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Exploring Engineering - 3rd Edition - ISBN: 9780124158917, 9780124159808

Exploring Engineering

3rd Edition

An Introduction to Engineering and Design

Authors: Philip Kosky Robert Balmer William Keat George Wise
Hardcover ISBN: 9780124158917
eBook ISBN: 9780124159808
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 25th July 2012
Page Count: 486
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Engineers solve problems, and work on emerging challenges in a wide range of areas important to improving quality of life; areas like sustainable energy, access to clean water, and improved communications and health care technologies.  Kosky et. al. explore the world of engineering by introducing the reader to what engineers do, the fundamental principles that form the basis of their work, and how they apply that knowledge within a structured design process.  The three part organization of the text reinforces these areas, making this an ideal introduction for anyone interested in exploring the various fields of engineering and learning how engineers work to solve problems. 

Key Features

  • NEW: Additional discussions on what engineers do, and the distinctions among engineers, technicians, and managers (Chapter 1)
  • NEW: Re-organized and updated chapters in Part II to more closely align with specific engineering disciplines
  • NEW: New chapters on emerging fields of engineering, including Bioengineering and Green Energy Engineering
  • NEW: Discussions of Design for Six Sigma integrated into Part III on the design process
  • An Engineering Ethics Decision Matrix is introduced in Chapter 1 and used throughout the book to pose ethical challenges and explore ethical decision-making in an engineering context
  • Lists of "Top Engineering Achievements" and "Top Engineering Challenges" help put the material in context and show engineering as a vibrant discipline involved in solving societal problems


Freshman undergraduate students entering 4-year engineering programs, including those with declared or intended majors in all engineering areas such as mechanical, electrical, chemical, industrial, and civil engineering. Freshman undergraduate students who are taking an Introduction to Engineering Course either as a requirement for a technical degree or as an elective for science and technology requirements for other degree programs in liberal arts, business, life sciences, and so forth

Table of Contents




PART 1: Lead-On

Chapter 1. What Engineers Do

1.1 Introduction

1.2 What is engineering?

1.3 What do engineers do?

1.4 Where Do Engineers Work?

1.5 What is engineering technology?

1.6 What makes a “good” engineer?

1.7 What This Book Covers

1.8 Personal and Professional Ethics

1.9 What Are Professional Ethics?

1.10 Engineering Ethics Decision Matrix

1.11 What SHOULD YOU expect from this book?


Final Thoughts15

Chapter 2. Elements of Engineering Analysis

2.1 Introduction

2.2 The SI Unit System

2.3 Significant Figures

2.4 The “Need-Know-How-Solve” Method

2.5 Spreadsheet Analysis


Chapter 3. Force and Motion

3.1 Introduction

3.2 What is a force?

3.3 Newton’s first law

3.4 Newton’s Second Law

3.5 Newton’s Third Law

3.6 Free-Body Diagrams

3.7 What Is Kinematics?

3.8 Kinematics of Highway On-Ramps

3.9 The equations of one-dimensional kinematics


Chapter 4. Energy Conversion

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Energy is the Capability to Do Work

4.3 Kinds of Energy

4.4 Energy Conversion

4.5 Conservation of energy


Chapter 5. Engineering Economics

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Why is economics important?

