Successful engineers need more than an aptitude for mathematics, they need an understanding of materials and systems and processes. The engineering field represents a diverse body of disciplines: mechanical to biological; civil engineering to software engineering, and the profession is as diverse as its practitioners.
While engineering is, generally speaking, a rules driven, orderly profession, a complete education requires more than the use of textbooks and lectures. Seeking out materials from outside a program's curriculum is an important way to broaden your understanding of the opportunities and advancements in the field at large. Online engineering resources of all shapes and sizes abound, and in this guide we will identify a number of useful resources designed to compliment your engineering program.
Open Access Journals (OAJ)
Engineering journals are different from magazines and trade publications in that they are peer reviewed. The peer review process ensures that any new research or insights presented are accurate and adhere to the journal's established, rigorous standards.
Students and working professionals both benefit from access to these empirical sources of information. All journals listed in this section are free, open access publications that can be read online.
- Journal of Applied Science & Engineering Technology – Published by the College of Applied Science and Technology, it is a double blind open access journal. The focus of JASET is the applied sciences and engineering.
- The Journal of Engineering – The IET Digital Library publishes this peer-reviewed journal. JOE publishes content on a wide range of engineering topics, including biomedical, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering disciplines.
- Journal of Urban and Environmental Engineering – JUEE is a medium for original papers and the exchange of information and views on developments in urban and environmental engineering. Topics include water resources and waste management, construction and environment, urban design and transportation engineering.
- International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications – Published by a not-for-profit association of scientists and academia whose focus is on supporting authors who want to publish their work. They publish research articles, review articles, case studies and conference proceedings on the following subjects; computer science, neural networks, electrical engineering, software engineering, mechanical, chemical and plastic engineering.
- Ocean Engineering – Elsevier publishes this journal that delivers original research and development. Some of the areas covered in OE are offshore engineering, naval architecture, marine structural mechanics, ocean mining, and coastal engineering.
- International Journal of Applied Science and Engineering Research – The Integrated Publishing Association, along with an independent editorial board, is responsible for this journal. Published bi-monthly it is an interdisciplinary, international journal that uses the work of scientists, academia, engineers, practitioners and post-graduate students.
- Journal of Biological Engineering – This is the official journal of the Institute of Biological Engineering. The journal endeavors to cover the emerging discipline of engineering that includes the theory and practice associated to the science of biology. Paired topics include synthetic biology and cellular design, and biomolecular and cellular devices.
- Chemical Engineering Journal – Journal publisher Elsevier produces this journal focusing on three aspects of chemical engineering: chemical reaction engineering, environmental chemical engineering, and materials synthesis and processing.
- Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering – JECE is published by Hindawi Publishing. The journal publishes original research articles, as well as review articles in the following areas of electrical and computer engineering, circuits and systems, communications and signal processing.
- Engineering Structures – This Journal provides a platform for an extensive blend of scientific and technical papers that impact the changing needs of structural engineering and structural mechanics communities. The Journal is published by open access journal publisher Elsevier.
- Systems Engineering Procedia – Journal publisher Elsevier produces this journal, which is exclusively committed to publishing the proceedings of select systems engineering symposia. The Journal is technically an e-journal but hard copies may be made available to authors upon request.
Open Courseware (OCW)
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) or Opencourseware are online undergraduate, graduate and continuing professional education courses that are offered online at no cost. Courses are often available from top tier universities that most students do not have access to. These courses are not a substitute for credit courses available to you as a matriculating student, but are a great compliment to your existing coursework.
- Systems Engineering – Massachusetts Institute of Technology instructor Dr. Qi Van Eikema Hommes teaches this graduate level course on systems engineering. The course takes an interdisciplinary approach and means to enable the successful realization of systems. The course emphasizes the fundamentals of decision theory, statistics and optimization.
- Introduction to Optical Science and Engineering – Dr. John Federici instructs this introduction to optics principles and the fundamental applications. This New Jersey Institute of Technology course is intended for juniors in engineering and applied physics. The course requires sophomore level calculus and core physics.
- Introduction to Biological Engineering Design – This is an introduction to the engineering of synthetic biological systems. MIT professor Dr. Natalie Kuldell instructs participants on developing projects that are responsive to real world problems. Discussions include prokaryotic and eukaryotic behavior, DNA synthesis, and other related areas.
- Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering – Rice University instructor Don Johnson focuses on the creation, manipulation, transmission and reception of information by electronic means. This 12 week course requires 8-10 hours of work per week to cover elementary signal theory, time and frequency-domain analysis of signals and more.
