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Engineering: A Very Short Introduction
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Engineering: A Very Short Introduction

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  13 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 135 pages
Published March 24th 2012 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published March 22nd 2012)
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3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  116 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Dan Cohen
Apr 16, 2013 rated it liked it
This is not a bad book but I was very disappointed by it because it was not what I was expecting. Indeed, I don't think it meets the description in the opening line that the book "is to explore ... what engineering is all about". Early on, there's a section in which the author carefully differentiates the elements of "STEM" (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) but then he says he will equate Engineering and Technology for the purposes of the book. Lo and behold, most of the remaind ...more
Rick Sam
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: engineering, history
I picked up this book to get myself more into Engineering. I was surprised to find, Civil Engineering as the mother of all engineering. I already know the meat of Chapter 2, 3, 4 on Age of Gravity, Heat, Electromagnetism from other readings. Those chapters are pieces of scientists, you learn in High school jumbled together.

Chapter 5, and 6, Age of Information, and Age of Systems seemed to be new to me. I learned about Systems thinking in this book.

I would recommend checking the last two chapters
Fernando Suarezserna
I really love this book series, this title being the exception. I was looking for a book on the mindset of engineers (being a civil engineer myself) and what I found was a book that briefly covers engineering history (or maybe even history of technology), such as the inventions of capacitors, etc. Not what I was expecting.
Michael D.
I was disappointed with this book. It indeed touches upon SOME aspects of engineering, which was the intention of the entire book. However, I felt that most of the book is just history and it rarely goes into the application and the prominent mechanisms of the extremely broad field. The book wanders around a bit rather than sticking to the subject at hand. Frequently the book delves into philosophy and even religion, among other matters.
I can safely say this book was designed for younger studen
Vincent Ho
This book is a very broad introduction to engineering, having split itself into 6 chapters involving the meaning of engineering and the fields of physics that are commonly utilised in engineering solutions. I would say the main theme of this book is not totally clear because of the lack of a coherent structure. Mainly, this book illustrates the history of physical discoveries, not much technical knowledge is conveyed. For example, in the chapter "The age of electromagnetism", it focuses heavily ...more
Brett Potts
A perfectly terrible book. Not all the fault of the author, though. When you set out to write an introduction to engineering in 117 pages, and cover 5000 years of engineering history, it’s bound to fail. But most of the book was either fluff that didn’t need to be said, or explanations of complex science without the aid of good diagrams or full explanations. If I actually want to learn more about engineering, it has to be with books that go much farther in depth.
铭 杰
This book offers an idea about the history of engineering and what engineers historically do but does little to provide the juicy details about the work of engineers and the environment that they work it; let alone the type of people engineers tend to be. Not very informative but more of a history book.
Bojan Tunguz
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Engineering is all around us. It’s impossible to imagine the modern life without all the products, constructions, tools, systems, and myriad other objects and utilities that have been developed and constructed through the all-encompassing activity that we refer to as engineering. Yet, as it’s often the case, sometimes the most ubiquitous terms and concepts are the ones that are the hardest to define properly. In “Engineering: A Very Short Introduction” David Blockley tries to answer that questio ...more
David Roberts
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book I read to research this post was Engineering A Very Short Introduction by David Blockley which is a very good book which I bought from kindle. This book is part of a series where they get an expert on a given subject to wite an introductory text of about 150 pages and on the whole they are pretty good and there are around 300 books in the series. Engineering is defined as turning dreams into reality and apparently there are over 30 separate engineering bodies in Britain alone. The engin ...more
Daniel Wright
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vsi, science, technology
It is commonly misconceived that the word 'engineer' comes from 'engine', thus an engineer is someone who works with engines. In fact, the relation is the other way round - the word 'engine' derives from 'engineer', which derives ultimately (via French) from the Latin ingenarius, that is to say, someone who uses ingenuity. So, what does this mean? Is an engineer someone who turns theory into practical application? On the contrary, technology and engineering were streets ahead of (theoretical) sc ...more
Nathan Sinclair
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely detailed and informative, covering the history, technology, culture and ethics of the subject in as much detail as one can expect in a VSI. I struggled with it at times, but I'd put that down to my prior knowledge more than anything lacking from the book.
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David Blockley is an engineer and academic scientist. He has been Head of the Department of Civil Engineering and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Bristol. He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Arts.