Engineering is founded on the simple principle of creating and making something work. It is made complex by the various applications it could be used for. This field will only continue and become more specific in the future as world technologies improve and progress. All the things that we use are made with the minds of engineers.
A branch of science and technology, engineering uses the scientific understanding of the real world to create and design an array of things. It includes and is not limited to buildings, engines, machines, and other structures. In 2011, there were an estimated 1.7 million American engineers in the field. The practical applications of engineering are at the forefront of kick-starting worldwide industrialization in the last century.
The very concept of engineering allows us to develop all kinds of technology, machinery, and spaces. All of which are necessary for an individual’s daily life up to nation-building. Engineering itself encompasses a broad spectrum of disciplines. But it is primarily divided into four main branches: chemical, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering.
Under these branches, it is further classified into many specific disciplines. There are also branches of engineering that consist of two or more other disciplines as well.
Engineering is not limited to the design and development of tangible materials. It also involves the manipulation and mastery of codes that mechanize most of the recent technologies that we use. Even data and information floating in virtual space can be organized, analyzed, and restructured.
With all the possibilities that the field of engineering holds, here are some engineering disciplines you may not have heard of before.
Piping engineering is a discipline under mechanical engineering that involves the utilization of pipes. When you envision a building, underneath all that concrete and steel is a network of piping that contain electric wires, oil, water, or gas, depending on the usage.
Though rarely taught in universities, piping engineering is necessary for ensuring the safety of personnel and the public in industrial settings. Piping engineer consultants specialize in designing, planning, and building piping systems for large industrial plants that manufacture gas, energy, oil, food, and construction. Aside from that, pharmaceutical companies also use specialty piping and piping engineers to keep their smooth running.
Ceramics are heat and corrosion-resistant materials that we commonly use in the household in the form of bathtubs, toilets, sinks, tiles, decoration, and dinnerware. Some common ceramics are clay, porcelain, and earthenware. But beyond that, they are also used in aerospace, automotive, biomedical, and defense manufacturing. Hence, the need for ceramic engineers.
They particularly deal with the interdisciplinary aspects of chemical, electrical, materials, and mechanical engineering. Ceramic engineers study the processing of ceramics and its applications to create many materials such as engines, airframes, ballistic and heat shields, artificial bones, implants, capacitors, insulators, and lenses.
The principle of paper engineering is the combination of chemical and mechanical engineering with life sciences to manufacture raw materials into paper and its co-products.
From the growth of trees, pulping, processing, and recycling, paper engineering focuses on producing paper. In recent developments, it has also branched out on manufacturing biofuels and biopolymers.
Systems engineering is the interdiscipline that combines industrial engineering with engineering management practices. In essence, engineering management is the practical application of administrative, organizational, and managerial principles to oversee the performance and efficiency of existing engineering systems.
Therefore, systems engineering addresses the feedback loop between the two. It designs, integrates, and oversees the life cycles of complex systems while applying systems thinking. It’s quite complicated, but it primarily deals with the familiar optimization methods, risk management, and work processes.
System engineering is present and vital in other engineering disciplines as well. When simplified, it identifies problems within a system and finds solutions to them in the most optimized and efficient way possible.
This software engineering approach, also known as information technology engineering, is geared towards constructing, designing, and developing useful information systems. An interdiscipline of computer science and engineering works to generate, distribute, and analyze information, data, and knowledge. It also studies artificial intelligence, control theory, and information theory.
Information engineering banks heavily on theoretical fields and mathematics. This has made information engineers in demand worldwide due to almost all industries using information systems. Some of these industries are within the research field, such as bioengineering, biomedicine, genetics, and robotics. Even in architecture, telecommunications, machine intelligence, and control engineering, information engineers play important roles.