Introduction to Engineering: A New Approach
by Scott D. Johnson

After some review I have noted that almost all introduction to engineering text books spend an inordinate amount of time on how much an engineer is going to make, what are the probabilities of a person becoming an engineer, and the like. While interesting, this approach only deals with the time period in which it is written and must be frequently up-dated with little value to the student. Worse it implies that the key to a job is how much money you will make.

A better approach would be to actually introduce engineering. That is what does an engineer actually do with his career. While it is necessary to include some "dry facts," it is not desirable to over burden a student with facts without showing the beauty of engineering and the desire to create.

A New Approach

This book will be an overview of Engineering, giving you a small taste of a number of engineering fields.  I will go over each of the primary fields, give you the basics, discuss some of the tools of the trade, and give you a number of examples of subfields within the primary fields.  To get the full feel of a project, I will take  a design of some system that requires multiple engineering disciplines, say an imaging laboratory, and take you through the design as we go through the discussion of the primary fields.   My hope is that you will be able to see the final design of a project without getting caught up in the details that later courses will need to discuss.

In the design we will go over who does what and how they do it. We will first put a civil engineer's hat on and go over the design of the building.  Primarily we will focus on loading as our main example.  Next we will put on a mechanical engineer's hat to go over the machines you might find in a laboratory.  We will focus as our prime example on a translation system to move a light source.  This laboratory will have a cryogenic system which will give us an opportunity to examine what a chemical engineer might do.   An optical system will give us a chance to go over some imaging systems and there various benefits and trade-offs.  Here we will be an optical engineer, of course.  We will have a data acquisition system in this hypothetical laboratory, as well.  This will allow us to look at both an electrical engineer's job as well as a computer scientist's job.  We will discuss the data acquisition board design and the various drivers and code needed to make it operate.

Primary Engineering Fields

Start of a creation of a new introduction to engineering

Note to would be "borrowers." By putting this on a web site, I have de-facto copyrighted this. Be forewarned. (Though it isn't much now, the idea is here)