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Chris Fox's Engineering Section

Engineering involves the use of scientific principles in the design and construction of structures and machines.

Engineering takes many forms, including chemical, civil, electrical, electronic, mechanical and structural. At university, I studied Computer Aided Engineering, which overlapped significantly with the Mechanical Engineering course. This section will therefore have a mechanical engineering bias.

It follows from the above that knowledge of science is essential to the engineer. Science has three main subject areas: biology, the science of life and living things; chemistry, which is concerned with the properties, structure and composition of substances and their reactions with each other; and physics, the study of matter and energy. Biology is not expected to feature in this section. The properties, structure and composition of materials will be covered. Physics topics to be covered include pure and applied mechanics, energy and electronics.

Given that physics, at least, involves measurement and the use of formulae, engineers also need a good grasp of mathematics. Mathematics has three main subject areas: algebra, which is concerned with calculating unknown quantities and which uses variables in place of numbers; geometry, which deals with shape and size; and calculus, which is concerned with rates of change. Statistics is also covered in this section.

This section uses the Système Internationale (SI) units of quantities (variables).

Having acquired the above information, the engineer will be ready to begin designing products. There will be constraints on the size, weight, strength, and other properties of the finished product. Ease of manufacture should also be a consideration. When a final design is derived, the product can be manufactured.

As has already been mentioned, electronics is covered in this section. In addition to electrical quantities and electronic circuits, this section covers such applications as computer hardware and robotics. There will also be articles on the use of computers, for example in computer aided design and manufacture, programming and expert systems.

This section closes with other subjects of interest to the engineer. The Management chapter is concerned not only with the management of a company, but also with process planning - under which manufacturing instructions are produced - and project management. The Engineer in Society chapter is concerned with the engineer's role in society and with the influence of engineering on society.

[Mathematics and Statistics] [Materials] [Mechanics] [Heat and Energy] [Stress Analysis] [Design and Materials Selection] [Manufacturing] [Electronics and Computing] [Management] [Engineer in Society] [Bibliography]

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