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Engineering: A Very Short Introduction

Popular Science

Series: Very Short Introduction Series (VSI) Volume: 309

By: David Blockley

144 pages, 20 b/w illustrations

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Mar 2012 | #194384 | ISBN-13: 9780199578696
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £7.99 $10/€9 approx

About this book

Engineering is part of almost everything we do - from the water we drink and the food we eat, to the buildings we live in and the roads and railways we travel on.

In this "Very Short Introduction", David Blockley explores the nature and practice of engineering, its history, its scope, and its relationship with art, craft, science, and technology. He considers the role of engineering in the modern world, demonstrating its need to provide both practical and socially acceptable solutions, and explores how engineers use natural phenomena to embrace human needs. From its early roots starting with Archimedes to some of the great figures of engineering such as Brunel and Marconi, right up to the modern day, he also looks at some of its challenges - when things go wrong - such as at Chernobyl. Ultimately, he shows how engineering is intimately part of who and what we are.


1: From idea to reality
2: The age of gravity - time for work
3: The age of heat - you can't get something for nothing
4: The age of electromagnetism - the power of attraction
5: The age of information - getting smaller
6: The age of systems - risky futures

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Professor Blockley is an engineer and an 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, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Structural Engineers, and the Royal Society of Arts. He has written four other books including "The Penguin Dictionary of Civil Engineering" (2005).

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