Engineering Principles


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Engineering Is A Wonderful World

Engineering is the practical application of each of the sciences including maths (but this isn’t scary). I was lucky that I had excellent schooling and took to sciences quickly - it was like coming home to me. Years ago some schools used to engender the feeling, consciously or otherwise, that Engineering must only be considered from a mathematical point of view. Certainly forces add up, gears multiply and levers divide but this marvelous Engineering world is far more than that. Engineering will always be about:

  1. Smoothness, curvature, balance, form -these might all be applied in aviation;

  2. Density, inertia, flow, eddy currents, viscosity - these might all be applied to the movement of fluids (including air);

  3. Storage, pumps, flow, valves, cleanliness, dirt, sewerage, chemistry, gravity, bacteria - these might all be applied to water systems;

  4. Measurements, historical information, trends, displays, decisions, warnings, emergencies, commands, back-up - these might all be applied to control systems (my degree was this);

  5. Fuel, mass, braking, heat dissipation, wear-n-tear, ergonomics - these might all be applied to transport;

  6. Load, wind, earthquakes, heating/cooling, function, flexibility of use, connection to other things, longevity  -these might be applied to structures like cranes, buildings, bridges, harbours etc;

  7. Adherence, hue, brightness, reflectance, polarisation - these might all be applied to paint or photography;

This list is but a pale glimpse into our fascinating real world and, interestingly, so many Engineering disciplines overlap. Even better the good news is that if you understand the principles of one area you might find yourself quite easily understanding, and therefore being useful in, another area. Therefore don’t assume that because you, your parents or your school don’t consider you to be an Engineer because you’re good at knitting or plants or accountancy. Realise that there are industrial weaving and knitting machines, that farming and food production uses heavy and cleverly designed Engineering equipment - not just tractors that drive themselves and that banks have some of the most complex electronic Engineering sites (not just websites but computer installations) in the world as they have to be very, very, very reliable and that takes very careful Engineering. So your skills will be Engineering skills even though you don’t realise it yet !

Engineering Helps

February 2020

This page is new and I am going to add to it over the coming months

Gears This is a blog aimed specifically at those who learn visually. From simply explaining rotation, rolling one circle around another, bits of string around a cylinder, why friction occurs etc one is taken visually through to why gears are very useful to us and how to calculate ratios. And it’s beautiful.

(My thanks for this suggestion go to Mike Gleen)

Much more to come here over the coming months....

If you’re fascinated by fantastic machines in the past you might want to look here:

Engineering How It Used To Be

MORT (sic) Put standard TV and YouTube away this is the most absorbing website for the enquiring mind you’ll ever find and all described in an excellent way. Does exactly what it says on the tin..

(My thanks for this suggestion go to Steve Briancourt)

Everything For Everything If there’s a law, a principle or a way to analyse it’s here. Don’t know how to use a software package it’s here. Want to understand the effects of human physiological traits (eg heat or breath etc) it’s here. Can’t remember that equation in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mechanics etc etc it’s here. Want to know what abbreviations are used in different branches of Engineering it’s here. There is so much here it would take a long time to go through it all. However for what I’ve needed (don’t ask) I haven’t found anything not here - which is quite an accolade. So go on: I dare you to calculate Steel Pipe Expansion Loop Capacity !

And it also can be viewed in any of 12 languages (Ah but not Latin !)

If you find anything not here let me know by email on Home page or them know on their home page.