WHAT IS AN ENGINEER?
SCIENCE vs. ENGINEERING
• SCIENCE • ENGINEERING
• Analysis: ask questions, look for • Synthesis: integrate bits of
patterns, develop knowledge knowledge to create
• Produce knowledge something new
• Characteristic activity: research ( • Produce processes and things
learn about nature)
(part of technology)
• Study of what is
• Characteristic activity: creative
e • Study of what never was
• taken from “ Engineering: How is it related to ineering
Science ,Technology, math, and Society?” –
Dr. Alexander Flueck. Illinois Institute of
What are Some Types of
• Just as science is divided into separate
fields such as biology, chemistry and
physics, engineering is divided into a
variety of disciplines. The five largest
engineering disciplines are chemical, civil,
electrical, industrial and mechanical.
Engineers within all of these disciplines
can work in product-oriented companies,
government, or academia.
Aerospace Engineering Aerospace engineers
design, analyze, model, simulate, and test aircraft,
spacecraft, satellites, missiles, and rockets. Aerospace
technology also extends to many other applications of
objects moving within gases or liquids. Examples are
golf balls, high-speed trains, hydrofoil ships, or tall
buildings in the wind. Aerospace engineers are
typically specialists in fields with fancy names such as
aerodynamics, propulsion, navigation, flight testing,
Biomedical Engineering This is an interdisciplinary
field combining mechanical, electrical, and chemical
engineering to study the human body. Biomedical
Engineers study biology and medicine to develop
technologies related to health care. They develop
medical diagnostic machines, medical instruments,
artificial organs, joint replacement parts, and
Chemical Engineering Chemical
Engineers use their knowledge of physics,
chemistry, and biology to discover and
manufacture better plastics, paints, fuels,
fibers, medicines, fertilizers,
semiconductors, paper, and all other kinds
of chemicals, by carrying out chemical
reactions and purifications.
Civil Engineering The design and construction
of buildings, dams, water treatment and carrying
systems, air pollution controls, and transportation
systems are the responsibilities of civil
engineers. Subheadings of civil engineering
include: geotechnical, environmental, structural,
transportation, materials, and project
Computer Science and Engineering Computer
scientists and engineers are involved in the
development of both hardware and software for
computers. They work on computer-related systems
like CD-ROMs, modems and monitors, as well as
cutting-edge projects including robotics and virtual
Environmental Engineering Keeping the water, air
and soil healthy are the responsibilities of
environmental engineers. To accomplish this goal they
deal with issues including waste management, pollution
control and irrigation.
Electrical Engineering Electrical engineering deals
with electricity, magnetism, and light and how it is used.
Electrical engineers are found in a variety of companies
including the computer, communications, and automotive
Mechanical Engineering Engineers within this
discipline tend to focus on one of three aspects
of mechanical engineering; design,
manufacturing, or energy/power. Cars,
airplanes and toys are just a few of the areas in
which mechanical engineers work.
Petroleum Engineering Petroleum engineers
study the earth to find oil and gas reservoirs.
They design oil wells, storage tanks, and
transportation systems. They supervise the
construction and operation of oil and gas fields.
Petroleum engineers are researching new
technologies to allow more oil and gas to be
extracted from each well. They help supply the
world's need for energy and chemical raw
• How much do
• Well, let's start out by
stating that money should
never be the only factor
for choosing a career.
What if you end up hating
your job?!?! Even if
you're well paid,
remember that money
can't buy happiness!
2005 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
Curriculum Bachelor's Master's Ph.D.
$50,993 $62,930 $72,529
Agricultural 46,172 53,022
Chemical 53,813 57,260 79,591
Civil 43,679 48,050 59,625
Computer 52,464 60,354 69,625
51,888 64,416 80,206
49,567 56,561 85,000
Mechanical 50,236 59,880 68,299
Mining & mineral 48,643
Nuclear 51,182 58,814
Petroleum 61,516 58,000
• What hours do engineers work?
• Most engineers work weekdays,
Monday through Friday. That's what
some people would call a 'day job'.
Typically they work from 8 to 10 hours
per day. There are some companies that
have very flexible work schedules such
that their engineers come in for some 8-
hour period during the day (say from 6
p.m. to 2 a.m.)! Sometimes engineers
work at a job site where something is
happening 24 hours a day and they
work a 'shift' schedule. Usually these
assignments are temporary, such as for
a new plant startup.
• How long do engineers have
to go to school?
• Engineers need a minimum of
a college Bachelor's degree.
That means they must finish
high school and typically four
years of college. A few
engineering programs take five
years. A college degree could
take longer if you only attend
college part time or perhaps
attend during evenings.
• How can I become an engineer?
• First you will need a college degree. After
that, many engineers seek a Professional
Engineer (P.E.) license. It helps to begin
preparations for all this at the middle
school levels. Where possible, choose a
well-rounded mix of classes with emphasis
on math and science. Taken from
• If you have further questions regarding
becoming an engineer please visit
DO YOU REMEMBER THIS
IF YOU GUESSED 9/11 – YOU’RE
• These are images from the 2003 NorthAmerican
• a massive power outage occurred throughout parts of
the northeastern United States and eastern Canada on
Thursday, August 14, 2003. It was the largest blackout in
North American history. It affected an estimated 10
million people in the Canadian province of Ontario (about
one-third of the population of Canada), and 40 million
people in eight U.S. states (about one-seventh of the
population of the U.S.). Outage-related financial losses
were estimated at $6 billion USD.
Population of Major Cities affected at a glance
Number of people
NYC Effects 21,100,000
 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/poweroutage/numbers.ht 50,000,000
• So HOW did this happen and more
importantly how can we keep this from
• These are exactly the type of problems
engineers work to solve.
• HOMEWORK: Answer the following
• What is the power grid? How is it
organized? What causes the power grid to
fail during a blackout?