ‘to be ingenious’. So the kinds of things engineers have made have been  ingenious in general, and the word “engine” stands for an ingenious and helpful device. Engineers make use principles of sciences to design special structures, various machines, and different products. They look for better ways and methods to use existing resources and frequently develop new materials. Engineers have had a direct role in the creation of most modern technology such as tools, materials, techniques, and power sources that make our lives easier (Becoming an Engineer).

The history of engineering is the record of human ingenuity through the ages. Even in prehistoric times, people adapted basic engineering techniques from things that were available in nature. In prehistoric times, men and women had to be ingenious in order to survive hunger, enemies, climate, and later, the tyranny of distances. So there have always been engineers around, many of whom were involved in activities we would not associate with engineering today but, rather with hunting farming, fishing, fighting, tool making, and many other things. Early engineers have invented farming tools, designed elaborate irrigation networks, and built the first cities. The first engineer known by name and achievement is Imhotep, builder of the Step Pyramid at Saqqarak, Egypt, probably in about 2550 B.C (Engineering). Imhotep’s successors carried civil engineering to remarkable heights on the basis of empirical methods aided by arithmetic, geometry, and a smattering of physical science. There were a lot of early engineers in B.C such like the Greeks, Romans, Chinese and Asians. The Greeks, which were known as the inventors, made significant contributions in the 1000 years from B.C to A.D. They produced the screw, the ratchet, the water wheel and the aeolipile, better known as Hero’s turbine. The Romans, who were known as the improvers and adapters, built fortifications, roads, aqueducts, water distributions systems and public buildings across the territories and cities they controlled. The Chinese developers are also known has early engineers. They have developed the rotary fan, the sternpost rudder that guided their bamboo rafts, and they began to make paper from vegetable fibers and gunpowder. In Asia, engineering had a separate but very similar development, with more sophisticated techniques of construction, hydraulics, and metallurgy helping to create advanced civilizations such as the Mongol empire, whose large, beautiful cities impressed Marco Polo in the 13th century (Build Better World).

In the Dark Ages, 500 to 1500 AD, things were still being produced that were ingenious. For example, there was the development of the mechanical clock and the art of printing. Then the technique of heavy iron casting was applied to products for war, religion and industry. After the Dark Ages the Renaissance of the 16th century followed, which was dominated by Leonardo Da Vinci who was an engineer, inventor, and an artist. This whole period came under the influence of the architects and engineers, who built cathedrals and other large buildings and the military engineers who built castles and other fortifications. The development of engineering in Canada was developed from similar steps that they used in prehistoric times. Without engineers and their ingenious engines, there would be no world (Engineering).

Engineers are mainly problem-solvers and it is common to all engineering work. They put scientific knowledge to practical use, applying science and math to solve problems ingeniously. They are involved with the design, construction and function of everything from bridges to computer chips to motorcycles to roller coasters. In fact, without engineers, our modern way of life would not be very modern at all.

There are seven major functions of all engineering branches. First there is research, which uses mathematical and scientific concepts, experimental techniques, and inductive reasoning. Mainly the research engineer seeks new principles and developments. Then there is development, which this function deals with applying the results of research to useful purposes. Then there is design, which in designing a structure or a product, the engineer selects techniques, specifies materials, and verifies shapes to guarantee technical requirements and to meet performance specifications. Then there is construction, which is responsible for preparing the site, determining procedures that will efficiently and safely yield the desired eminence, directing the placement of materials, and organizing the personnel and equipment. Next there is production, in production they are accountable for the plant layout and equipment selection. Then they have to choose the procedures and tools, assimilate the flow of materials and components, and provide for testing and inspection. Then there is operation; this person controls machines, plants, and organizations providing power, transportation, and communication. In operation this person also determines procedures and supervises personnel to obtain reliable and economic procedure of complex equipment. Finally there is management, which basically the engineers analyze customers’ requirements, recommend units to satisfy needs economically, and resolve related problems. In order of decreasing emphasis on science these major functions are used in every branch of engineering (Becoming an Engineer).

In engineering there are nearly 20 areas of specialization and all of them are very important to everyday life. There is aerospace engineering, which does research, design and production of aircraft, spacecraft, aerospace equipment, satellites and missiles. Although the creation of aircraft and spacecraft involve professionals from many branches of engineering, aerospace engineers are responsible for the design of the craft, including its shape, performance, propulsion, and guidance control system. In this field professional responsibilities vary widely depending on the specific job description (Careers in Focus 5-7).

Then there is biomechanical and biomedical engineering, which deals with the research and the designing of equipment that assists in human movement, such as artificial limbs and organs. They develop new theories, and they modify, test, and prove existing theories on life systems. They also design health care instruments and devices or apply engineering principles to the study of human systems (Careers in Focus 23-26). Next there is chemical engineering, which is the design and operation of industrial equipment and methods to manufacture chemical products. They are involved in evaluating methods and equipment for the mass production of chemicals and other materials requiring chemical processing. They also develop products from these materials, such as plastics, metals, and pharmaceuticals (Careers in Focus 39-41).

