Engineering: A Very Short Introduction [#309]
Engineering: A Very Short Introduction [#309]


  • 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. 


1: From idea to reality
2: The age of gravity - time for work
3: The age of heat - you can't get something for nothing
4: The age of electromagnetism - the power of attraction
5: The age of information - getting smaller
6: The age of systems - risky futures
Further reading


Professor David 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).

"Any engineer who has spent a few years out of the classroom can benefit from reading this tiny volume as a refresher course on some basic, yet key, concepts of engineering" - The Tech

"This concise book provides excellent references for further reading and is an affordable, quick read to brush up on engineering history and its modern-day application. It is even more powerful as a tool for non-engineers to understand how intimately engineering contributes to the quality of peoples' lives - and the consequences of success or failure." - Civil Engineering Journal


ISBN : 9780199578696

David Blockley
152 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Engineering: A Very Short Introduction [#309]

Engineering: A Very Short Introduction [#309]

Engineering: A Very Short Introduction [#309]