Examines the role and identity of engineering in comparison with science, technology, art, and craft
Defines the five ages of engineering - gravity, heat, electromagnetism, information, and systems - in order to show how the specialisms relate to one another
Uses examples of everyday 'tools', such as a mobile telephone, to describe how engineering actually works
Explores the historical development of engineering as a discipline
Engineering is part of almost everything we do - from the water we drink and the food we eat, to the buildings we live in and the roads and railways we travel on. In this Very Short Introduction, David Blockley explores the nature and practice of engineering, its history, its scope, and its relationship with art, craft, science, and technology. He considers the role of engineering in the modern world, demonstrating its need to provide both practical and socially acceptable solutions, and explores how engineers use natural phenomena to embrace human needs.
From its early roots starting with Archimedes to some of the great figures of engineering such as Brunel and Marconi, right up to the modern day, he also looks at some of its challenges - when things go wrong - such as at Chernobyl. Ultimately, he shows how engineering is intimately part of who and what we are.
Readership: Students of engineering courses and general readers who wish to gain an appreciation of engineering, science, and technology.
David Blockley, Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Fellow, University of Bristol
Professor Blockley is an engineer and an academic scientist. He has been Head of the Department of Civil Engineering and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Bristol. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Structural Engineers, and the Royal Society of Arts. He has written four other books including The Penguin Dictionary of Civil Engineering (2005).