21 Types of Engineering To Know In 2023

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There are dozens and dozens of different types of engineering. Still, when it comes down to the basics, engineering is about using specialized bases of knowledge to solve the technical problems confronting societies. Since we encounter a wide variety of issues, we have an equally wide range of engineering disciplines, many of which are highly specialized and designed to solve those problems. 

In fact, there are so many types of engineering that students often aren’t sure which kind they want to study. One of the first steps to figuring out whether an engineering degree is right for you — and, if so, which field you should choose — is to learn about the key differences among the major types of engineering.

Also Read: Engineering Disciplines

21 Types of Engineering

The following are the types of Engineering you should know in 2023

1. Types of Engineering: Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering focuses on the design, testing, and manufacturing of electrical components, such as motors, navigation, communications systems, and power generation. They work in a range of industries, including research, manufacturing, telecommunications, and more.

Types of Engineering, electric wiring
electric wiring

Electrical engineering is one of the industry’s broadest fields, which means what you can do varies widely from one sector to another. From working with circuits to making computers and other electronics used to build fiber-optic networks or vision sensors for cars, many disciplines employ electrical engineers.

2. Types of Engineering: Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering design, build and develop mechanical and thermal sensing devices, such as engines, tools, and machines. Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering fields, and it can be found in a huge range of products from electric generators to batteries to refrigeration systems.

Mechanical Engineering as types of engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineers analyze projects to determine how a mechanical device can be used and then design and test machines to help the project. They can also investigate equipment that has failed to determine how part of the machine needs to be repaired.

3. Types of Engineering: Civil Engineering

 Civil Engineering
Civil Engineering

Civil engineering solves infrastructure problems. The projects they design, build and maintain span a wide range in both the public and private sectors, including bridges, roads, tunnels, dams, and water and sewer systems. Infrastructure such as the Brooklyn Bridge, the Erie Canal, and the Thames Tunnel in London were all made possible because of the work of civil engineering. Those are just three on a list of dozens of civil engineering landmarks listed by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

4. Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers use their knowledge of sciences – such as chemistry, biology, physics, and math – to solve problems that affect the use or production of chemicals, food, drugs, and more, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They often work in offices and laboratories, and nearly all of them work full-time.

Chemical Engineering
Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers use their knowledge in the sciences as well as manufacturing to bring chemical processes developed in a laboratory to a commercial or industrial process to create products and then evaluate and improve those processes, according to the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Chemical engineers translate processes developed in the lab into practical applications for the commercial production of products and then work to maintain and improve those processes. They rely on the main foundations of engineering: math, physics, and chemistry (though biology is playing an increasing role).

The primary function of chemical engineers is to design and troubleshoot processes for the production of chemicals, fuels, foods, pharmaceuticals, and biologicals, just to name a few. They are most often employed by large-scale manufacturing plants to maximize productivity and product quality while minimizing costs.

5. Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace engineering is the field of engineering concerned with the design, development, testing, and production of aircraft, spacecraft, and any related systems. It focuses on the problems related to both atmospheric and space flight.

Aerospace Engineering
Aerospace Engineering

Much like electrical engineering, software engineering, and firmware engineering, aerospace engineering started abruptly with an invention that changed the world. With aerospace engineering, that invention was the Wright Brothers’ 1903 airplane. Within 50 years, aerospace engineering would expand beyond our own atmosphere to include the design of spacecraft as well as airplanes.

Also Read: Aluminium and Copper as Building Materials

6. Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems. They work to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, and water and air pollution control.

Environmental Engineering
Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineers work in a variety of settings because of the nature of the tasks they do. When they are working with other engineers and urban and regional planners, environmental engineers are likely to be in offices. When they are carrying out solutions through construction projects, they are likely to be at construction sites.

7. Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering is the application of the principles and problem-solving techniques of engineering to biology and medicine. This is evident throughout healthcare, from diagnosis and analysis to treatment and recovery, and has entered the public conscience through the proliferation of implantable medical devices, such as pacemakers and artificial hips, to more futuristic technologies such as stem cell engineering and 3-D printing of biological organs.

Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering

Engineering itself is an innovative field, the origin of ideas leading to everything from automobiles to aerospace, skyscrapers to sonar. Biomedical engineering focuses on the advances that improve human health and health care at all levels.

Biomedical engineers focus on advances in technology and medicine to develop new devices and equipment for improving human health. For example, they might design software to run medical equipment or computer simulations to test new drug therapies.

Bioengineers and biomedical engineers work in manufacturing, research facilities, and for a variety of other employers. Most work full-time, and some work more than 40 hours per week.

Biomedical engineers work in a wide variety of settings and disciplines. There are opportunities in the industry for innovating, designing, and developing new technologies; in academia furthering research and pushing the frontiers of what is medically possible as well as testing, implementing, and developing new diagnostic tools and medical equipment; and in government for establishing safety standards for medical devices. Many biomedical engineers find employment in cutting-edge start-up companies or as entrepreneurs themselves.

8. Structural Engineering

Structural engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering in which structural engineers are trained to design the bones and muscles that create the form and shape of man-made structures. Structural engineers also must understand and calculate the stability, strength, rigidity, and earthquake-susceptibility of built structures for buildings and nonbuilding structures.

Structural Engineering
Structural Engineering

The structural designs are integrated with those of other designers such as architects and building services engineers and often supervise the construction of projects by contractors on site. They can also be involved in the design of machinery, medical equipment, and vehicles where structural integrity affects functioning and safety.

Structural engineering theory is based on applied physical laws and empirical knowledge of the structural performance of different materials and geometries. Structural engineering design uses a number of relatively simple structural concepts to build complex structural systems. Structural engineers are responsible for making creative and efficient use of funds, structural elements, and materials to achieve these goals.

9. Computer Engineering

Computer engineering is a branch of electrical engineering that integrates several fields of computer science and electronic engineering required to develop computer hardware and software. Computer engineers not only require training in electronic engineering, software design, and hardware-software integration but also in software engineering.

Computer Engineering
Computer Engineering

It uses the techniques and principles of electrical engineering and computer science but also covers areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, computer networks, computer architecture, and operating systems. Computer engineers are involved in many hardware and software aspects of computing, from the design of individual microcontrollers, microprocessors, personal computers, and supercomputers, to circuit design.

This field of engineering not only focuses on how computer systems themselves work, yet it also demands them to integrate into the larger picture. Robots are one of the applications of computer engineering.

Computer Engineering usually deals with areas including writing software and firmware for embedded microcontrollers, designing VLSI chips, designing analog sensors, designing mixed signal circuit boards, and designing operating systems. Computer engineers are also suited for robotics research, which relies heavily on using digital systems to control and monitor electrical systems like motors, communications, and sensors.

In many institutions of higher learning, computer engineering students are allowed to choose areas of in-depth study in their junior and senior years because the full breadth of knowledge used in the design and application of computers is beyond the scope of an undergraduate degree. Other institutions may require engineering students to complete one or two years of general engineering before declaring computer engineering as their primary focus.

Also Read: Best Engineering Universities in India | Top courses

10. Electronic Engineering

Electronics engineering is a sub-discipline of electrical engineering which emerged in the early 20th century and is distinguished by the additional use of active components such as semiconductor devices to amplify and control electric current flow. Previously electrical engineering only used passive devices such as mechanical switches, resistors, inductors, and capacitors.

It covers fields such as analog electronics, digital electronics, consumer electronics, embedded systems, and power electronics. It is also involved in many related fields, for example, solid-state physics, radio engineering, telecommunications, control systems, signal processing, systems engineering, computer engineering, instrumentation engineering, electric power control, and robotics.

Electronic Engineering
Electronic Engineering

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is one of the most important professional bodies for electronics engineers in the US; the equivalent body in the UK is the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) publishes electrical standards including those for electronic engineering.

11. Automotive Engineering

Automotive engineering, along with aerospace engineering and naval architecture, is a branch of vehicle engineering, that incorporates elements of mechanical, electrical, electronic, software, and safety engineering as applied to the design, manufacture, and operation of motorcycles, automobiles, and trucks and their respective engineering subsystems.

