Engineering | Definition, Branches [Difference with Science]

By | March 10, 2019

What is engineering?

Whole Engineering can be defined in a single line and that is

Engineering is creative application of science

Let us also discuss what is science so that we can understand full definition of engineering

Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe

Science try to innovate (or discover) new things and engineering tries to physically implement them for the goodwill of humankind.

A person who has a professional degree in engineering is called an engineer.

Let’s us try to understand science and engineering with the help of following example.

When heated, water expends to steam. Why and how it happens is a thing of science.

Using that water that is converted to steam and use its energy to drive an engine is engineering.

The credit of above example goes to legendary scientist and engineer James Watt who developed world’s first steam engine.

Branches of engineering

With the evolution of both science and technology many branches of engineering have developed but there are mainly four basic branches of engineering.

Mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering is the design and manufacture of physical or mechanical systems, such as power and energy systems, aerospace/aircraft products, weapon systems, transportation products, engines, compressors, power trains, kinematic chains, vacuum technology, vibration isolation equipment, manufacturing, and mechatronics.

Subdisciplines of Mechanical engineering

  • Acoustical engineering
  • Manufacturing engineering
  • Optomechanical engineering
  • Thermal engineering
  • Sports engineering
  • Vehicle engineering
  • Power plant engineering
  • Energy engineering

Electrical engineering

Electrical engineering is the design, study, and manufacture of various electrical and electronic systems, such as Broadcast engineering, electrical circuits, generators, motors, electromagnetic/electromechanical devices, electronic devices, electronic circuits, optical fibers, optoelectronic devices, computer systems, telecommunications, instrumentation, controls, and electronics.

Subdisciplines of Electrical engineering

  • Electronic engineering
  • Computer engineering
  • Power engineering
  • Optical engineering

Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is the design and construction of public and private works, such as infrastructure (airports, roads, railways, water supply, and treatment etc.), bridges, tunnels, dams, and buildings. Civil engineering is traditionally broken into a number of sub-disciplines, including structural engineering, environmental engineering, and surveying. It is traditionally considered to be separate from military engineering.

Subdisciplines of civil engineering

  • Environmental engineering
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Structural engineering
  • Mining engineering
  • Transport engineering
  • Water resources engineering

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering is the application of physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering principles in order to carry out chemical processes on a commercial scale, such as the manufacture of commodity chemicals, specialty chemicals, petroleum refining, microfabrication, fermentation, and biomolecule production.

Subdisciplines of chemical engineering

  • Biomolecular engineering
  • Materials engineering
  • Molecular engineering
  • Process engineering
  • Corrosion engineering

There are many other branches of engineering too but they are mainly combinations of above mentioned four engineering types

  • Aerospace engineering
  • Agricultural engineering
  • Applied engineering
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Biomedical nanoengineering
  • Biological engineering
  • Building services engineering
  • Energy engineering
  • Railway engineering
  • Industrial engineering
  • Mechatronics engineering
  • Engineering management
  • Military engineering
  • Nanoengineering
  • Nuclear engineering
  • Petroleum engineering
  • Project engineering
  • Software engineering
  • Systems engineering
  • Textile engineering


Definitions of four main branches of engineering

Types of engineering

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