- Engineering Systems in Motion – This introductory course presents a discussion of the study of bodies in motion as applied to engineering systems and structures. Led by Georgia Institute of Technology professor Wayne Whiteman, this is a 7 week program that requires 5-7 hours of work each week.
- Uncertainty in Engineering – MIT Professor Daniele Veneziano presents an introduction to probability and statistics with a focus on engineering applications. Topics of discussion include events and their probability, total probability and Bayes' theorems, uncertainty propagation, conditional analysis and others.
- Introduction to Sustainable Energy – A team of MIT instructors led by Professor Michael Golay teach this introduction to potential future energy sources. Topics covered include extraction, conversion, and end-use technologies, with an emphasis on meeting energy needs of the 21st century. A graduate level version of this course, Sustainable Energy, includes additional assignments.
- Fundamentals of Digital Image and Video Processing – This 12 week course from Northwestern University requires 8-10 hours of work per week in order to learn the basic principles and tools used to process images and videos. Also discussed is how to apply the principles learned in solving practical problems. Aggelos Katsaggelos teaches this course.
- MOS Transistors – Columbia University is home to this 10 week course on MOS transistors. Instructor Yannis Tsividis leads participants to an understanding of how MOS transistors work and how to model them. This course, which requires 8-10 of work per week, is vital for device modelers and designers of high-performance circuits.
- Elements of Software Construction – Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Robert Miller teaches this undergraduate course in the fundamental principles and techniques of software development. Students learn how to write software that is safe from bugs, easy to understand and prepared for change.
- Mechanics and Materials l – Professor Carlo Livermore lectures and Professors Henrik Schmidt, James Williams Jr. and Simona Socrate provide recitations for this MIT introduction to the mechanics of solids. The course emphasizes three basic features of all mechanics analysis; geometry of motion, the forces within structures and assemblages and the physical aspects of the structural system.
- Applications in Engineering Mechanics – Wayne Whiteman of Georgia Tech instructs this five week course, featuring 30 modules that address the modeling and analysis of static equilibrium problems. There is an emphasis on real world engineering systems and problem solving. The course requires a commitment of 5-7 hours per week to complete.
Textbooks are great for gaining an understanding of the fundamentals and principles of different engineering disciplines but they are not necessarily the essence of an engineering education. Books that reflect on the history of engineering bring perspective. Books on theory open the doors to new ideas. Books about real-world applications of engineering provide inspiration.
The e-publishing revolution has served two purposes, first to increase the quantity and timeliness of available books and the second is to reduce the cost of books. E-books can be read on a wide range of platforms, and are typically less expensive than their print counterparts. This following section provides a list of inexpensive e-books in the various engineering fields.
- Mechanical Engineering Principles – Co-authors John Bird and Carl Ross tackle the introduction of mechanical engineering principles using examples and applications rather than theory. The authors approach helps students to acquire a firmer grasp of these core principles.
- 507 Mechanical Movements – Henry Brown is the author of this e-book that traces the history of mechanisms and devices from the first century of the industrial. Beginning with simple pulleys and levers, Brown works his way through basic engineering principles.
- Engineering a Very Short Introduction – The premise of David Blockley's book is that engineering is a part of virtually everything we do, everyday. The author explores the history, scope, science and technology that is engineering and its role in the modern world.
- An Introduction to Mechanical Engineering – This introduction to mechanical engineering is intended to introduce students to the ever-evolving field of mechanical engineering. Author Jonathan Wickett balances the treatment of technical problem solving skills with design and analysis.
- Marks' Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers – Trio of authors; Ali Sadegh, Eugene Avallone and Theodore Baumeister have gathered nearly 1,800 pages of facts, figures, practices and standards with 2,000 illustrations all clarifying important mathematical and engineering principles.
- Chemical Process Calculations – This volume by D.C. Sikdar balances the importance of process calculations – material balance and energy balance and prepares students to formulate material and energy balance theory on chemical process systems. This e-book is primarily intended to be an aid to undergraduate chemical engineering students.
- Biochemical Engineering: Principals and Concepts – This third edition by Syed Tanveer Ahmed Inamdar presents the fundamental concepts and principles of biochemical engineering. This primer covers the same material as an introductory course in biochemical engineering and is a great way for undergraduates to get a leg up before starting the course.
- Fundamentals of Cryogenic Engineering – John Masui points out that "Microsoft Excel is a rich and powerful tool, but learning to take advantage of its features can be daunting." Whether you already have some experience or are transitioning to a newer version, this book will help ease the way, making you a more effective excel power user.
- Unit Chemical Cycle Theory – Wayne Smith provides readers with the knowledge to be able to demonstrate an understanding of boiler unit chemical cycle and control systems used in power stations. The following topics are an example of what is covered: chemical terms, unit cycle corrosion, boiler feedwater treatment and chemical dosing.
- Ugly's Electrical References – George Hart and Sammie Hart wrote this book to be used as a reference to be used by working electricians, engineers, designers, instructors and others. The book provides easy access to formulas, electrical code tables, wiring configurations and much more.
- A Student's Guide to Maxwell's Equations – This book by Daniel Fleisch offers students an understanding of Gauss's law for electric fields, Gauss's law for magnetic fields, Faraday's law and the Ampere-Maxwell law. The entire volume is written in easy to understand language making it ideal for students at all levels.
- Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age – W. Bernard Carlson delivers a compelling portrait of Nikola Tesla. Tesla was a significant contributor to the electrical revolution. His inventions, patents and theoretical work form the basis of modern AC electricity.
- Thinking in Systems: A Primer – Dana Meadows' book is a crisp and essential offering that provides insight into problem solving on a range of scales from personal to global. This primer takes systems thinking back from the realm of microprocessors and equations back to the physical world.
- An Introduction to General Systems Thinking – This time honored introduction to general systems thinking by Gerald Weinberg is often referred to as an innovative introduction to systems theory with applications in software development and testing, medicine, engineering and more.
- Systems Engineering Fundamentals – This book was assembled by the United States government to act as a conceptual-level description of engineering management as it relates to development and life cycle management of a system.
- Introductory Structural Analysis Example Problems – This book features over 50 structural analysis example problems for engineering students. Stuart Nielsen composed the text to serve as an aid for students taking introductory structural analysis.
Online Magazines / Industry News Websites
Unlike journals, the magazines in this section are trade or specialty publications that focus on different aspects of engineering. Many of the resources listed here offer both digital and print resources.
- Engineering & Technology – E&T is an award winning monthly magazine and website. The publication covers all types of engineering and technology analysis, news, announcements and even job listings.
- Civil Engineering – This is the flagship publication and website of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Started in 1930, CE continues to appeal to a wide swath of engineering readers, including architectural, structural, geotechnical and others.
- Engineered Systems – ES provides sensible, energy-efficient solutions for mechanical engineering projects. This publication and website delivers ideas to help all sorts of buildings achieve LEED Energy Star certification.
- EE Times – This is a network of sites that brings expert contributors, award-winning editors and journalists to create a platform for fast dissemination of news and information from across the field of electronics and electronic engineering.
- Electricity Today – This is a bi-national, U.S. and Canadian publication and site that is expressly for electric power professionals, including electrical engineers.
- Structural Engineer – A magazine and e-news format dedicated to fulfilling the needs of structural engineers. This suite of digital and print products helps hard working professionals stay informed.
- Chemical Engineering – A site and magazine, Chemical Engineering has provided a blend of technical news reporting and practical information on all areas of chemical engineering for 125 years.
- IHS Chemical Week – Regarded as the world's preeminent source of news and analysis for key professionals in the chemical, petrochemical, specialty chemical and related industries.
- Society of Women Engineers – Providing a voice for women engineers. SWE is dedicated to the success of women engineers in all engineering specialties.
- Engineering Honor Society – Representing the entire engineering profession Tau Beta Pi is the second oldest honor society in the United States.
- National Society of Professional Engineers – The society acts as an advocate for licensed professional engineers across multiple disciplines.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers – The IEEE is a global organization whose members are committed to advancing technological innovation and excellence.
- Institute of Biological Engineering – The institute encourages inquiry and interest in biological engineering. The institute supports scholarship in education, research and service and professional standards for engineering practices.
- Biomedical Engineering Society – This is the professional society for biomedical engineering. The society provides accreditation, publications, scientific meetings and global initiatives.
- American Institute of Chemical Engineers – A leading organization for chemical engineering professionals. The society represents more than 45,000 members in over 100 countries.
- American Society for Engineering Education – Works with professionals and educators to provide the best possible education for engineering students.
Each state has its own requirement for licensure and the table below provides links to each of the 50 states.
The information contained in this guide is just a sampling of the resources available for students of engineering, regardless of discipline. As is the case with many technical professions, standards and practices evolve over time. Attention should be paid to the latest journals and periodicals in order to stay current on developments that either impact the field as a whole or a particular specialization in the field.