Engineering is not science. Engineers generally don't "do" science. Science is about discovering the natural. Engineering is creating the artificial. The critical roles of engineering in addressing the large-scale pressing challenges facing our societies worldwide are widely recognized. Such large-scale challenges include access to affordable health care; tackling the coupled issues of energy, transportation and climate change; providing more equitable access to information for our populations; clean drinking water; natural and man-made disaster mitigation, environmental protection and natural resource management, among numerous others. As such, mobilizing the engineering community to become more effective in delivering real products and services of benefit to society, especially in the developing world, is a vitally important international responsibility.
Many things have been accomplished by early engineers. The great pyramids in Egypt for example are an engineering marvel still today. The massive structures look simple but they took great skill to construct. The complex ventilation systems and rooms took brilliant engineers to design. The people in that era had very few tools to help them build the pyramids so engineers had to devise a way to lift the ponderous stones and place them where they were needed. Engineering has many applications, and is one of the most widely used and needed professions in the world.
The building of the great pyramids is just one small facet of engineering. Engineering is not one broad profession but is a profession consisting of several specialized branches. Historically, engineering can be divided into four primary disciplines. These are civil, mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineering. Additionally engineering is a cornerstone of nuclear technology, mining, and environmental control. Each of the four primary disciplines has a long and rich history.
Civil engineering is the oldest of the four disciplines. It...
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