Engineering is the use of science and math to design or make things. People who do engineering are called engineers. They learn engineering at a college or university. Engineers usually design or build things. Some engineers also use their skills to solve technical problems. There are different types of engineers that design everything from computers and buildings to watches and websites.
Engineering is a big subject. Here are a few of the many types of engineers:
Engineers do not only work with machines. They also work a lot with other people. Many engineering projects are large and very complicated. Often different kinds of engineers work together and help each other. As an example, computer engineers need help from electrical engineers to build a computer. The computer needs programs written by software engineers. The computer could be used by aerospace engineers to control an airplane. An airplane is a big mechanical system with many parts, so a mechanical engineer and a systems engineer are also needed.
Electronic devices have many electronic components such as - resistors, capacitors, coils of wire called inductors, integrated circuits, connection wires and circuit boards.
Older devices used glass or metal vacuum tubes to control the flow of electricity. With these components a low power voltage can be used to change another, and that's why they are useful in amplifiers and switches.
By the late 1960's and early 1970's the transistor and semiconductor began replacing vacuum tubes. Transistors can be made much smaller than vacuum tubes and they can work using less energy.
At about the same time, integrated circuits (circuits that have a large numbers of very small transistors placed on very thin slices of silicon) became commonly used. Integrated circuits made it possible to reduce the number of parts needed to make electronic products and made the products much cheaper in general.
People interested in physics study how and why these electronic components work, and in addition they discover, invent, or improve them.
People who design, construct and maintain electronic components and circuits are called electrical engineers. They work in electrical, electronics and computer engineering .