History of Engineering

An engineer was defined as "a constructor of military machines" in the old times, 1325 AD to be precise. There were two types of engineering back then: military engineering and civil engineering. The former included fortifications and military engines, while the latter included non-military projects such as bridge construction. This definition is no longer valid, as engineering has expanded to encompass a wide range of specialties.

The exact origin of the word 'engineering' may be traced back to a time when mankind were working on ingenious innovations. The pulley, the wheel, and levers were invented as man progressed in the world. The word engineer is derived from the Latin word ingenium, which means "innate quality, especially of mental power." As a result, the word engineer came to mean a person who makes useful and interesting inventions.

Today, an engineer is defined as a person who has gained scientific and technical knowledge and is using it to create, analyze, and construct useful, helpful, and functional work. Structures, equipment and apparatus, manufacturing processes, and anticipating their behavior in specific environmental conditions are all part of this. All of this is done with functionality, operating economies, and life and property safety in mind.

Engineering is a broad discipline with a plethora of subdisciplines dedicated to distinct topics of study in relation to specific technologies or goods. 

The field of engineering has traditionally been divided into the following 

Engineering Job Categories:

- Aerospace Engineering

- Chemical Engineering

- Civil Engineering

- Electrical Engineering and, 

- Mechanical Engineering

However, as the human race has progressed in terms of technology, new disciplines of engineering are being established. 

Most Popular Fields of Engineering Now:

- Computer Engineering,

- Software Engineering,

- Nanotechnology,

- Molecular Engineering,

- Mechatronics and many more!

Engineering history can be divided into four overlapping phases:

-Pre-scientific revolution: The prehistory of modern engineering features ancient master builders and Renaissance engineers such as Leonardo da Vinci.

-Industrial revolution: From the eighteenth through early nineteenth century, civil and mechanical engineers changed from practical artists to scientific professionals.

-Second industrial revolution: In the century before World War II, chemical, electrical, and other science-based engineering branches developed electricity, telecommunications, cars, airplanes, and mass production.

-Information revolution: As engineering science matured after the war, microelectronics, computers, and telecommunications jointly produced information technology.

The First Engineer Ever!

 World's First Engineer Imhotep

Imhotep, an Egyptian civil engineer, was the first recorded civil engineer. 

The great pyramid of Djoser, commonly known as the Step Pyramid, is thought to have been planned and built by Imhotep. Imhotep was a Pharaoh Djoser official who may have been the first to use columns in construction. The Step Pyramid was constructed in Egypt between 2630 and 2611 BC and is located near Saqqara. 

Imhotep would most likely be fascinated by the advances in engineering over the last 4000 years - although he may have a few secrets of his own to reveal!

The Industrial Revolution

The ultimate goal of the Industrial Revolution was to reduce reliance on human labor in manufacturing processes and to transform industrial processes that were previously powered by man into a form that was powered by machines, an idea that had been circulating among engineers and industrialists for many years. Thanks to a variety of engineering advancements and discoveries, this dream came true at this time. The discovery of steam power, as well as the invention and development of the steam engine, came on top of these achievements.

The Steam Engine

Steam Engine

The steam engine, invented by Thomas Newcomen, was utilized in a variety of industries, including mining, where the first engines were used to pump water from deep wells. Early mills were powered by water, but a factory could be built anywhere, not just near water, by employing a steam engine. Water power fluctuated with the seasons, and it was occasionally unavailable due to freezing, flooding, or dry spells. Steam engines were used in a wide range of industries, from mines to mills. They enhanced productivity and technology, allowing for the development of smaller and better engines.

The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal

The 51-mile Panama Canal, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, revolutionized global commerce routes when it opened in 1914. The United States re-started building in 1904 after an unsuccessful attempt by the French in the 1880s. Chief engineer John Stevens changed the project's design from a sea-level canal to one that required a series of locks and the damming of the Chagres River at the time to create the world's largest man-made lake. Workers fought landslides and tropical diseases like malaria and yellow fever as they dug the canal through jungles and steep terrain, moving enough earth and rubble to bury Manhattan to a depth of 12 feet, according to the Panama Canal Museum. And the most impressive part of it all? The canal was finished on time and on budget.

The construction of the pyramids in ancient Egypt, Thomas Newcomen's creation of the steam engine and the ensuing Industrial Revolution, and Panama Canal are all examples of engineering marvels in the past. Engineering is now the foundation of modern life, and society would not function as well without it. 

In places like Sub-Saharan Africa, where a lack of engineering capacity leads to poor infrastructure and a lack of long-term technical growth, engineering is an important component of development agendas. Multi-skilled, multi-thinking engineers are especially needed in situations like this.

Analytical thinking, critical reasoning, creativity, and up to date technical knowledge are the most wanted skills in the engineering field today. With unparalleled expertise, passion for tech, and tutors from the top universities we help your child unlock their full potential. Following the engineering spirit and vision, we aim to raise children who are inspired and competent enough to change the world through our coding and robotics programs at Hub21.

Your child can be the next big engineer! Don’t miss out and enroll them in our programs today and start their journey.

Zeynep B. Gergin / Team Hub21