(A) What is Engineering?
is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying
scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in
order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems,
materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of
people. The American Engineers' Council for Professional Development
(ECPD, the predecessor of ABET) has defined "engineering" as:
creative application of scientific principles to design or develop
structures, machines, apparatus, or manufacturing processes, or works
utilizing them singly or in combination; or to construct or operate the
same with full cognizance of their design; or to forecast their
behaviour under specific operating conditions; all as respects an
intended function, economics of operation and safety to life and
(B) Main Branches of Engineering
Engineering is often characterized as having four main branches:
Chemical Engineering – The exploitation of chemical principles in order
to carry out large scale chemical process, as well as designing new
speciality materials and fuels.
ii. Civil Engineering – The
design and construction of public and private works, such as
infrastructure (roads, railways, water supply and treatment etc.),
bridges, dams, and buildings.
iii. Electrical Engineering – a
very broad area that may encompass the design and study of various
electrical & electronic systems, such as electrical circuits,
generators, motors, electromagnetic/electro mechanical devices,
electronic devices, electronic circuits, optical fibers, opto electronic
devices, computer systems, telecommunications and electronics.
Mechanical engineering – The design of physical or mechanical systems,
such as power and energy systems, aerospace/aircraft products, weapon
systems, transportation products engines, compressors, power trains,
kinematic chains, vacuum technology, and vibration isolation equipment.
(C) Engineering Education
is the recognized accreditation authority granting universities that
offer education in engineering and technology the right to confer
degrees. Degree programs include a Bachelor's degree in engineering or
sciences (4 years), to a Master's in the same field (adding 2 or 3 years
depending on the university), to a Doctor of Engineering which entails
completing original research. Engineering Doctors often go on to teach
in schools of engineering. Some engineering schools have agreements with
2-year colleges whereby the college provides the initial engineering
education, and the engineering school automatically admits students for
their last 2 years. In addition, many engineering schools have
arrangements that allow students who spend 3 years in a liberal arts
college studying math/physics subjects and 2 years in an engineering
school studying core subjects to receive a bachelor’s degree from each
school. Some colleges and universities offer 5-year master’s degree
In the UK, most
engineering courses take 3 years for an undergraduate
bachelors(BEng) and a 4 year period for an Undergraduate Masters.
Students who read a 4 years engineering course are awarded an Masters of
Engineering (as opposed to Masters of Science in Engineering). All
accredited engineering courses are assessed and approved by the
Professional Institutions reflecting the subject covered; IMechE, IET,
BCS, ICE, IStructE etc. The degree then counts in part to qualifying as a
Chartered Engineer after a period (usually 4–8 years) of structured
professional practice, professional practice peer review and,
if required, further exams to then become a corporate member of the
relevant professional body. The term 'Chartered Engineer' is regulated
by Royal Assent its use is restricted only to those registered; the
awarding of this status is devolved to the professional institutions by
the Engineering Council.
The B. Eng may be registered as an
"Incorporated Engineer" by the Engineering Council after a period of
structured professional practice, professional practice peer review and,
if required, further exams to then become a member of the relevant
Mainland China is becoming popular for international students.
The programs field taught in English is getting more and more wide, like
Electronic Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Telecom Engineering,
Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering,
Computer Engineering, Architecture, Software Engineering, Chemical
Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Industry Engineering, Material
Science and Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Marine Engineering and
Navigation Technology. Undergraduate programs in Engineering (in English) are normally of 4-year duration.
(D) International Mutual Agreements (Engineering)
There are three agreements covering mutual recognition in respect of tertiary-level qualifications in engineering:
i. The Washington Accord signed
in 1989 was the first - it recognizes substantial equivalence in
the accreditation of qualifications in professional engineering,
normally of four years duration.
ii. The Sydney Accord commenced
in 2001 and recognizes substantial equivalence in the accreditation of
qualifications in engineering technology, normally of three years
iii. The Dublin Accord is
an agreement for substantial equivalence in the accreditation of
tertiary qualifications in technician engineering, normally of two years
duration. It commenced in 2002.
iv. The International Engineering Alliance - Reciprocal Recognition