What is Engineering? Here is what you can do as an engineer

Engineering is the use of science and mathematics to solve problems. It is one of the cornerstones of STEM education, an interdisciplinary curriculum designed to encourage students to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Engineers understand how things work and find practical applications for scientific discoveries. Inventors and scientists are often attributed to inventions that improve the human condition, but it is engineers who are most involved in spreading these inventions around the world.

The history of engineering plays a big part in human history. Stonehenge, the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, and the Colosseum are monuments of our engineering heritage. Modern engineers not only build structures as large as the International Space Station but also develop tiny computer chips.

What does an engineer do?

Engineers design, evaluate, develop, test, modify, install, test, and maintain a variety of products and systems. They also plan and assign materials and processes, control production and design, analyze defects, provide consulting services, and teach engineering courses at colleges and universities.

The field of engineering is divided into several special areas:

  • Civil engineering includes the planning, construction, maintenance, and overhaul of major infrastructure projects such as highways, railways, bridges, tunnels, dams, and airports.
  • Nuclear engineering includes the design, manufacture, design, operation, and testing of equipment, systems, and processes involving the production, control, and detection of nuclear radiation. Such systems include power plants and ships, grain accelerators for the production and research of radioisotopes, and nuclear reactors. Nuclear technology also includes screening and protecting people from the effects of potentially dangerous radiation.
  • Mechanical engineering includes the design, manufacture, inspection, and maintenance of machinery, equipment, and components, as well as control systems and devices to monitor their condition and operation. These include vehicles, construction and agricultural machinery, industrial enterprises, and various machinery and equipment.
  • Chemical engineering is the practice of designing equipment, systems, and processes for the processing of raw materials and mixing, mixing, and processing of chemicals for the production of valuable products.
  • Electrical engineering includes the design, testing, manufacture, design, testing, inspection, and testing of electrical and electronic equipment, devices, and systems. These systems range from microscopic schemes to national power generation and transmission systems.
  • Aerospace engineering includes the design, manufacture, and testing of aircraft and spacecraft, as well as parts and components such as aircraft frames, power plants, control and management systems, electrical and electronic systems, and communications systems.
  • Structural engineering includes the design, construction, and inspection of load-bearing structures such as large office buildings, bridges, and industrial infrastructure.
  • Environmental engineering is the practice of preventing, reducing, and eliminating air, water, and soil pollution. It includes identifying and measuring pollution levels, identifying sources of pollution, cleaning up contaminated areas, and adhering to local, state, and federal regulations.
  • Biomedical engineering is used to design systems, equipment, and devices for use in medical practice. It also includes working closely with physicians, including physicians, nurses, technologists, therapists, and researchers, to identify, understand, and meet their requirements for systems, equipment, and tools.
  • Computer engineering is the use of design for components in computer hardware, computer systems, networks, and computer software.
  • Industrial engineering is the process of designing and repairing buildings, facilities, systems, and systems for production, maintenance, and many other work areas.

Engineers, in particular, need in-depth knowledge of mathematics, physics, and software such as simulation and computer design. For this reason, most college programs include core engineering courses in a variety of subjects before students graduate with a major in a particular field.

Engineering jobs & salaries

Many employers require engineers to have a state certificate to be professional engineers. In addition, many engineers are members of the American Professional Engineers Association and other engineering communities where they specialize in.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has information on several specialties, including academic requirements, job descriptions, jobs, and employment. According to the BLS, engineers work at many locations including research laboratories, factories, construction sites, nuclear power plants, offshore tankers, and even the International Space Station. In addition, many engineers work in specialized companies. For example, a plumber (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) engineer may be the owner of a heating and air conditioning company and a construction company may be owned by a structural engineer.

Most engineering jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree. As a top professional engineer, many employers require a rigorous and comprehensive test to work as a consultant. Higher engineering positions and professors usually require a master’s or doctoral degree.

According to the BLS, engineers’ employment is expected to increase by 4 to 27 percent by 2022. According to Salary.com, a new engineer with a bachelor’s degree can expect to earn between $ 50,817 and $ 78,487 a year. A bachelor’s degree with a master’s degree and 5 to 10 years of experience pay $ 68,628 to $ 114,426; A senior engineer with a master’s degree or more than 15 years of experience can earn $ 91,520 to $ 156,895. More experienced engineers move on to management positions or start their consulting firm where they earn more. Also, some engineers become patent attorneys by going to law school and earning more than $ 250,000 a year.

Technology has evolved over centuries with our knowledge and understanding of the laws of science, mathematics, and physics and their applications. Today, engineers apply the same well-established scientific principles and innovations for the design, construction, improvement, and maintenance of complex equipment, structures, systems, and processes.

The engineer pulled us out of the caves; Engineering has brought us to the moon; And when we reach for the stars, engineering will bring us there. As our knowledge expands, engineers will have new opportunities to apply practical scientific discoveries.

What is being an engineer like?

Engineering is not what you see in movies or on TV. If you expect to be Tony Stark to be, you will most likely become disappointed. Nowadays, things are so complicated that it is almost impossible to even plan and do something great. If you want to be famous, do not be an engineer. Design requires teamwork – typically, software engineers, hardware engineers, mechanical engineers, and many other disciplines require support, assembly, consulting, finance, purchasing, and more. The integration of the latest iPhone required considerable effort. The days when engineers could be lonely and anti-social are coming to an end. Engineers almost always have to work as a team to get something done. The members of these groups work without publicizing themselves.

Steve Jobs was not an engineer. He (through others) led the design teams, but did he write any of the code? Did he design the beautiful details of where each screw, bracket, or glue drop went? I don’t think so. Steve Jobs just told his staff that he wanted something with certain details, and he wanted it on a certain day. And then he hires/removes staff based on whether they did what he wanted. He is a visionary, a manager, a salesman, a promoter, etc., but not a great engineer.

On the other hand, unlike winning an Olympic event – where the winner feels like they’ve done something for themselves and received praise from others, you may realize you’ve designed something that helps people. Maybe even millions of people. If you think that a good circuit of ideal diodes will help many people, you are wrong because ideal diodes are equipped with a large number of electronic devices – devices that can work better thanks to it. Even if you’re not designing a new mobile phone or a self-driving car, if your part in a larger project turns out fine, you will feel okay even if you’re not famous for your efforts.

So as an engineer, do not expect praise from others like a baseball player. But think about it; Does a great baseball player improve the lives of thousands or millions of people? Does a good golfer make people’s lives easier? Does a movie star offer a way to connect directly with friends wherever they are? Does a pop singer give you a way to fly from coast to coast in hours? Does a good chef come up with a way to get water every time you turn on the faucet or electricity every time you turn on the light switch? Or reduce car pollution while being more efficient, reliable, and safer?

Engineers do all this and more and do things you never imagined. If you want to shine and bring a little more entertainment to the world, then do not be an engineer. However, if you want to change the world and few people know about your achievements, then become an engineer.

Jason Velarde

Jason Velarde is the guy behind STEMcadia. He has been involved with libraries for over 15 years, starting as a Circulation Desk Clerk, working his way to becoming a Youth Services Librarian. Nearly every evening after work, you’ll find him either reverse engineering (breaking) a gadget or building prototype robots, but when he's not, he's here researching and writing about all things related to STEM on STEMcadia.