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 Fuel


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About the Author

Philip Kosky

Affiliations and Expertise

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

Robert Balmer

Affiliations and Expertise

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

William Keat

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor Mechanical Engineering, Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., USA

George Wise

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, N.Y., 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