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Engineering: A Very Short Introduction

Engineering: A Very Short Introduction

Engineering: A Very Short Introduction
By David Blockley

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Book Description

Engineering is part of almost everything we do--from the buildings we live in and the roads and railways we travel on, to the telephones and computers we use to communicate and the X-ray machines that help doctors diagnose diseases. 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 begins with its early roots, ranging from Archimedes to some of the great figures of engineering such as Brunel and Marconi, right up to the modern day, describing the five ages of engineering--gravity, heat, electromagnetism, information, and systems--and showing how they relate to one another. Blockley discusses some of engineering's great achievements as well as its great disasters--such as when things went catastrophically wrong at Chernobyl--using examples of everyday tools to reveal how engineering actually works. He also looks at some of the contributions engineers will have to make in the future in order to sustain and promote human well-being.

Book Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #335421 in Books
  • Brand: imusti
  • Published on: 2012-03-24
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 4.40" h x .50" w x 6.70" l, .31 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 152 pages


  • Oxford University Press

Editorial Reviews

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 * 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 *

About the Author

David Blockley is Head of the Department of Civil Engineering and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Bristol.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
5very depthful
By Nathaniel H.
This book gives me a lot of stuff that I'm using as guidance into making career decisions. The details in this "very short introduction" answered so many questions that weren't understood guys, seriously, this is a great book!

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
5Very well written and structured
By David Fung
This is an excellent introduction that is very well written and presented. The topics are broad and evenly covered and written in a style that is very easy to understand and follow.

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
4Good Intro to Applied Science
By Guy Crouchback
The first thing to say about "Engineering: A Very Short Introduction" is that the title is something of a misnomer. It is actually a very short HISTORY of that subject. (In, say, philosophy, this would be more understandable; no one "does philosophy" today. People still "do" engineering, and always will) This matters a bit, although some will still enjoy the book. (This is less of an issue during the book's final one-third, beginning in the mid- 20th century.)

The second thing that should be said is that if you were the type who dozed through high school physics classes, you may find that the contents are more of a burden than you're quite prepared to hoist - even with the pulleys described early in the book. (Another reviewer notes that the author "goes into an impressive amount of detail in the space available." Well, yes.) And if you were the sort of student who avoided physics and it's derivative topics (e.g., electricity, thermodynamics) like the plague, you might wish to stick to Angry Birds or Kindle's low-budget whodunit offerings.

As I suggested in the first paragraph, what we have here - it seems to me, mostly - is a well-written account of the scientific discovery and perfections of the engineering tools that make our modern world modern. The book is more about science than engineering. This is not a book about muddy boots and hard hats, and of the actual work - today! - of the men (and increasingly, the women) who wear these items worldwide and in all conditions to make life better for billions of people. THAT is the book this engineer (retired) would have written, and of course I'm free to do so.

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