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What is Engineering?

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Types of Engineers

Check out the different fields of engineering

Aeronautical
Biomedical
Mechanical
Chemical
Civil
Sustainability Design
Electrical and Electronics
Systems
Biomechanical
Photonics
Computer software
Computer hardware
Nuclear
Mineral
Agricultural

Aeronautical engineers and aerospace engineers design, manufacture and operate aircraft, spacecraft, missiles and rockets. The newest fighter jets and jumbo transport airline jets, as well as, the Space Shuttle owe their existence to these types of engineers. These engineering fields can trace their roots all the way back to Leonardo da Vinci as well as Orville and Wilbur Wright, the Wright Brothers.
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Biomedical engineers apply engineering principles and techniques to the medical field. They combine the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical and biological sciences to help improve patient health care and the quality of life of individuals. By integrating physical, chemical, mathematical, and computational sciences with engineering principles, biomedical engineers develop innovative biologics, materials, processes, implants, and devices. These innovations are used to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases, to rehabilitate patients, and to improve health.

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Mechanical engineers design, build and test machines, engines and other mechanical devices.
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Chemical engineers design equipment and processes for large-scale chemical manufacturing, plan and test methods of manufacturing products and treating byproducts, and supervise production. Chemical engineers also work in a variety of manufacturing industries other than chemical manufacturing, such as those producing energy, electronics, food, pet food, clothing, and paper. They also work in health care, biotechnology, and business services.
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Civil engineers plan, design, construct and maintain structures – such as buildings, roads, bridges and dams – that meet human needs.
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Sustainable "green" design engineers comply with the principles of economic, social, and ecological sustainability in their design of physical objects. These objects may range from small items for everyday use to large buildings, cities, and even the earth's physical surface. Sustainable design is closely aligned to environmental design and is a growing trend within the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning, engineering, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, and fashion design. The field of sustainable design is also referred to as green design, eco-design, or design for environment.

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Electrical and electronics engineers design, develop, test and supervise the manufacture of electrical and electronic equipment such as:

  • Broadcast and communications systems
  • Electric motors, machinery controls, and lighting and wiring in buildings, automobiles, aircraft, and radar and navigation systems
  • Power generating, controlling and transmission devices used by electric utilities
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Systems engineers draw from many engineering fields and backgrounds to combine emerging technologies to create new ideas and materials. Systems engineering techniques are used in complex projects: from spacecrafts to chip design, from robotics to creating large software products to building bridges. Systems engineering uses a host of tools that include modeling and simulation, requirements analysis, and scheduling to manage large, complex projects.
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Biomechanical engineers look at how engineering can be applied to the human body. Understanding the mechanics of how we walk and run, sit and stand, and bend and flex is used to design products that feel comfortable, provide safety, and enhance human performance. Backpack and clothing design, child safety car seats, and running shoes are just some of the products that biomechanical engineers use their knowledge and creativity to design and test.
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Photonics is the science of generating, controlling, and detecting photons especially in the visible light spectrum. Photonics engineers use this science to understand and make use of the emission, transmission, amplification, detection, modulation, and switching of light. Photonics as a field really began in 1960 with the invention of the laser, and followed in the 1970s with the development of optical fibers as a medium for transmitting information using light beams. These inventions provided the infrastructure for the Internet.
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Computer software engineers apply the quickly evolving principles and techniques of computer science, engineering and mathematical analysis to the design, development, testing and evaluation of software and software systems.
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Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop and test computer hardware and supervise its manufacture and installation. Hardware includes computer chips, circuit boards, computer systems and related equipment such as keyboards, modems and printers.
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Nuclear engineers research and develop the processes, instruments and systems needed to derive benefits from nuclear energy and radiation. Nuclear engineers:

  • Operate nuclear power plants
  • Work with the disposal of nuclear waste
  • Develop nuclear power sources for spacecraft
  • Use radioactive materials for industrial and medical uses, such as equipment to diagnose and treat medical problems
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Mineral engineers include mining, metallurgical and petroleum engineers, who are focused on extracting minerals from the ground and converting them to pure forms.
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Agricultural engineers apply engineering technology and biological science to agriculture, and design agricultural machinery and equipment. Some specialties include:

  • Power systems and machinery design
  • Structures and the environment
  • Food and bioprocess engineering

Agricultural engineers also develop ways to conserve soil and water, and to improve the processing of agricultural products.
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