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101 Things I Learned in Engineering School

101 Things I Learned in Engineering School

101 Things I Learned in Engineering School
By John Kuprenas

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(41 customer reviews)

Book Description

In this unique primer, an experienced civil engineer and instructor presents the physics and fundamentals that underlie the many fields of engineering. Far from a dry, nuts-and-bolts exposition, however, 101 THINGS I LEARNED® IN ENGINEERING SCHOOL probes real-world examples to show how the engineer's way of thinking can-and sometimes cannot-inform our understanding of how things work. Questions from the simple to the profound are illuminated throughout: Why shouldn't soldiers march across a bridge? Why do buildings want to float and cars want to fly? What is the difference between thinking systemically and thinking systematically? How can engineering solutions sympathize with the natural environment?

Presented in the familiar, illustrated format of the popular 101 THINGS I LEARNED® series, 101 THINGS I LEARNED® IN ENGINEERING SCHOOL offers an informative resource for students, general readers, and even experienced engineers, who will discover within many provocative new insights into familiar principles.

Book Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #70902 in Books
  • Brand: Grand Central Publishing
  • Published on: 2013-05-21
  • Released on: 2013-05-21
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 7.38" h x 1.13" w x 5.38" l, 1.00 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 216 pages


  • Grand Central Publishing

Editorial Reviews

About the Author
John Kuprenas is a Registered Engineer and LEED professional in California. He lectures in Civil Engineering at the University of Southern California and at California State University Long Beach, and is Vice President at Vanir Construction Management in Los Angeles. His writings have been published in dozens of refereed journals and in The Story of Managing Projects (Greenwood Press/Quorum Books).

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful.
3Best considered a collection of 101 loosely-related interesting factoids
By R. D Johnson
To be honest, it's very unlikely you learned all of these things in Engineering school. That's because Engineering is a broad subject, with fields ranging from Civil Engineering to Mechanical Engineering to Electrical Engineering to Petroleum Engineering to ... you get the drift.

I note this because this book is really more of a collection of 101 interesting facts about selected engineering fields, along with some slightly tangential material. For example, item #84 "An Electric Current Only Works if it can Return to its Source" is the only one directly pertaining to my field of Electrical Engineering. Civil and Mechanical Engineering are the fields that get the bulk of the 101 items, and its doubtful if any Electrical Engineer learned in school item #57, "Keep One Leg Still", which basically states that to level a surveying tripod only two of the legs should be adjusted while the third remains untouched, or item #44, "Concrete and Cement are Different Things". And then there's stuff that is just out there, like item #91 "Random Hypothesis #2", which notes that there are three kinds of people in the world: language people, people people, and object people, and engineers tend to be the 'object people' type. Useful information if you've never seen the Big Bang Theory on TV, I suppose.

In my opinion the '101 Things I Learned ..." books are better for those who **didn't** study a particular field. I also have the Architecture book, and learned a lot more from that book because I knew very little about the practice of Architecture going in. However, none of these 101 books are really all that practical. The items are usually interesting, but so scattered about that they're mostly useless as any kind of reference. For example, item 58 "How to Read a Topographic Plan" and item 77 "Stop a Crack by Rounding It Off" both impart useful information about topographic maps and cracks respectively, but this isn't likely to be your go-to book if you're working with either topo maps or cracks. This book is fun to read once, and then best passed on to someone else, or donated to a school library.

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful.
1Ultimately a waste of time
By skmurphy
A laundry list of items, few of which are directly actionable. Lacking any overall organizing paradigm the whole is much less than the sum of the pages. Consider "The Existential Pleasures of Engineering by Samuel C. Florman, " To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design" by Henry Petroski, or " Unwritten Laws of Engineering: Revised and Updated Edition" by W. J. King as a better use of your time.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
4Enjoy life -- be an engineer.
By Arthur St. Hilaire
Having been an engineer for 49 years, this is a fun book to have around the house for my friends who have no real clue on what constitutes the engineering mindset. This book could also provide additional impetus for young people considering engineering as a profession.

See all 41 customer reviews...
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