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The branch of technology which makes power and materials work for people. Engineers study ways of harnessing power sources, such as the use of gasoline and other fuels to power cars, aeroplanes, ships, trains, and space vehicles, and the conversion of waterpower into hydroelectricity.
They also analyze and use many types of material, depending on the problem to be solved; for example, the properties of steel and concrete make them ideal for constructing buildings, bridges, roads, and dams; metal, glass, and plastic have different properties widely used in the manufacturing industry.
To make the best use of what is available, the engineer has to keep constantly up to date with advances in materials and their properties, and often needs to create new materials or sources of power to solve a particular engineering problem. The field as a whole was traditionally subdivided into five main branches: civil, mechanical,mining and metallurgical,chemical, and electrical engineering.
The modern field has expanded, and the boundaries are not now so clearly defined. Also, as each branch of engineering has become more specialized, new fields have developed, such as aeronautical, aerospace, computer, control, marine, nuclear, and systems engineering.
Engineering is the application of science to the needs of humanity. This is accomplished through knowledge, mathematics and practical experience applied to the design of useful objects or processes. Its practitioners are called engineers.
The engineer must identify and understand the relevant constraints in order to produce a successful design. Constraints include available resources, physical or technical limitations, flexibility for future modifications and additions, and other factors such as requirements for cost, manufacturability, serviceability, and marketing and aesthetic considerations. By understanding the constraints, engineers deduce specifications for the limits within which an object or system may be produced and operated.