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Engineering (the Ultimate Guide to Becoming an Engineer)

More Than Just Building

Engineering is responsible for modern marvels and continuing progress in today's world. It looks at the principles behind building things like machines and structures, but it's more than that. These things are vital tools that we use to make certain parts of our lives easier, freeing up time and effort for other greater things.

The field is stimulating and constantly changing, keeping boredom at bay for anyone. It provides the chance to make changes in tech that can help many fields in society. Medicine, robotics, space exploration, manufacturing, and more all use engineering to make strides for a better future. That's why you'll find a range of engineering articles and books on Direct Knowledge to inspire you to become a part of the innovation.

The Upside: Less School

One benefit of engineering is that you don't need to be in school as long as other similar professional degrees. You won't be needing a PhD or even a master's to get into the field: just a bachelor's. And even an engineer certification after college isn't needed. It could of course help you get certain positions, especially with the government, but you can get by without it just fine.

The schooling itself, thought short, is quite intense. Of course, this also depends on what type of engineering you want to do. The main branches are chemical, civil, electrical, and mechanical. The engineering articles and books here cover the basics of engineering as a whole, as well as each of the main branches. You can find topics to help you start off, or help you decide which branch you want to focus on in the first place.

Engineering Articles

Engineering is one of those areas that has really formed modern society into what it is today. In fact, it has played a huge role in defining societies throughout history. When we think back to societies such as the Romans, we often think of their great feats of engineering. Monuments like the Colosseum, infrastructure like aqueducts, and powerful military weapons all stick in our minds and define the time period. As society progresses, so, too, does this incredible field. In this category, you'll find a number of engineering articles exploring the past, present, and future potential of the area.

Even if you're completely new to the field, you can find engineering articles here to introduce you to key concepts. A good definition to start off is that the field is a critical application of other sciences and mathematics in order to create practical tools and structures for society. This means that, much like science as a whole, it is a process. It isn't the tools or structures themselves. Rather, it is the process of applying new knowledge to create better tools and structures. Within the field are many specializations, as well as other things to consider such as how it interacts with other disciplines or what it's like to work in the field. Read on to see what else these engineering articles hold in store.

History of Engineering

Engineering started out in ancient civilizations when people invented tools such as the wheel, wedge, and pulley. The inventions progressed over time, sometimes independently in different civilizations. It grew to include the construction of huge monuments such as the pyramids in Egypt as well as those in Mesoamerica. In addition to building structures, engineering was soon quickly used for war as well. Military machines and tools like artillery were created as early as the 4th century BC.

In the Renaissance era, the field consisted mostly of crafting smaller tools and instruments. It wasn't until the modern era that it became recognized as a profession and applied to mathematical and scientific fields. While structures like bridges and canals existed for a long time, engineers in the modern era perfected and proliferated them.

They also created entirely new technology like the steam engine, which fully transformed society through the ripple effect it had in manufacturing and construction. In the 1800's, engineering achieved recognition as a profession. The number of people in the field grew each year, and the number of new areas followed suit.

This category contains engineering articles in which you can discover further historic details in the field. Or, check out the articles on more current events to see how the field is making history today.

Main Engineering Branches and Related Articles


Chemical engineering combines various scientific aspects, including chemistry, mathematics, and biology, to make goods and energy. One of the main jobs of chemical engineers is to design and construct plants. These plants usually make goods, and use a lot of energy to do so. Chemical engineers optimize the input of energy to the output of goods through designing and running the plants. They also often work on designing products themselves, from fuel and machines to food and medicine. Stay up to date in this field with the chemical engineering articles in this category.


Civil engineering, originally named to distinguish itself from the military branch, focuses on the the design, construction, and maintenance of civil structures. These include roads, bridges, buildings, dams, and other civil infrastructure projects. Civil engineers can work for the government, or they can work for private sector entities like homeowners or companies. They can specialize in certain construction areas, making structures tailored to the specific weather, terrain, or natural disasters associated with a region. In addition to building structures, materials science is also related to the field. The materials civil engineers use are crucially important, making materials science a critical part of the field that integrates chemistry and physics into the mix. Check out this civil engineering article to get a better look at the area.


