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What is engineering, and what are the different types of engineering (that is, how is...

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chillr | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:57 PM via web

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What is engineering, and what are the different types of engineering (that is, how is engineering divided into types)?

Give at least a few examples of what engineers do in their job, please.

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:18 AM (Answer #1)

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Engineering can be defined as “applied physics (and to a slightly lesser degree, chemistry), by the use of mathematics.” It is the profession of making and building things in the real three-dimensional world, where, as Harvard students are told, “physics enforces all of its rules all of the time.” An engineer, by checking with mathematics and measurement, anticipates and then realizes abstract ideas such as “Will this bridge on the drawing board here actually support the anticipated weight?” Or “Will electricity flow through this circuit with enough strength to cause this rotor to rotate?” The physical building of anything–rockets, skyscrapers, can openers, automobiles—must pass all the mathematical measurements of engineering to actually function as anticipated. The kinds of physics have two overlapping divisional factors: the special concentration on an area of expertise (chemical engineers, for example, specialize in such chemical areas as corrosion, volatile mixtures, manufacturing processes, etc.; electrical engineers specialize in the phenomena driven by electricity—lighting, motors, etc.), or the area of civilization—civil engineering deals with city plumbing, traffic or public transportation patterns, etc.; nautical engineering specializes in marine problems—vessels, harbors, dams, etc. Of course, all these specialties cross in a complex project like a rocket launch. The term for a “jack-of-all-trades” engineer is “general engineering.”

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