Automotive Engineering
Automotive Engineering

It also includes the modification of vehicles. The manufacturing domain deals with the creation and assembly of the whole parts of automobiles is also included in it. The automotive engineering field is research-intensive and involves the direct application of mathematical models and formulas.

The study of automotive engineering is to design, develop, fabricate, and test vehicles or vehicle components from the concept stage to the production stage. Production, development, and manufacturing are the three major functions in this field.

12. Materials Engineering

New materials have been among the greatest achievements of every age and they have been central to the growth, prosperity, security, and quality of life of humans since the beginning of history. It is always new materials that open the door to new technologies, whether they are in civil, chemical, construction, nuclear, aeronautical, agricultural, mechanical, biomedical, or electrical engineering.

Materials scientists and engineers continue to be at the forefront of all of these and many other areas of science, too. Materials science and engineering influence our lives each time we buy or use a new device, machine, or structure. (You can read more about the impact of this exciting field in our list of suggested readings.)

Materials Engineering
Materials Engineering

The definition of the academic field of Materials Science & Engineering stems from a realization concerning every application of materials: it is the properties of the material that give it value. Material may be chosen for its strength, electrical properties, resistance to heat or corrosion, or a host of other reasons; but they all relate to properties.

Experience shows that all of the useful properties of a material are intimately related to its structure, at all levels, including which atoms are present, how the atoms are joined, and how groups of atoms are arranged throughout the material. Most importantly, we learn how this structure, and the resulting properties, are controlled by the processing of the material.

Finally, materials must perform their tasks in an economical and societally responsible manner. Understanding the relationships between properties, structure, processing, and performance makes the Materials Engineer the master of the engineering universe.

13. Software Engineering

The term software engineering is the product of two words, software, and engineering.

The software is a collection of integrated programs.

Software subsists of carefully-organized instructions and code written by developers in any of various particular computer languages.

Software Development
Software Development

Computer programs and related documentation such as requirements, design models, and user manuals.

Engineering is the application of scientific and practical knowledge to invent, design, build, maintain, and improve frameworks, processes, etc.

Software Engineering is an engineering branch related to the evolution of software products using well-defined scientific principles, techniques, and procedures. The result of software engineering is an effective and reliable software product.

Let’s look at the various definitions of software engineering:

  • IEEE, in its standard 610.12-1990, defines software engineering as the application of a systematic, disciplined, which is computable approach for the development, operation, and maintenance of software.
  • Fritz Bauer defined it as ‘the establishment and used standard engineering principles. It helps you to obtain, economically, software that is reliable and works efficiently on real machines.
  • Boehm defines software engineering, as involves, ‘the practical application of scientific knowledge to the creative design and building of computer programs. It also includes associated documentation needed for developing, operating, and maintaining them.’

14. Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum engineering is a field of engineering concerned with the activities related to the production of Hydrocarbons, which can be either crude oil or natural gas. Exploration and production are deemed to fall within the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry.

Exploration, by earth scientists, and petroleum engineering are the oil and gas industry’s two main subsurface disciplines, which focus on maximizing the economic recovery of hydrocarbons from subsurface reservoirs. 

Petroleum geology and geophysics focus on the provision of a static description of the hydrocarbon reservoir rock, while petroleum engineering focuses on the estimation of the recoverable volume of this resource using a detailed understanding of the physical behavior of oil, water, and gas within porous rock at very high pressure.

Petroleum Engineering
Petroleum Engineering

The combined efforts of geologists and petroleum engineers throughout the life of a hydrocarbon accumulation determine the way in which a reservoir is developed and depleted, and usually, they have the highest impact on field economics.

Petroleum engineering requires a good knowledge of many other related disciplines, such as geophysics, petroleum geology, formation evaluation (well logging), drilling, economics, reservoir simulation, reservoir engineering, well engineering, artificial lift systems, completions, and petroleum production engineering.

Recruitment to the industry has historically been from the disciplines of physics, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, and mining engineering. Subsequent development training has usually been done within oil companies.

15. Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical engineering is the study of the behavior of soils under the influence of loading forces and soil-water interactions. This knowledge is applied to the design of foundations, retaining walls, earth dams, clay liners, and geosynthetics for waste containment.

The goals of geotechnical engineers could range from the design of foundations and temporary excavation support, through route selection for railways and highways, to the increasingly important areas of landfill disposal of wastes and groundwater contamination.

Geotechnical Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering

As such, the geotechnical engineer is involved in field and laboratory investigations to determine the engineering properties of site soils and other geomaterials and their subsequent use in the analytical study of the problem at hand.

Recent computational and computer advances are extending our ability to predict the behavior of soil and soil-water systems under a wide variety of conditions. In recent years, the activities of geotechnical engineers have also involved geoenvironmental engineering. Geoenvironmental engineers design strategies for the clean-up of contaminated soils and groundwater and develop management systems for contaminated sites.

Employment opportunities include geotechnical and engineering consultants, public utilities, governmental agencies, environmental agencies, specialized contractors, and resource industry companies.

Also Read: Difference Between Architect and Civil Engineer

16. Industry Engineering

Industrial engineering is an engineering profession that is concerned with the optimization of complex processes, systems, or organizations by developing, improving, and implementing integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, and equipment. Industrial engineering is central to manufacturing operations.

Industrial Engineers use specialized knowledge and skills in the mathematical, physical, and social sciences, together with the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design, to specify, predict, and evaluate the results obtained from systems and processes.

 Industry Engineering
Industry Engineering

There are several industrial engineering principles followed in the manufacturing industry to ensure the effective flow of systems, processes, and operations. This includes Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, Information Systems, Process Capability, and DMAIC.

These principles allow the creation of new systems, processes, or situations for the useful coordination of labor, materials, and machines and also improve the quality and productivity of systems, physical or social.

Depending on the sub-specialties involved, industrial engineering may also overlap with, operations research, systems engineering, manufacturing engineering, production engineering, supply chain engineering, management science, management engineering, financial engineering, ergonomics or human factors engineering, safety engineering, logistics engineering or others, depending on the viewpoint or motives of the user.

17. Marine Engineering

Marine engineering is the engineering of boats, ships, submarines, and any other marine vessel. Here it is also taken to include the engineering of other ocean systems and structures – referred to in certain academic and professional circles as “ocean engineering.”

Marine Engineering
Marine Engineering

Marine engineering applies a number of engineering sciences, including mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, electronic engineering, and computer science, to the development, design, operation, and maintenance of watercraft propulsion and ocean systems.

It includes but is not limited to power and propulsion plants, machinery, piping, automation, and control systems for marine vehicles of any kind, as well as coastal and offshore structures.

18. Robotics Engineering

Robotics is an interdisciplinary branch of computer science and engineering. Robotics involves the design, construction, operation, and use of robots. The goal of robotics is to design machines that can help and assist humans.

Robotics integrates fields of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, information engineering, mechatronics, electronics, bioengineering, computer engineering, control engineering, software engineering, mathematics, etc.

Robotics Engineering
Robotics Engineering

Robotics develops machines that can substitute for humans and replicate human actions. Robots can be used in many situations for many purposes, but today many are used in dangerous environments (including inspection of radioactive materials, bomb detection, and deactivation), manufacturing processes, or where humans cannot survive (e.g. in space, underwater, in high heat, and clean up and containment of hazardous materials and radiation).

Robots can take any form, but some are made to resemble humans in appearance. This is claimed to help in the acceptance of robots in certain replicative behaviors which are usually performed by people. Such robots attempt to replicate walking, lifting, speech, cognition, or any other human activity. Many of today’s robots are inspired by nature, contributing to the field of bio-inspired robotics.

Certain robots require user input to operate while other robots function autonomously. The concept of creating robots that can operate autonomously dates back to classical times, but research into the functionality and potential uses of robots did not grow substantially until the 20th century.

