Careers in Engineering
Aerospace engineers design, develop, and test aircraft spacecraft, and missiles and supervise the manufacture of these products. They develop new technologies for use in aviation, defense systems, and space exploration, often specializing in areas such as structural design, guidance, navigation and control, instrumentation and communication, or production methods. They often use design software, robotics, and lasers and advanced electronic optics. Aerospace engineers typically are employed in the aerospace product and parts industry, although their skills are becoming increasingly valuable in other fields.
Biomedical engineers combine biology and medical concepts withengineering to develop devices and procedures that solve medical and health-related problems. Many do research to develop and evaluate systems and products for use in the fields of biology and health, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems. Some specialties within biomedical engineering include biomaterials, biomechanics, medical imaging, rehabilitation engineering, and orthopedic engineering. Unlike many other engineering specialties, a graduate degree is recommended or required for many entry-level jobs.
Civil engineers design and supervise the construction of roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and a water supply and sewage systems. Civil engineering, is considered one of the oldest engineering disciplines, and encompasses many specialties. The major specialties within civil engineering are structural, water resources, environmental, construction, transportation, and geotechnical engineering.
From the global positioning system that can continuously provide the location of a vehicle to giant electric power generators, electrical engineers are responsible for a wide range of technologies. Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of electrical and electronic equipment. Electrical engineers specialize in different areas such as power generation, transmission, and distribution; communications; and electrical equipment manufacturing, or a specialty within one of these areas - industrial robot control systems or aviation electronics for example
Industrial engineers determine the most effective ways to use the basic factors of production - people, machines, materials, information, and energy - to make a product or to provide or serve. They are most concerned with increasing productivity through the management of people, methods of business organization, and technology than are engineers in other specialties. Although most industrial engineers work in manufacturing industries, they may also work in consulting services, healthcare, and communications.
Mechanical engineers research, develop, design,
manufacture, and test tools, engines, machines, and other mechanical devices. They design tools that other engineers need for their work. The field of Nanotechnology, which involves the creation of high-performance materials and components by integrating atoms and molecules, is introducing entirely new principles to the design process. Mechanical engineers work in many industries, and their work varies by industry and function.
Nuclear engineers research and develop the processes, instruments, and systems used to derive benefits from nuclear energy and radiation. They design, develop, monitor, and operate nuclear plants used to generate power. They may work on the nuclear fuel cycle, the production, handling, and use of nuclear fuel and the safe disposal of waste produced by the generation of nuclear energy--or on the waste produced by the generation of nuclear energy--or tone the production of fusion energy.
Agricultural engineers apply knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agriculture. They design agricultural machinery and equipment and agricultural structures. Engineers who work in this field may specialize in power systems and machinery design, structures and environment, or food and bioprocess engineering. Agricultural engineers work in research and development, production, sales, or management.
Chemical engineers build a bridge between science and manufacturing, applying the principles of chemistry and engineering to solve problems involving the production or use of chemicals. They design equipment and develop processes for large-scale chemical manufacturing, plan and test methods of manufacturing products and treating by products, and supervise production. Chemical engineering also work in healthcare, biotechnology, and business services industries. They are aware of all aspects of chemical manufacturing and how it affects the environment, the safety of workers, and customers.
Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer hardware and supervise its manufacture and installation. Hardware refers to computer chips, circuit boards, computer system and related equipment such as keyboards, modems, and printers. Computer software engineers design and develop the software systems that control computers. The rapid advances in computer technology are largely a result of the research and development and design efforts of computer engineers. To keep up with technological advances, these engineers must continually update their knowledge.
Environmental the principles of biology and chemistry, environmental engineers develop solutions to environmental problems. They are involved in water and air pollution control, recycling, waste disposal, and public health issues. Environmental engineers conduct hazardous-waste management studies in which they evaluate the significance of the hazard, offer analysis on treatment and containment and develop regulations to prevent mishaps. They design municipal water supply systems. They conduct research on proposed environmental projects, analyze scientific data, and perform quality control checks. Environmental engineers are concerned with local and worldwide environmental issues.
Materials engineers are involved in the extraction, development, processing, and testing of the materials used to create a diversity of products, from computer chips and television screens to golf clubs and snow skis. They work with metals, ceramics, plastics, semiconductors, and combinations of materials called composites to create new materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements.
Petroleum engineers search the world for reservoirs containing oil or natural gas. Once these resources are discovered, petroleum engineers work with geologists and other specialists to understand the geologic formation and properties of the rock containing the reservoir, determine the drilling methods to be used, and monitor drilling and production operations. They design equipment and processes to achieve the maximum profitable recovery of oil and gas. Petroleum engineers rely heavily on computer models to simulate reservoir performance.
Mining and geological engineers find, extract, and prepare coal, metals, and minerals for use by manufacturing industries and utilities. They design open pit and underground mines, often using computers; supervise the construction of mine shafts and tunnels in underground operations; and devise methods for transporting minerals to processing plants. They are responsible for the safe, economical, and environmentally sound operation of mines. With increased emphasis on protecting the environment, many minding engineers work to solve problems related to land reclamation and water and air pollution.