Welcome back to the Flybrix “Learn More About” series! Each blog Flybrix will explore another aspect of flight, science, or technology -- and learn more about it. This week, we’re learning more about engineering.
What Is Engineering?
Engineering is all about using science to solve problems in creative ways -- oftentimes through trial and error, as our friends the Wrong Brothers do. These solutions normally take the form of machines, structures, tools, and pretty much anything else that gets designed or built. That means almost everything you touch on a daily basis – from your phone to your computer to your microwave – was developed by engineers.
A Brief History of Engineering
The field of engineering has been around for a very long time. Perhaps the earliest examples of engineering were the first simple machines developed by humans, like the wheel, lever, and pulley. Centuries of discovery and innovation later gave rise to the wonders of the ancient world, such as the Roman Colosseum and the pyramids of Egypt. The invention of the steam engine during The Renaissance was hugely important, paving the way for the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries. From there, engineering underwent a rapid transformation. Different, specialized branches of engineering developed, allowing for modern inventions like the telephone, automobile, airplane, and computer to be realized.
Main Branches of Engineering
Engineering has four common areas, referred to as disciplines or branches:
Likely the most familiar branch of engineering, mechanical engineering deals with the design and building of machines. These machines vary greatly in size and complexity, spanning everything from pumps to rocket engines.
The device you’re reading this blog on right now is the result of electrical engineering, the branch of engineering concerned with electricity and electronics. It encompasses fields like computing, telecommunications, and power generation.
Chemical engineering involves transforming chemicals and other raw materials into usable substances. Some of the most common household products are the result of chemical engineering, like cleaning products, medications, and fuel.
Lastly, civil engineering is used to design and build large pieces of infrastructure, whether it’s a building, road, bridge, tunnel, or even a dam.
How Do Different Engineers Work Together?
Machines and structures are rarely the work of just one type of engineer. More times than not, they’re the result of all different kinds of engineers working together. Say for instance you’re building a skyscraper. You’d enlist a civil engineer to design the structure of the building, an electrical engineer to handle the wiring, and a mechanical engineer for things like air conditioning, heating, and elevators -- plus a whole host of other experts to make sure everything is built properly and safely.
Engineering in Action
When you’re building a Flybrix kit, you’re actually taking part in a specific type of mechanical engineering called aeronautical engineering, which is an engineering sub-branch focused on making things fly. Remember, engineering in all forms is about coming up with creative solutions through trial and error. So, if you get stuck anywhere in the process of building your Flybrix kit, do what the Wrong Brothers do: stop, analyze what went wrong, and try again. And as always, our tech support is here to help you along the way.
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