5.3 The Cost of Money

5.4 When Is an Investment Worth It?


PART 2: Minds-On

Chapter 6. Chemical Engineering

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Chemical energy conversion

6.3 Atoms, molecules, and chemical reactions

6.4 The mol and the kmol

6.5 Stoichiometry

6.6 The Heating Value of Hydrocarbon Fuels

6.7 Chemical Engineering: How Do You Make Chemical Fuels?

6.8 Modern chemical engineering


Chapter 7. Civil Engineering

7.1 Introduction

7.2 What do civil engineers do?

7.3 Structural engineering

7.4 Geotechnical engineering

7.5 Water resources engineering

7.6 Transportation engineering


Chapter 8. Computer Engineering

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Moore’s law

8.3 Analog computers

8.4 From analog to digital computing

8.5 Binary Logic

8.6 Truth tables

8.7 Decimal and Binary Numbers

8.8 Binary Arithmetic

8.9 Binary codes

8.10 How does a computer work?


Chapter 9. Electrical Engineering

9.1 Introduction

9.2 Electrical Circuits

9.3 Resistance, Ohm’s Law, and the “Power Law”

9.4 Series and Parallel Circuits

9.5 Kirchhoff’s Laws

9.6 Switches


Chapter 10. Manufacturing Engineering

10.1 Introduction

10.2 What is manufacturing?

10.3 Early manufacturing

10.4 Industrial Revolution

10.5 Manufacturing Processes

10.6 Modern Manufacturing

10.7 Variability and Six Sigma


Chapter 11. Materials Engineering

11.1 Introduction

11.2 Choosing the right material

11.3 Strength

11.4 Defining materials requirements

11.5 Materials Selection

11.6 Properties of Modern Materials


Chapter 12. Mechanical Engineering

12.1 Introduction

12.2 Mechanical engineering

12.3 The Elements of Thermal Design

12.4 The Elements of Machine Design


Chapter 13. Nuclear Energy

13.1 Introduction

13.2 Nuclear Power Reactors

13.3 Neutron Moderation

13.4 Fission Products and Nuclear Waste

13.5 Nuclear Waste, the Achilles Heel of Nuclear Power

13.6 Nuclear accidents

13.7 Is nuclear power a viable renewable energy source?


PART 2.1: Emerging Engineering Fields


Chapter 14. Bioengineering

14.1 Introduction

14.2 What do bioengineers do?

14.3 Biological Implications of Injuries to the Head

14.4 Why Collisions Can Kill

14.5 The Fracture Criterion

14.6 The Stress-Speed-Stopping Distance-Area Criterion

14.7 Criteria for Predicting Effects of Potential Accidents


Chapter 15. Electrochemical Engineering

15.1 Introduction

15.2 Electrochemistry

15.3 Principles of Electrochemical Engineering

15.4 Lead-Acid Batteries

15.5 The ragone chart

15.6 Electrochemical Series

15.7 Advanced Batteries

15.8 Fuel Cells

15.9 Ultracapacitors


Chapter 16. Green Energy Engineering

16.1 Introduction

16.2 Solar Energy

16.3 Other “Green” Energy Sources

PART 3: Hands-On

Chapter 17. Introduction to Engineering Design

17.1 Introduction

17.2 The nature of engineering design

17.3 Design problems vs. homework problems

17.4 Benefits of a hands-on design project

17.5 Qualities of a good designer

17.6 How to manage a design project

17.7 Two Ground Rules for Design

17.8 The Need for a Systematic Approach

17.9 Steps in the engineering design process

17.10 Hands-On Design Exercise: “The Tower”

Chapter 18. Design Step 1. Defining the Problem

18.1 Introduction

18.2 Problem definition

18.3 List of Specifications

18.4 Design Milestone: Clarification of the Task

Chapter 19. Design Step 2. Generation of Alternative Concepts

19.1 Introduction

19.2 Brainstorming

19.3 Concept Sketching

19.4 Hands-on design exercise: “the tube”

19.5 Research-Based Strategies for Promoting Creativity

19.6 Functional Decomposition for Complex Systems

19.7 Design Milestone: Generation of Alternatives

Chapter 20. Design Step 3. Evaluation of Alternatives and Selection of a Concept

20.1 Introduction

20.2 Minimize the information content of the design

20.3 Maintain the Independence of Functional Requirements

20.4 Design for ease of manufacture

20.5 Design for Robustness

20.6 Design for adjustability

20.7 Hands-On Design Exercise: “Waste Ball”

20.8 The Decision Matrix

20.9 Design milestone: evaluation of alternatives

Chapter 21. Design Step 4. Detailed Design

21.1 Introduction

21.2 Analysis

21.3 Experiments

21.4 Models

21.5 Detailed Drawings

21.6 Design Milestone: Detailed Design

Chapter 22. Design Step 5. Design Defense

22.1 Introduction

22.2 How to prepare an oral defense

22.3 Design Milestone: Oral Design Defense

Chapter 23. Design Step 6. Manufacturing and Testing

23.1 Introduction

23.2 Manufacturing and Testing Strategies

23.3 Materials

23.4 Joining Methods

23.5 Useful Hand Tools

23.6 Design Milestone: Design for Manufacture Assessment I

23.7 Design Milestone: Design for Manufacture Assessment II

Chapter 24. Design Step 7. Performance Evaluation

24.1 Introduction

24.2 Individual performance testing

24.3 The final competition

24.4 Design Milestone: Individual Performance Testing

Chapter 25. Design Step 8. Design Report

25.1 Introduction

25.2 Organization of the report

25.3 Writing guidelines

25.4 Design Milestone: Design Report

Chapter 26. Examples of Design Competitions

26.1 Introduction

26.2 Design competition example 1. a bridge too far

26.3 Design milestone solutions for “a bridge too far”

26.4 Official rules for the “a bridge too far” design competition

26.5 Design competition example 2. mars meteorite retriever challenge

26.6 Some Design Milestones for the “Mars Meteorite Retriever Challenge”

26.7 Official Rules for the “Mars Meteorite Retriever Challenge” Design Competition

Chapter 27. Closing Remarks on the Important Role of Design Projects



No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2013
25th July 2012
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Authors

Philip Kosky

Dr. Kosky spent two years at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment in the UK before joining the GE Research Center Schenectady, NY where he was a career scientist and engineer until retiring in 2001. From 2001 to 2007 he was a Distinguished Research Professor of Engineering at Union College. He has written nearly 200 publications and other reports including about 25 patents.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Mechanical Engineering (Retired), Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., USA; formerly Staff Scientist, GE Research Laboratory, Niskayuna, NY, USA

Robert Balmer

Dr. Balmer has worked as an engineer at the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory and at various DuPont facilities. He has over 40 years of engineering teaching experience and has authored 70 technical publications and the Elsevier undergraduate engineering textbook Modern Engineering Thermodynamics.

Affiliations and Expertise

Mechanical Engineering Professor Emeritus,University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Dean Emeritus, Engineering and Computer Science, Union College, Schenectady NY, USA

William Keat

Dr. Keat has been teaching design for 20 years, in courses ranging from freshman engineering to a graduate course in design methodology. Has been awarded two Pi Tau Sigma Outstanding Teacher Awards and two first place finishes at the Mini-Baja East Competition while serving as an advisor.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Union College, Schenectady, NY, USA

George Wise

Dr. Wise is a former communications specialist and historian at General Electric's Global Research Center in Niskayuna, NY. After retiring from GE he served as Deputy Director of the Dudley Observatory, Schenectady, NY and Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Union College. He has authored two books and numerous papers on the history of science and technology, winning the Usher Prize of the Society for History of Technology for one of them.

Affiliations and Expertise

Formerly Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., USA; also Technical Staff and Communication Specialist, GE Research Laboratory, Niskayuma, NY, USA


"This book introduces students to the profession and practice of engineering. In Part 1, called "Minds-on," the introduction covers principles and ideas. It describes engineering in general and devotes chapters to several specific disciplines of engineering, including mechanical, civil, electrical, and electrochemical." --Mechanical Engineering Magazine

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