Engineering Professions

What is Civil and Environmental Engineering?

Civil engineers work with some of our planet's most basic building blocks such as wood, earth, water, sunlight and stone. They push these materials to their maximum potential, developing new uses such as photovoltaic and biodegradation applications. They also develop and utilize some of the most highly advanced construction materials in the world such as carbon fiber, high-grade steel, super-light concrete, advanced composites, polymers and bio-materials.

Civil engineers are builders, designing and constructing skyscrapers, bridges, roads and even entire cities. They also work to solve some of our planet's most serious problems, such as environmental pollution, aging infrastructure, need for alternative energy sources, and overcrowded transportation systems. As planners, they envision the future, especially how and where we will live, and how we will travel.

Some of the employment areas for civil engineers include:

  • environmental
  • energy
  • transportation
  • construction
  • geotechnical
  • power systems structural anaylsis
  • energy environmental impact

What is Construction Management?

Construction managers plan, direct and coordinate a wide variety of construction projects, including the building of all types of residential, commercial and industrial structures, power plants, roads, bridges, wastewater treatment plants, and schools and hospitals.  Construction managers may oversee an entire project or just part of one.  They schedule and coordinate all design and construction processes, including the selection, hiring and oversight of specialty trade contractors.  Construction managers coordinate and supervise the construction process from the conceptual development stage through final construction, making sure that the project gets done on time and within budget.  They often work with owners, engineers, architects and others who are involved in the construction process.

Examples of Construction Management jobs include:

  • construction project manager
  • construction superintendent
  • program manager
  • safety project manager
  • power plant construction management
  • electrical distribution management
  • general contractor
  • project engineer

What is Electrical and Computer Engineering?

Electrical engineering and computer engineering are the control and transformation of energy and information. The work of electrical and computer engineers touches almost all aspects of modern technology, from developing alternative energy sources and smart grids, to microscopic circuits on the chip of a laptop computer.

Creative professions, electrical and computer engineering are key ingredients in research, development, design, testing, manufacturing and operation of new technologies. In the complex control of technology, such as nuclear power reactors or even small robots, electrical and computer engineering are essential.

Examples of electrical and computer engineering jobs include:

  • computer hardware design
  • design of alternative enegy systems
  • software development
  • communications and networking
  • energy efficiency engineer
  • power sytems design and analysis
  • microelectronics
  • optoelectronics
  • robotics
  • electrical design

What is Engineering Technology (ET)?

Engineering technology is the profession in which a knowledge of mathematics and natural sciences gained by higher education, experience, and practice is devoted primarily to the implementation and extension of existing technology for the benefit of humanity. Engineering technology education focuses primarily on the applied aspects of science and engineering aimed at preparing graduates for practice in that portion of the technological spectrum closest to the produce improvement, manufacturing, and engineering operational functions.

ET programs are characterized by their focus on application and practice and by their approximately 50/50 mix of theory and laboratory experience.

Examples of engineering technology jobs include:

  • Engineering Technologist
  • Field Engineer
  • Management Trainee
  • Energy Sysems Quality Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Energy Applications Manager
  • Applications Engineer
  • Senior Technical Associate
  • Power Plant Manager
  • Sales Representative
  • Energy OperationsEngineer
  • Project Manager

What is Engineering versus Engineering Technology (ET)?

Engineering graduates are often considered "innovators." They develop new methods of analysis and solutions for open-ended, complex and unique design problems. New graduates most likely aspire to an entry-level position in conceptual design, systems engineering, product research, or development. Graduates are readily accepted to graduate school for advanced study in engineering (M.S. or Ph.D.) whereas ET graduates do not usually follow this path. Graduates are also eligible for professional registration in all states through examination and documented experience. Coursework in the engineering plan of study includes multiple semesters of calculus and calculus-based theoretical science courses followed by engineering science, analysis, and design.

ET graduates are often considered "implementers." They apply current knowledge and practices to the solution of specific technical problems and standard design problems. New graduates most likely enter industry in construction, product design, development, testing, technical operations, or technical services or sales. Graduates often pursue graduate study in engineering management, construction management, business administration, or similar programs. They are most likely to get a 'hands-on' laboratory, testing, construction, or in-the-field job. Graduates are eligible for professional registration in most states with wide variation in licensing requirements. Coursework in the ET plan of study includes algebra, trigonometry, applied calculus, and science courses. The level of math and science required in ET is not theoretical as that required in engineering. Instead it is more focused on applications.

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What is Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical engineering impacts all technology of the past, present and future. From the early manufacturing of Model Ts, to the launching of today's Space Shuttle, to the development of tomorrow's alternative energy sources, mechanical engineering is integrally involved.

Mechanical engineering is changing technology, which is then changing mechanical engineering. The traditional mechanical components of machinery and manufacturing are now being altered with new developments in superconductivity, precision engineering, robotics and energy conversion.

Examples of mechanical engineering jobs include:

  • motorsports
  • energy
  • automotive
  • aerospace
  • bio-engineering
  • manufacturing
  • materials
  • power distribution

What is Systems Engineering and Engineering Management?

To succeed in today’s changing global business environment, organizations needs professionals who can integrate engineering and business operations. Systems Engineering and Engineering Management (SEEM) graduates do this by incorporating both fields in design, production, manufacturing, logistics, sales and service. SEEM has broad applications in a wide variety of industries including manufacturing, energy, transportation, automotive and health care. Systems engineers and engineering managers ensure that customers’ and stakeholders’ needs are satisfied in high-quality, trustworthy, cost-efficient and schedule-compliant manners throughout a system’s entire life cycle.

SEEM Engineering Jobs:

  • Systems engineer
  • Manufacturing engineer
  • Power ssytems engineer
  • Industrial engineer
  • Operations research analyst
  • Design/development engineer
  • Process engineer Quality engineer
  • Reliability engineer
  • Solutions architect
  • Applications engineer

SEEM Managerial Jobs:

  • Engineering manager
  • Operations manager
  • Production planner
  • Program manager
  • Power systems manager
  • Service manager
  • Project manager
  • Product manager
  • Business and technology analyst