Then there is civil engineering, sometimes known as structural engineering, which deals with the designing, construction and management of highways, railways, transit systems, airports, harbors, bridges, tunnels and buildings. Civil engineering involves theoretical knowledge applied to the practical planning of the layout of our cities, towns, and other communities. Civil engineers are concerned with modifying the natural environment and building new environments to better the lifestyles of the general public (Careers in Focus 48-51). Next there is electrical engineering, which deals with the production, transmission, distribution and application of electrical energy, as well as low power electricity that is the basis for telecommunications, television and computer technology. They also design, develop, and manufacture electric motors, electrical machinery, and ignition systems for automobiles, aircrafts, and other engines (Careers in Focus 55-58).

Then there is environmental engineering, which deals with the development of technically reasonable solutions to environmental problems. They also design, build, and maintain systems to control waste streams produced by municipalities and private industries (Careers in Focus 68-70). Next there is industrial and manufacturing engineering, which deals with the combination of expertise in equipment, material, procedures, human resources and production methods to assist organizations to improve efficiency, effectiveness and productivity (Harmon 83-84). Then there is mechanical engineering, which deals with the applying of the principles of mathematics, material science, physics and economics to design, manufacture and maintenance of mechanical equipment. Their work varies by industry and function. They may work in design, instrumentations, testing, robotics, and transportation, among other areas (Careers in Focus 84-86).

Then there is material engineering, which deals with the study of non-metallic materials. Then there is metallurgical engineering, which is the study of the properties and characteristics of metals and other materials (Engineering). Next there is mining engineering, which deals with the discovery, extraction and preparation of minerals from the Earth’s crust to be used by manufacturing energy industries (Careers in Focus 102-103). Then there is naval architectural and ocean engineering, which deals with the conception, design and construction of ships, offshore structures and other marine vehicles (Engineering).

Next there is nuclear engineering, which deals with the research, development and application of nuclear technology to energy production, environmental protection, medical diagnosis and treatment, and the use of radioisotopes in construction, sterilization, and space systems. Some nuclear engineers design, develop, and operate nuclear power plants, which are used to generate electricity and power navy ships. Others specialize in developing nuclear weapons, medical uses for radioactive materials, and disposal facilities for radioactive waste (Careers in Focus 11-113). Finally there is petroleum engineering, which deals with the exploration, recovery, development and processing of oil and gas. They are also involved in operating oil and gas facilities, monitoring and forecasting reservoir performance, and utilizing enhanced oil recovery techniques that extend the life of wells. You can understand why engineers need to be team players, when you think about how the many specialties of engineering join together to create new developments through out the world.

In the 20th century engineers have had many achievements that have affected our lives. Lets start with electrification, which brought light to the world and power to almost every everything in modern society. Consider its impact on everyday life, lighting, heating and air conditioning, refrigeration, computers, transportation, communications, medical technologies, food production, and there are many more. Electrification is responsible for numerous developments that have made life safer, healthier, and more suitable, so much so that it is hard to imagine life without it (Greatest Engineering).

Now lets talk about the automobile, which is a major necessity to most people in the world. The automobile has become the major transporter of people and goods in the world. The car industry has become a major source for people all around the world, and automobiles are getting more advanced as the years go on. Then there is the airplane, which has also made a major impact on our world. Air travel has revolutionized our world and is one of engineers’ most astonishing developments. Today air travel makes the whole world accessible, transporting goods and people around the globe. Airplanes and automobiles are one of the greatest achievements engineers have developed in the world so far (Greatest Engineering).

One of life’s most significant natural resources is water. Engineers have made the water supply and distribution s a major achievement in the world today. Without engineers today’s water supply would be polluted with diseases that would kill people all around the world. So, the effective water treatment systems have had a dramatic impact on reducing these illnesses, virtually eliminating them in developed nations. The success of these water systems has led to massive increases in agricultural production, reduced infant mortality, longer life expectancy, and improvements in the quality of life through out the world (Greatest Engineering).

From vacuums to video cameras, electronic devices have become smaller, and more powerful. Engineers’ intelligence and new developments lie behind those unseen essentials that operate wireless communications, satellite broadcasts, air traffic control systems, microwave ovens, video cameras, touch-tone phones, computers, and many other innovations that have improved the quality, safety, and convenience of modern life. The Internet was first considered in the 1960s as a nationwide network that could allow a range of computers to exchange information and share resources. The Internet has changed cultural patterns, the consumer industry, research, and education. The Internet is another major development by engineers that has made life even easier and more efficient than before (Greatest Engineering).

Often disregarded as products of engineering, household appliances brought essential changes to lifestyles, especially for women, by eliminating a lot of the time of intense and back braking work of everyday chores. They improve our lives by freeing time and energy, and contributing significantly to the economy. The introduction of the radio and television was a major cause of social change in the world. Almost everyone in the world has watched or listened to a television or a radio one time in their life. The television and radio has engaged millions of people in the world to know what is going on throughout the world. The television and radio have also been a major choice for entertainment for everyone in the world (Greatest Engineering).

Engineers are very important to everyday life because they create new products that make our life easier and better. The history of engineering goes all the way back to the prehistoric times, so therefore engineers have molded our world over a million years ago, and if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t really have a world to live in today. There are over 20 branches of engineering that have made our lives easier from aerospace to nuclear engineering, and all of them have had a major impact on our lives. Engineers have the most important jobs because they construct almost everything that we use on a daily basis and most of these things make our lives easier. Without engineers we would have a hard time trying to make it in the world today, so therefore to me engineers have the most important jobs; because they have to construct things to make our world an easier and better place to live.


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