What is Engineering?

Engineering has a wide variety of disciplines. The PSEC has asked each of our member societies to develop a presentation that describes their branch of the profession. Please have a look.

General Engineering

Engineering is the science, skill, and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and also build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes.

General Engineering Presentation (pdf)

Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering is a branch of engineering dealing with the optimization of complex processes or systems. It is concerned with the development, improvement, implementation and evaluation of integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, equipment, energy, materials, analysis and synthesis, as well as the mathematical, physical and social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering design to specify, predict, and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems or processes. Its underlying concepts overlap considerably with certain business-oriented disciplines such as operations management, but the engineering side tends to emphasize extensive mathematical proficiency and usage of quantitative methods.

Industrial Engineering Presentation (pdf)

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering that applies the physical sciences (e.g., chemistry and physics) and/or life sciences (e.g., biology, microbiology and biochemistry) together with mathematics and economics to processes that convert raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms. In addition, modern chemical engineers are also concerned with pioneering valuable materials and related techniques – which are often essential to related fields such as nanotechnology, fuel cells and biomedical engineering.

Chemical Engineering Presentation

Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings.

ASCE Presentation (pdf) Second ASCE Presentation (pdf)

Professional Engineering

The professional status and the actual practice of professional engineering is legally defined and protected by governments. In some jurisdictions only registered or licensed engineers are permitted to use the title engineer or to practice engineering. Another earmark that distinguishes a licensed engineer is the authority to take legal responsibility for engineering work. Regulations may require that only a licensed engineer can sign, seal or stamp technical documentation such as reports, drawings, and calculations for a study, estimate, valuation; or carry out design, analysis or supervision of engineering works.

Washington State Professional Engineering Presentation

Society of Women Engineers

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is a not-for-profit educational and service organization in the United States. SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and be recognized for their life-changing contributions and achievements as engineers and leaders.

SWE Presentation

Engineers Without Borders

Engineers Without Borders is a non-profit humanitarian organization established to partner with developing communities worldwide in order to improve their quality of life. This partnership involves the implementation of sustainable engineering projects, while involving and training internationally responsible engineers and engineering students.

Engineers Without Borders Presentation

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering is a discipline of engineering that applies the principles of physics and materials science for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the design, production, and operation of machines and tools.[1] It is one of the oldest and broadest engineering disciplines.

Mechanical Engineering Presentation (pdf)

American Society for Quality

ASQ, formerly known as the American Society for Quality and the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC), is a knowledge-based global community of quality professionals, with nearly 80,000 members dedicated to the promotion and advancement of quality tools, principles, and practices in their workplaces and in their communities.

ASQ TV ASQ Knowledge Center