What is Engineering?

Engineering is a very common word we hear now and then. Moreover, it has evolved as a very attractive arena of career building for many of us. If we look into the definition of it, we will more or less find that Engineering is the process or application of knowledge about the design and production of different products and services. Engineering know-how drags science to be evolved as technology and then technology converts into successful innovation [1].

Engineering Evolutions Since 1990s:

Sign of Modern Engineering: The International Space Station [2]
Sign of Modern Engineering: The International Space Station [2]

Do the picture of Engineering before 20 years is same as like Engineering today? The answer is “obviously not”. Engineering has a long history starting from the Ancient era and then Renaissance to present Modern era. Though the Modern era began in the 1800s, Engineering has found a tremendous pace in its advancement in last 20 to 25 years. During this time the branches of Engineering have wide spread and thousands of people are choosing their profession to be an Engineer.

The 1990s were a time of globalization when science and technology saw notable growth. We saw some of the greatest scientific findings and technological inventions to evolve during that decade. Today, we have advanced computers, highly efficient machines, mobile phones. Every day something new is being developed by engineers. A few of the noticeable inventions in 1990s were [3] –

  • The “World Wide Web” was first proposed by Sir Tim Berners Lee in 1989 and was further developed in next a few years, which has changed the way of using Internet and made our life easy in several aspects.
  • The Human Genome Project was initiated in 1990 and focused on identifying the sequence of chemical base pairs making up DNA. The project was completed in 2003.
  • The world’s first “webcam” was introduced at Cambridge University In 1991.
  • In 1993 Intel launched its exclusive Pentium brand of microprocessors.
  • VOIP services were first introduced in 1995 by Vocaltec Inc., a telecommunication company based in Israel. By next a few years, the VOIP market became very popular and PC-to-phone solutions flooded the markets.
  • In 1996, Dolly, the first cloned sheep, was born. It was a huge step towards genetic cloning and nuclear transfer sciences.
  • Mobile wireless file sharing was first introduced with the invention of Bluetooth technology in 1999.

Information technology sector, to be more specific, World Wide Web and other computer science related inventions dominated the decade of the 2000s.

Field that has remarkable developments in the last 20 years: Computer and Software Engineering

One of the pioneers: Bill-Gates
One of the pioneers: Bill-Gates [4]

Among the four main [5] branches (Chemical, Civil, Electrical and Mechanical) of Engineering, probably the most remarkable developments in last 20 years have been noticed in the area of Electronics and Communication Engineering under Electrical branch. Computer and Software Engineering is the best probable field to mention separately.

Under computer engineering, developments of software and Internet have changed the way of life. The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks. It has enhanced the efficiency of communication and data transfer to an un-imaginary level. The enormous amount of information available and the many uses one can have through the internet have made it the most valuable tool in a person’s life. A few more beneficiary [6] aspects of Internet are-

  • Internet has a lots of publications added on it every day; thus it’s evolving as the most powerful source of information.
  • It has become a great tool for hassle less and quick online banking, electronic libraries, online shopping and having your products delivered straight to your house.
  • The widespread use of the Internet has opened new areas of jobs worldwide and expanded the opportunities of working from home.
  • Another major benefit of the internet is its ability to minimize distances and provide communication services efficiently and without any additional cost.
Software Engineering empowered Robotics [8]
Software Engineering empowered Robotics [8]

Again, Software Engineering has changed the world wide business processes along with some very special innovations that have great impact on human life. Different Software applications that have obvious impact on several fields and greater development opportunities in coming days may include the following [7]-

  • Business software (Accounting software).
  • Banking (Automatic teller machines, Cheque processing, Credit cards).
  • Commerce (Trade, Auctions e.g. eBay, Reverse auctions, Bar code scanners).
  • Communication (E-mail, Instant messengers, VOIP, Contact managers).
  • Embedded systems (Automotive software, Avionics software, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) software, Medical device software).
  • Manufacturing (Computer Aided Manufacturing-CAM, Distributed Control Systems-DCS).
  • Robotics

Present Charm of Engineering:

All the disciplines and sub-disciplines of Engineering have great endeavor in favor of the excellence achieved in technological inventions. However, the fields of Information Technology like Computer engineering, Software Engineering or Communication Engineering have become the core of fascination for engineering studies. Actually, unlike other engineering fields, Information Technology has a great attachment with persons’ daily life. It has made the thing happen to reach the benefits of inventions to people’s doorstep more swiftly. So it has eventually become a charm to most of the general people; not only to the technical.

Now we are at the age of the fusion of technology and much more is waiting for us in the coming days. Computer Engineering, Robotics, Aerospace engineering, Bio-Molecular Engineering, Geo-technical engineering and so many others are heading us toward a dreamy life where Robots will do all the works for its master, patients will be cured from fatal diseases and human will conquer much into the space.


  1. http://www.engineeryourcareer.org.au/?page_id=33
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:International_Space_Station_after_undocking_of_STS-132.jpg
  3. http://www.brighthub.com/education/homework-tips/articles/123405.aspx
  4. http://www.nairaland.com/1150566/microsoft-chairman-bill-gates-worlds
  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineering (There are other major Branches also, but these are considered to be the main four)
  6. http://www.cyberethics.info/cyethics1/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=186&Itemid=83&lang=en
  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_software_engineering
  8. http://www.cccblog.org/2014/03/19/cloud-robotics-at-sxsw/

This is a  Guest Post by Asif Mohammadullah

Engineering Before 20 Years and The Engineering Today
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