The Watt steam engine, a major driver inthe industrial revolution, underscores theimportance of engineering in modernhistory. This model is on display at themain building of the ETSIIM in Madrid,Spain
8 See also
10 Further reading
11 External links
of engineering has existed since ancient timesas humans devised fundamental inventions such as thepulley, lever, and wheel. Each of these inventions isconsistent with the modern definition of engineering,exploiting basic mechanical principles to develop usefultools and objects.The term
itself has a much more recentetymology, deriving from the word
, which itself dates back to 1325, when an
(literally, one whooperates an
) originally referred to “a constructor of military engines.”
In this context, now obsolete, an“engine” referred to a military machine,
, a mechanicalcontraption used in war (for example, a catapult). The word“engine” itself is of even older origin, ultimately derivingfrom the Latin
(c. 1250), meaning “innate quality,especially mental power, hence a clever invention.”
Later, as the design of civilian structures such as bridges and buildings matured as a technical discipline,the term civil engineering
entered the lexicon as a way to distinguish between those specializing in theconstruction of such non-military projects and those involved in the older discipline of militaryengineering (the original meaning of the word “engineering,” now largely obsolete, with notableexceptions that have survived to the present day such as military engineering corps,
, the U.S. ArmyCorps of Engineers.
The Pharos of Alexandria, the pyramids in Egypt, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Acropolis andthe Parthenon in Greece, the Roman aqueducts, Via Appia and the Colosseum, Teotihuacán and thecities and pyramids of the Mayan, Inca and Aztec Empires, the Great Wall of China, the Buddhist Stupaand Yoda Cannel in Sri Lanka, among many others, stand as a testament to the ingenuity and skill of theancient civil and military engineers.The earliest civil engineer known by name is Imhotep.
As one of the officials of the Pharaoh, Djosèr,he probably designed and supervised the construction of the Pyramid of Djoser (the Step Pyramid) atSaqqara in Egypt around 2630-2611 BC.
He may also have been responsible for the first known use of columns in architecture.Ancient Greece developed machines in both the civilian and military domains. The Antikytheramechanism, the earliest known model of a mechanical computer in history
, and the mechanicalinventions of Archimedes are examples of early mechanical engineering. Some of Archimedes'Page 2 of 14Engineering - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia8/3/2009http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Engineering&printable=yes