Throughout history, it has been frequently assumed by various scholars, inventors, engineers, and technicians that robots will one day be able to mimic human behavior and manage tasks in a human-like fashion. Today, robotics is a rapidly growing field, as technological advances continue; researching, designing, and building new robots serve various practical purposes, whether domestically, commercially, or militarily.

Many robots are built to do jobs that are hazardous to people, such as defusing bombs, finding survivors in unstable ruins, and exploring mines and shipwrecks. Robotics is also used in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) as a teaching aid.

19. Mechatronics Engineering

Mechatronics, also called mechatronics engineering, is an interdisciplinary branch of engineering that focuses on the integration of mechanical, electrical, and electronic engineering systems, and also includes a combination of robotics, electronics, computer science, telecommunications, systems, control, and product engineering.

As technology advances over time, various subfields of engineering have succeeded in both adapting and multiplying. The intention of mechatronics is to produce a design solution that unifies each of these various subfields.

Originally, the field of mechatronics was intended to be nothing more than a combination of mechanics, electrical, and electronics, hence the name being a portmanteau of the words “mechanics” and “electronics”; however, as the complexity of technical systems continued to evolve, the definition had been broadened to include more technical areas.

Mechatronics Engineering
Mechatronics Engineering

The word mechatronics originated in Japanese English and was created by Tetsuro Mori, an engineer of Yaskawa Electric Corporation. The word mechatronics was registered as a trademark by the company in Japan with the registration number “46-32714” in 1971. The company later released the right to use the word to the public, and the word began being used globally.

Currently, the word is translated into many languages and is considered an essential term for advanced automated industry.

Many people treat mechatronics as a modern buzzword synonymous with automation, robotics, and electromechanical engineering.

French standard NF E 01-010 gives the following definition: “approach aiming at the synergistic integration of mechanics, electronics, control theory, and computer science within product design and manufacturing, in order to improve and/or optimize its functionality”.

Also Read: Engineering Ethics

20. Agricultural Engineering

Agricultural engineering, also known as agricultural and biosystems engineering, is the field of study and application of engineering science and designs principles for agriculture purposes, combining the various disciplines of mechanical, civil, electrical, food science, environmental, software, and chemical engineering to improve the efficiency of farms and agribusiness enterprises as well as to ensure the sustainability of natural and renewable resources.

Agricultural Engineering
Agricultural Engineering

An agricultural engineer is an engineer with an agricultural background. Agricultural engineers make the engineering designs and plans for an agricultural project, usually in partnership with an agriculturist who is more proficient in farming and agricultural science.

21. Mining engineering

Mining in the engineering discipline is the extraction of minerals from underneath, open pit, above, or on the ground. Mining engineering is associated with many other disciplines, such as mineral processing, exploration, excavation, geology, metallurgy, geotechnical engineering, and surveying.

A mining engineer may manage any phase of mining operations, from exploration and discovery of the mineral resources, through feasibility study, mine design, development of plans, production, and operations to mine closure.

With the process of Mineral extraction, some amount of waste and uneconomic material are generated which are the primary source of pollution in the vicinity of mines.

Mining engineering
Mining engineering

Mining activities by their nature cause a disturbance of the natural environment in and around which the minerals are located.

Mining engineers must therefore be concerned not only with the production and processing of mineral commodities but also with the mitigation of damage to the environment both during and after mining as a result of the change in the mining area. Such Industries go through stringent laws to control the pollution and damage caused to the environment and are periodically governed by the concerned departments.

Which is the Best Field in Engineering?

With so many different fields in engineering, a natural question is: Which one is the best? While the most differences in the work environment, salary, education, and job growth, the answer to this question depends solely on the individual. Someone who wants to work in a medical facility, for example, will have a different ideal engineering field than someone who wants to work outdoors with geology.

Understanding your own background and career goals can go a long way in helping you determine which engineering field interests you the most. Successfully pairing your goals with the appropriate field could be your first step prior to pursuing the necessary education.

We hope this article helped you learn about 21 Types of Engineering To Know In 2023. You may also want to learn about What is Civil Engineering? | History and FunctionsEngineering DisciplinesBrick Masonry | Advantages, and Disadvantages, and Structural Engineers.

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