word engineering comes from the Latin enginium
You live in a world of creations. All of the things you see around you were created by people. The technology that’s been used to record a video were likewise created. Sometimes entire generations of clever designers. Those designers were engineers. And engineers are when it comes right down to its creators. The word engineering itself comes from the Latin “enginium” meaning cleverness and “ingeniare” meaning to design or device. That makes sense because you have to be clever if you’re going to solve the problems that engineers face every day. Now you might think of engineering as a kind of science, and that’s not wrong. But it’s more useful to think of science as a tool. A tool that engineers use along with mathematics to perform their unique duties.
We’re going to show you just what you can accomplish through engineering. Math is at the core of engineering. But what’s more important of the ideas and the applications. They help us understand how we use math to solve problems. So we’ll be teaching you some math but also the concepts that those equations explain in their own way. We’ll survey what we’ve already achieved. Explore we’re still discovering and dream about what we hope to make possible. We’ll show you the ideas you can use to engineer great things. we want you to be inspired and as interested in engineering as we are.
that’s what this course is all about.
image as an engineer
Imagine you’re walking through town, maybe on your way to class or to the gym or meeting for work.
and right there on the pavement, you come across a blob. If something is fairly large and blue and jiggly, pretty strange, right? what do you do? Well, you’re a curious person and you know a little something about scientific inquiry. So you want to use science to study the blob. maybe your background is in chemistry. So you might analyze the blob of molecular structure or the chemical components in it to try and figure out what the block is made of. Well maybe the blob is moving or making sounds and you think it might be alive. So you might try to see how it responds to save water or a poke with your pen. Maybe you even decide to remove a sample of it to learn about the blob biology. You could even look at it from the perspective of physics and see how it operates in motion. Maybe this blob has some special properties. Any of these responses would be approaching the situation as a scientist. You’re curious about the blob and want to understand it. that’s science. Scientists ask questions about the nature of the universe, from our expanding knowledge of space to the tiniest particles found in the tip of your pencil.
The engineers want to take the answers to those questions and solve problems. Because in the process of designing clever things, what engineering really does is solve problems. and the good news is you already know how to think like an engineer. You’ve dabbled in engineering. If you’ve ever wondered what you can do with something, you’ve used your engineer’s mind. If you went outside on a snowy morning and built a snowman after figuring out the packing properties of the snow. I’m not saying you should put that on your resume. That you do get a thumbs up. So from an engineering perspective, your response to the mysterious sidewalk blob would be a little different. But it may depend on what kind of engineer you are.
Today, engineering is much broader and more varied than it used to be. That’s because engineering originally referred specifically to military engineering. Military engineering involves designing and building military works. Along with ways of communicating and transporting people and things. Think of catapults trebuchets and siege towers. These types of war machines and military structures have been found as far back as the 11th century BCE by the Babylonians and Assyrians.
You needed a good engineer if you wanted to storm a castle. So from the perspective of this field, the main problem that an engineer might want to solve is simply how to destroy the blob or to protect yourself from it. Now the first of the modern field of engineering to emerge after military engineering is civil engineering. This branch had its official start around the 18th century. Like the name implies, civil engineering was used for civilian purposes rather than military ones. It focuses on building structures of all kinds along with highways sanitation systems and even entire cities.
Under this branch of engineering, we might want to study the blob to figure out what properties it has that can be used to solve problems of daily civilian life. But maybe the blobs goo is better insulating material than what’s currently in your house. Or maybe it turns out to be really elastic or waterproof or have some other property that could make it useful in construction, infrastructure or urban planning.
The 19th century led to an increasing focus on the machinery industry, which gave rise to the branch of mechanical engineering which I must say is a mechanical engineer. Myself is a fine discipline this branch focuses on machinery and mechanical systems from robots to engines. Thomas Savery and Thomas Newcomen to English inventors who are credited with creating the steam engine in the early 1700s were both mechanical engineers. And so was James Watt the Scottish scientists who made their design much more efficient by recapturing steam in the engine. The Industrial Revolution was led by mechanical engineers like that.
Then Electrical Engineering was natural progression ones who were able to generate electricity and create electronics. Dating back to the 19th century Electrical Engineering deals with devices and systems that can range anywhere from microchips and cell phones to the giant power station generators that help supply energy to big cities. Electrical and Mechanical Engineering often come together to create some pretty fantastic inventions. If you want a robot that can move about like we do, you’re going to need a mechanical engineer to set up the skeleton of the machine. then to give it a heart of electricity you’ll need an electrical engineer to provide power to the robot with electronics. and if you want it to act like us too, you’ll need someone skilled in computer science. so engineering doesn’t stop there.
Another field was founded in the late 19th century. Chemical Engineering. these engineers have quite a wide focus not only designing and operating chemical plants that do things like refining oil and distill alcohol. They also deal with food medicine in the environment and much more. They’re involved not only with the preservatives and artificial flavors found in the pizza pocket you ate last night but also with the medicine you took the next day to help your upset stomach.
Together civil or mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering is often seen as the four main branches of engineering in the modern world. But there are many more fields that specialize even further. we have aerospace engineers building machines that fly in the air and space. Nuclear engineers harnessing the energy released from nuclear reactions. And biomedical engineers creating medical equipment and devices to solve clinical problems. the list goes on and one branch that supports all of them is Industrial Engineering. Engineers in this field design and optimize the facility’s equipment and systems that many other engineers use to create their products. Think of them as the support class of the engineering world. They provide the all-important groundwork for many of our engineering advances.
We’ll need some industrial engineers to help us with our factory when we start manufacturing our cool new products. Based on whatever this blob is made of with the power of engineering at our fingertips we’ve already been able to do some pretty amazing things. We’ve built spaceships that have sent people to the moon and given Mars a few Rovers which are fantastic works of engineering themselves.
We’ve made artificial hearts to pump blood through the human body and artificial limbs to replace the ones that we’ve lost. We’ve designed skyscrapers that wave over the clouds and show the world just how high we can reach. And we’ve only just begun. In the future, it’s very possible that we’ll see advances like an artificial pancreas that would effectively cure type 1 diabetes. New nanotechnology that will show the might of being small and rockets that will finally send people to Mars to hang out with those Rovers. This and much much more could all come from engineering. Maybe one day you’ll be the one to create something truly amazing as for the blob you found on the pavement. I don’t know what that thing is maybe it will turn out to be a huge wad of used chewing gum or maybe it’s a new life-form. No matter what a way the first or last mysterious object you’ll encounter as a student of engineering. The world is full of strange things with great potential for solving problems. When you use your engineering mind everything suddenly seems both perplexing and exciting.