Civil Engineering is very old; it dates back as far as the Egyptian pyramids and the Roman aqueducts. Civil engineers design all kinds of structures from bridges to sewer systems. Civil engineers dealing with water treatment or other waste disposal fields are evaluating environmental factors in addition to structural factors. Civil Engineers also have to be concerned with how structures are used, for example, trying to minimize traffic. One skill that is very important for a civil engineer is to be able to collaborate with a team. Civil Engineers often collaborate with other people, such as architects, when designing a structure. There are many divisions of civil engineers including structural, architectural, environmental, transportation, water resource, and construction engineers.
Material engineering is the field of engineering concerned with selecting proper materials. Materials engineers help select material for everything from computer chips to prosthetic limbs. Two important concepts material engineers study are stress and strain. A stress-strain diagram can be used to determine if a material is suitable for a certain application. Stress and strain are related by the equation stress = elastic modulus * strain. Some common types of materials that material engineers study are metals, ceramics, composites, polymers, and plastics.
Mechanical engineering is the second largest field of engineering. Mechanical engineers work mainly with machines. Most mechanical engineers are involved in the design of machines. When we designed the ROV for our project, we used mechanical engineering to use gears to control the wheels. One of the many fields mechanical engineers can work with is power generation. This can include steam turbines and solar power. Mechanical engineers are also involved in thermal science. This mainly involves flowing fluids and heat transfer. Some examples of devices mechanical engineers are involved in producing are cooling systems for computers and air-conditioning systems. Because of how broad the field of mechanical engineering is, mechanical engineering projects involve many different people to complete the project which may take as short as a week or as long as a year.
Industrial engineers optimize productivity. They do this by using people, machines, and energy in the most effective way. Industrial engineers help plan production and make sure the product can be distributed properly. Good qualities of industrial engineers are creativity, asking questions, being analytical, and being detail-oriented. The main areas of industrial engineers are production, manufacturing, human factors, and operations research. Industrial engineers often use mathematical models to improve systems.