Engineering professionals employ mathematical and scientific principles to develop effective solutions to real-world, technical problems. Engineers design, develop and build machinery and complex systems used in the production of a large variety of consumer goods. Engineers are also instrumental in the development of buildings, interstate highways, and transportation systems. They are also responsible developing systems and machinery for extracting and processing many raw materials used by societies worldwide. They develop alternative power sources for mankind and are involved in finding new ways to take advantage of and apply the latest technological advancements. Engineers are responsible for improving the quality of healthcare, ensuring the availability and safety of the food we eat and the integrity of critical operational, financial and computer systems that support society. In essence, engineers are at the heart of everything important to the quality of human life.
Various factors are considered by engineering professionals before designing a new product. If, for example, an industrial robot is to be developed, the engineer will analyze the precise purpose of the robot, the parts and components of the robot, the specific design of those parts and integrate the various parts and test their efficiency. An engineer also has to test whether the finished product is effective, reliable, safe and has a low cost. Many industries such as the chemical industry, information technology and products like helicopters, gas turbines and toys make use of this process.
Engineering professionals are also engaged in testing, producing and maintaining activities, apart from designing and developing. They perform supervisory functions in industries and examine products and machinery to pinpoint the cause of quality-defects and breakdowns. Estimating the time taken to complete projects as well as the value of the completed projects is also determined by engineers. Engineers may specialize in management or sales. Technical aspects can be efficiently handled by engineers in the sales department and assistance in the plan, installation and usefulness of the product can also be rendered.
Most engineers opt for specialization. Although 25 main specialties are recognized by the engineering profession, there are many subdivisions. For example civil Engineering contains structure and transportation engineering, Material engineering which contains ceramic, metallurgy and polymer engineering etc. Engineering professional can choose to specialize in one particular industry, like the motor vehicle industry, or in a particular field of technology like turbines or semiconductor materials.
This document contains an overview of the field of engineering and is followed by individual statements on fourteen branches of engineering comprising- Aerospace, Agriculture, Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Computer hardware, Electrical and Electronic (except Computers), Environmental, Industrial (including Health and Safety) Material, Mechanical, Mining and Geological (including mining safety), Nuclear and Petroleum Industry. All other branches which are not included in the СHandbookТ (like Architecture- developing the interior support structure of a building and Marine Engineering-designing machines and propulsion systems for ships) are contained in college programs.
Each branch of Engineering has a basic training and education which can be applied to other fields. For example, an Electronic engineer may work in Medicine, Computing, Communicating or Missile Guiding Industries. A large engineering project has many individual problems and thus engineering professional working on one field may collaborate closely with engineers in other science and business fields.
Computers are used by engineering professionals for production, analyzing, simulation and testing of product design as well as to check the operation and generate specifications for product components. Using communication systems like the internet, an engineer can discuss designs with other professionals throughout not only the country, but also the world. Computers are also use for monitoring the quality of the product and checking the efficiency of processes. A lot of time is spent by the engineers on written report and consultations with other professional because a complex project requires a disciplined team of engineers. Large parts of a project or an entire project is handled by a Supervisory engineer.