Engineering Fields Overview

Carolyn Sun Posted on August 13, 2014 by Carolyn Sun
Engineering Fields Overview

Did you ever ride a hot air balloon, use ear buds, or sing karaoke into a microphone? These are cool things designed and made by engineers!

Every day, about 200 different types of engineers use math, scientific knowledge, and, most importantly, creativity to develop practical technology that helps society. But what exactly do those engineers do? You can get a good idea of many of the different types of engineering in the EngineerGirl Try on a Career section, but for a quick overview here is a glimpse into a few different types of engineering and what those engineers might do.

Agriculture engineers advance farming technology. Aiming to improve farms and food supplies, they develop irrigation systems, plan ways to process food, and design machines to harvest crops. They also improve conservation of resources and animal environments.

Environmental engineers protect our natural resources. They design systems to prevent pollution, clean up environmental contamination, and safely dispose of toxic waste. Their goal is to create eco-friendly methods of harnesses energy, such as wind turbines and hydraulic power networks.

Aerospace engineers build safe aircraft and spaceships to advance the world. Also involved in constructing missiles and satellites, they help people cover long distances quickly. In addition, aerospace engineers not only design various forms of air and space transportation, but also ground and sea transportation, such as trains and deep-submergence vehicles.

Biomedical engineers design devices to improve patients’ experiences. Using their complex background of both medicine and engineering, they create technology such as prosthetic limbs and artificial organs. Additionally, they improve athletic equipment for high-performance sports. 

Electrical engineers power on and off. They develop power generators and distribution grids to provide electricity across towns and cities. On a smaller scale, they design hand-held electronics, computer chips, and radios.

Nuclear engineers put nuclear energy and radiation to good use. Working in fields ranging from space exploration to health, they work with fission and fusion reactors, design energy systems, and develop nuclear fuel cycles to protect the environment.

Petroleum engineers enhance technologies to utilize natural gas. To supply energy for the world, they improve methods of extracting oil safely, design storage tanks, and find new gas and oil reservoirs. They aim to balance energy security, environmental impact, and affordable supply.

Naval engineers design safe ships, submarines, and tankers. They create technology to advance underwater exploration, national defense, and fisheries. They use their knowledge in engineering and design to contribute to anything related to large bodies of water.

These are just a small fraction of the different types of engineers. Furthermore, within these different engineering types, hundreds of engineering branches and sub-disciplines exist, and many engineers may identify with two or more of these fields. There are endless possibilities of what engineers can accomplish.

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