Need Help Categorizing Engineering
Q: I'm finishing work on a new academic site - http://socratica.com - and I need a list of the main areas of engineering. My area is mathematics, so a list of the subjects of math may look like: - Calculus - Real Analysis - Differential Equations - Complex Analysis ... etc ... Could you help me construct a similar list for engineering?
A: they've changed a good deal recently. The first major historical division of engineering was between military and "civil" engineering. Military engineers constructed defensive structures and blow things up (or, back in medieval days when the terms were coined, undermined walls so they'd collapse.) Civil engineers worked on non-military structures. After we learned to make engines, the engine-type engineers split off and called themselves mechanical engineers. Electrical engineers split off from the mechanical engineers. Here's the best list I can come up with right now: Civil engineering, whose subdivisions are structural, sanitary, environmental (a "soft" engineering category which is mostly legal in nature,) soil (for structural purposes,) hydraulic (stream behavior,) mining, petroleum, and transportation. There are also traffic engineers, who are the guys that figure out streets and traffic lights. Chemical engineering, with the following subdivisions: polymer (plastics), ceramic, coatings, corrosion, metallurgical and probably a lot of others. I'm not really familiar with the field. Mechanical engineering, with subdivisions in heat transfer, combustion, nuclear, agricultural (which has a good many subdivisions itself,) lubrication or tribology, acoustical (which may belong to civil), automotive, marine, pneumatic, aeronautical, and railroad (which also may belong to civil). Electrical engineering, whose major branches are electric power (which has transmission, distribution, and generation,) communications (radio, telephone, television, data,) controls (robotics, telemetry, radar) and computer engineering, which ranges from real hardware to totally clueless software. My own field, lightning protection, is in here somewhere as well, I guess. Illumination engineering belongs either in electrical or more probably civil. Industrial engineering, which comprises manufacturing engineering, packaging engineering, food engineering (actually a branch of agricultural engineering, I think) and a good many others. Some invalid categories are financial engineering (dunno _where_ that came from, but it has a journal), software engineering (it's just computer science), and management engineering (see Dilbert). This is a thoroughly incomplete list. Engineering covers just about every aspect of human endeavor (I've forgotten things like biomedical here--it's usually stuck under electrical) and is thus not easily classified.
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