Engineering comes from the Latin ingenium, which roughly translated to “cleverness and ingeniare” (to contrive or devise). Engineering is the application of scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge in order to invent, design, build, maintain, and improve structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes. This general field includes several specialties such as mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and structural engineering.
The field of engineering is extremely broad, and encompasses a range of more specialized fields of engineering, each with a more specific emphasis on particular areas of applied science, technology and types of application. Specializations include mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, and structural engineering.
The American Engineers’ Council for Professional Development (ECPD, defines engineering as “The creative application of scientific principles to design or develop structures, machines, apparatus, or manufacturing processes, or works utilizing them singly or in combination; or to construct or operate the same with full cognizance of their design; or to forecast their behavior under specific operating conditions; all as respects an intended function, economics of operation or safety to life and property.”