As opposed to buildings and structures, the mechanical branch applies engineering principles to the creation of mechanical systems. These systems can include a huge range of things, from manufacturing systems and electronics to nanotechnology and aerospace dynamics. Because of this large range, mechanical engineers use a number of advanced specialized tools. Computer programs in particular are extremely common these days, with programs and software being essential to the process. With the mechanical engineering articles in this category, you can read more about the newest developments and some of the most important figures in the field.


This branch looks into the study and design of equipment involving electricity and electromagnetism. It is relatively new, having come into being in the late 1800's when electricity was gaining popular usage. It has of course grown greatly, becoming quite ubiquitous and consisting of many fields of application. Computer engineering, telecommunications, and general electronics are all vital parts of modern society that stem from electrical engineering.

Other Engineering Articles and Topics

While the above four are the primary branches, a range of others exist. They are generally interdisciplinary, involving the merging of one of the above branches with the other, or with different areas of science altogether. Aeronautical, aerospace, naval, automotive, computer, petroleum, environmental, agricultural, and nuclear engineering are just some examples of the available opportunities. Due to this mingling of the sciences, it can be helpful to read both engineering and other scientific articles found in other categories on the site.

Careers in Engineering and Articles to Get You There

Being an engineer is often thought of as a classic success story in terms of careers. This is mainly due to the wide job market in various fields, all paying fairly well and requiring relatively little education compared to many other scientific fields. A bachelors is likely sufficient for many engineers, with a master's being optional and a PhD quite rare. Some engineers get additional certifications on top of a college degree, but the necessity of such credentials depends on the place of work. Pay ranges depend greatly on the type of engineering, but the 2016 median was a promising 91,000 dollars. That's more than twice the median wage for all workers in the US! During the 2016 to 2026 decade, we can expect significant growth of available positions, with about 140,000 new jobs opening up.

Engineering Books

In the field of engineering you’ll find innovators and go-getters ready to make something the world has never seen before. They’re responsible for some of the greatest marvels of civilization from the past like the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, and Stonehenge. Today, they continue breaking boundaries by flying spacecraft across the solar system and transforming traditional areas through groundbreaking technologies. Start reading the engineering books here about how you can become part of the movement.

Engineering Books Engineer And Apprentice Planning CNC Machinery Project

Engineering Books on A Range of Topics

Some branches require more work with other non-engineering disciplines. For example, naval, mining, aerospace, automotive, computer, and biomedical engineering all require knowledge in other fields. It could be helpful to read engineering books from these fields to be sure you have good foundations in them as well.

Some books, such as Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering, go straight into the interdisciplinary relationships of the field. In this text you'll learn from a professor with decades of experience in a way that's easy for students to understand. It starts with a history and background of the field, followed by a deeper understanding of real-world applications. The lessons lead into and build off of one another, supported by diagrams and useful resources.

The topic of engineering can seem daunting for a lot of people. It's heavy in math, physics, and, these days, a lot of programming, too. This is why materials such as Notes on Diffy Qs: Differential Equations for Engineers are included in this category of engineering books. The field also requires an analytical mind that sees details and ways to solve problems that others can't. So you'll have to do more than passively read; finding ways to exercise and apply the new knowledge is key. But if you're up for these challenges, the rewards are huge.

Much of the material here is of increasing difficulty to follow the level of classes taught in schools, making it a great supplement. Within it, you can find exercises that go beyond just reading and look into solving actual engineering problems. The engineering books here also include resources for professionals looking to earn certifications or just catch up on recent developments. Whichever stage you're in, you'll find something that adds to your knowledge and helps you progress.

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