Definition and Scope of Engineering
– Engineering is the practice of using natural science, mathematics, and the engineering design process to solve technical problems, increase efficiency and productivity, and improve systems.
– It involves designing and improving infrastructure, machinery, vehicles, electronics, materials, and energy systems.
– Engineering encompasses a broad range of specialized fields, each with a specific emphasis on applied mathematics, applied science, and types of application.
– The term ‘engineering’ is derived from the Latin words meaning cleverness and to contrive, devise.
– The American Engineers Council for Professional Development has defined engineering as the creative application of scientific principles to design or develop structures, machines, apparatus, or manufacturing processes.

History of Engineering
– Engineering has existed since ancient times, with inventions such as the wedge, lever, wheel, and pulley.
– The term ‘engineer’ originally referred to a constructor of military engines, which were mechanical contraptions used in war.
– Civil engineering emerged as a way to distinguish between those involved in non-military projects and those in military engineering.
– Ancient civilizations like the Romans, Egyptians, and Greeks made significant engineering achievements, such as aqueducts, pyramids, and the Antikythera mechanism.
– The Middle Ages saw the development of windmills, steam-powered machines, and programmable automata.

Engineering in Ancient Times
– Ancient civilizations like the Romans, Egyptians, Greeks, and Kushites showcased engineering ingenuity through structures like aqueducts, pyramids, and temples.
– The six classic simple machines, including the wedge, inclined plane, wheel and axle, lever, pulley, and screw, were known and utilized.
– Imhotep, an official of the Pharaoh, is considered the earliest known civil engineer for designing the Pyramid of Djoser.
– Water-powered machines like water wheels and watermills appeared in the Persian Empire, while Kush developed the Sakia and Hafirs for irrigation.
– Bloomeries, blast furnaces, and speos were created during the 7th century BC in Kush.

Engineering in Ancient Greece and Military Engineering
– Ancient Greece made significant contributions to both civilian and military engineering.
– The Antikythera mechanism, an early mechanical analog computer, and Archimedes’ inventions showcased Greek mechanical engineering skills.
– Greek armies developed military machines like artillery, the trireme, ballista, and catapult.
– In the Middle Ages, the trebuchet was developed as a siege weapon.
– Military engineering played a crucial role in ancient warfare and the construction of defensive structures.

Innovations in the Modern Era
– The steam engine allowed coke to replace charcoal in iron making, lowering the cost of iron.
– Classical mechanics formed the scientific basis of modern engineering.
– Engineering became a profession focused on applying mathematics and science.
– Canal building was an important engineering work during the Industrial Revolution.
– John Smeaton, known as the father of civil engineering, made significant contributions to bridge, canal, and lighthouse design.
– Evangelista Torricelli invented the barometer, leading to the understanding of atmospheric pressure.
– Otto von Guericke demonstrated the force of atmospheric pressure using the Magdeburg hemispheres.
– Denis Papin built experimental steam engines and demonstrated the use of a piston.
– Thomas Savery built the first steam pump called ‘The Miners Friend’.
– Thomas Newcomen built the first commercial piston steam engine.
– Steam-powered cast iron blowing cylinders increased iron production.
– The use of steam-powered blast furnaces allowed for the transition from charcoal to coke.
– Henry Cort’s puddling process produced large quantities of wrought iron.
– James Beaumont Neilson’s hot blast technique reduced fuel consumption in iron smelting.
– New steel making processes like the Bessemer process and open hearth furnace revolutionized heavy engineering.
– John Wilkinson invented the first machine tool, the boring machine.
– Other important machine tools included the screw cutting lathe, milling machine, turret lathe, and metal planer.
– Precision machining techniques using jigs and fixtures were developed.
– Interchangeable parts and large-scale factory production became possible.
– Alessandro Volta, Michael Faraday, and Georg Ohm made important contributions to electrical engineering.
– The electric telegraph and electric motor were significant inventions.
– James Maxwell and Heinrich Hertz’s theoretical work led to the field of electronics.
– The vacuum tube and transistor accelerated the development of electronics.
– Chemical engineering emerged as a discipline focused on large-scale production of chemicals in industrial plants.Sources: