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It is the term applied to the profession in which a knowledge of the mathematical and naturals c i e n c e s , g a i n e d b y s t u d y , e x p e r i e n c e , a n d p r a c t i c e , i s a p p l i e d t o t h e e f f i c i e n t u s e o f t h e materials and forces of nature. The technical advances of the 19th century greatly broadened the field of engineering andintroduced a large number of engineering specialties, and the rapidly changing demands of thesocioeconomic environment in the 20th century have widened the scope even further.

Fields of Engineering
The main branches of engineering are discussed below in alphabetical order. The engineer whoworks in any of these fields usually requires a basic knowledge of the other engineering fields,because most engineering problems are complex and interrelated.

Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering

Aeronautics deals with the whole field of design, manufacture, maintenance, testing, and use of aircraft for both civilian and military purposes. It involves the knowledge of aerodynamics,structural design, propulsion engines, navigation, communication, and other related areas.Aerospace engineering is closely allied to aeronautics, but is concerned with the flight of vehiclesin space, beyond the earth's atmosphere, and includes the study and development of rocketengines, artificial satellites, and spacecraft for the exploration of outer space.

Chemical Engineering
This branch of engineering is concerned with the design, construction, and management of factories in which the essential processes consist of chemical reactions. The chemical engineerselects and specifies the design that will best meet the particular requirements of production andthe most appropriate equipment for the new applications.W ith the advance of technology, the number of unit operations increases, but of continuingimportance are distillation, crystallization, dissolution, filtration, and extraction. In each unitoperation, engineers are concerned with four fundamentals: (1) the conservation of matter; (2)t h e c o n s e r v a t i o n o f e n e r g y ; ( 3 ) t h e p r i n c i p l e s o f c h e m i c a l e q u i l i b r i u m ; ( 4 ) t h e p r i n c i p l e s o f chemical reactivity.

Civil Engineering
Civil engineering is perhaps the broadest of the engineering fields, for it deals with the creation,i m p r o v e m e n t , a n d p r o t e c t i o n o f t h e c o m m u n a l e n v i r o n m e n t , p r o v i d i n g f a c i l i t i e s f o r l i v i n g , industry and transportation, including large buildings, roads, bridges, canals, railroad li nes,airports, water-supply systems, dams, irrigation, harbors, docks, aqueducts, tunnels, and otherengineered constructions. The civil engineer must have a thorough knowledge of all types of s u r v e y i n g , o f t h e p r o p e r t i e s a n d m e c h a n i c s o f c o n s t r u c t i o n m a t e r i a l s , t h e m e c h a n i c s o f structures and soils, and of hydraulics and fluid mechanics. Among the important subdivisions of the field are construction engineering, irrigation engineering, transportation engineering, soils and foundation engineering, geodetic engineering, hydraulic engineering, and coastal and oceanengineering.

Electrical and Electronics Engineering

The largest and most diverse field of engineering, it is concerned with the development anddesign, application, and manufacture of systems and devices that use electric power and signals.A m o n g the most important subjects in the field in the l a t e 1 9 8 0 s a r e e l e c t r i c p o w e r a n d machinery, electronic circuits, control systems, computer design, superconductors, solid-stateelectronics, medical imaging systems, robotics, lasers, radar, consumer electronics, and fiberoptics.Despite its diversity, electrical engineering can be divided into four main branches: electricpower and machinery, electronics, communications and control, and computers.

Electric Power and Machinery The field of electric power is concerned with the design and operation of systems forgenerating, transmitting, and distributing electric power. Engineers in this field havebrought about several important developments since the late 1970s. One of these is theability to transmit power at extremely high voltages in both the direct current (DC) andalternating current (AC) modes, reducing power losses proportionately. Another is the real-time control of power generation, transmission, and distribution, using computers toa n a l y z e t h e d a t a f e d b a c k f r o m t h e p o w e r s y s t e m t o a c e n t r a l s t a t i o n a n d t h e r e b y optimizing the efficiency of the system while it is in operation. Electronics

Electronic engineering deals with the research, design, integration, and application of circuits and devices used in the transmission and processing of information. Information isnow generated, transmitted, received, and stored electronically. Electronic engineersdesign circui ts to perform specific tasks, such as amplifying electronic signals, addingbinary numbers, and demodulating radio signals to recover the information they carry.

Communications and ControlEngineers in this field are concerned with all aspects of electrical communications.Engineers work on control systems, such as the design of telephone centrals, the systemsthat run an elevator or the systems for keeping spacecraft on course. Control systems areu s e d e x t e n s i v e l y i n a i r c r a f t a n d s h i p s , i n m i l i t a r y f i r e c o n t r o l s y s t e m s , i n p o w e r transmission and distribution, in automated manufacturing, and in robotics.Engineers have been working to bring about two revolutionary changes in the field of communications and control: Digital systems are replacing analog ones at the same timethat fiber optics is superseding copper cables. Digital systems offer far greater immunityt o e l e c t r i c a l n o i s e . F i b e r o p t i c s i s l i k e w i s e i m m u n e t o i n t e r f e r e n c e ; t h e y a l s o h a v e tremendous carrying capacity, and are extremely light and inexpensive to manufacture.

Computers The electronics of computers involve engineers in design and manufacture of memorysystems, of central processing units, and of peripheral devices. The field of computers c i e n c e i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o c o m p u t e r e n g i n e e r i n g ; h o w e v e r , t h e t a s k o f m a k i n g computers more intelligent (artificial intelligence,), through creation of sophisticat edprograms or development of higher level machine languages or other means, is generallyregarded as being in the realm of computer science.

Geological and Mining Engineering

This branch of engineering includes activities related to the discovery and exploration of minerald e p o s i t s a n d t h e f i n a n c i n g , c o n s t r u c t i o n , d e v e l o p m e n t , o p e r a t i o n , r e c o v e r y , p r o c e s s i n g , purification, and marketing of crude minerals and mineral products. The mining engineer istrained in historical geology, mineralogy, paleontology, and geophysics, and employs such toolsas the seismograph and the magnetometer for the location of ore or petroleum deposits beneatht h e s u r f a c e o f t h e e a r t h . T h e s u r v e y i n g a n d d r a w i n g o f g e o l o g i c a l m a p s a n d s e c t i o n s i s a n important part of the work of the engineering geologist, who is also responsible for determiningwhether the geological structure of a given location is suitable for the building of such largestructures as dams.

Industrial or Management Engineering

This field pertains to the efficient use of machinery, labor, and raw materials in indu s t r i a l production. It is particularly important from the viewpoint of costs and economics of production,safety of human operators, and the most advantageous deployment of automatic machinery.

Mechanical Engineering
Engineers in this field design, test, build, and operate machinery of all types; they also work on av a r i e t y o f m a n u f a c t u r e d g o o d s a n d c e r t a i n k i n d s o f s t r u c t u r e s . T h e f i e l d i s d i v i d e d i n t o ( 1 ) machinery, mechanisms, materials, hydraulics, and pneumatics; and (2) heat as applied toengines, work and energy, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning. The mechanical engineer,therefore, must be trained in mechanics, hydraulics, and thermodynamics and must be fullygrounded in such subjects as metallurgy and machine design. Some mechanical engineerss p e c i a l i z e i n p a r t i c u l a r t y p e s o f m a c h i n e s s u c h a s p u m p s o r s t e a m t u r b i n e s . A m e c h a n i c a l engineer designs not only the machines that make products but the products themselves, andmust design for both economy and efficiency. A typical example of the complexity of modernmechanical engineering is the design of an automobile, which entails not only the design of theengine that drives the car but also all its attendant accessories such as the steering and brakingsystems, the lighting system, the gearing by which the engine's power is delivered to the wheels,t h e c o n t r o l s , a n d t h e b o d y , i n c l u d i n g s u c h d e t a i l s a s t h e d o o r l a t c h e s a n d t h e t y p e o f s e a t upholstery.

Military Engineering
This branch is concerned with the application of the engineering sciences to military purposes. Itis generally divided into permanent land defense and field engineering. In war, army engineerbattalions have been used to construct

ports, harbors, depots, and airfields. In the U.S., militaryengineers also construct some public works, national monuments, and dams.