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Traditional engineering branches v/s Contemporary engineering branches

Traditional engineering branchesEngineering is the only subject of study that continued evolving from time to time. Be it the greater period of invention and construction that followed during the progressive period of history or ravages inflicted by wars, ‘engineering’ played a decisive role in everything that changed the course of history. The word ‘engine’ is a derivative from its Latin origin- “ingenium”. Literally, this expresses “inner quality or mental prowess that leads to the development of an idea, concept, or invention”. The closest literary term in the modern lexicon could match with the word-“ingenuity”. The instance of great personality like Leonardo da Vinci is enough to express the term “engineer” and its related field “engineering”. With maturity in understanding, one could come to realize that it is only subject of study that continued evolving into branches. The term itself stood as one at the inception but later divided broadly in to major branches and with greater research carried out, the branches developed new off-shoots. New branches in engineering science were necessary to develop further depth in each field. Thus, the field of engineering had two distinct fields, such as traditional and contemporary engineering.

What were the branches in Traditional Engineering?

 As a broad subject of study, ‘engineering’ has many branches. Before knowing about the sub-disciplines, let’s know about the main or traditional branches of engineering. Chiefly, ‘engineering’ has four branches. The branches are as follows;

  • Chemical Engineering- Physics, Chemistry, Biology are the three royals in Science education. In areas of scientific chemical experimentation like petroleum refining, micro-fabrication, fermentation, and bio-molecular production, such chemical experimentation is a vital necessity.

  • Civil Engineering- Civil engineering is a branch dedicated towards building infrastructure.  This branch of engineering has built up the important monuments of civilization. Airport, bridges, roads, bridges, dams, buildings, and public monuments are the works of brilliant engineers.

  • Electrical Engineering- As electrical circuit is part and parcel of engineering device, the role of electrical engineering has expanded in course of time. Optical fibres, Opto-electronic devices, computer systems, telecommunications, instrumentation, controls, and electronics have electrical systems in their devices.

  • Mechanical Engineering- Every device has an in-built mechanism for its operations. The process that the device requires for firing of the machine or engine is the true mechanism of its operation. Such mechanism goes by the principles and guidance from mechanical engineering.

How contemporary branches developed from traditional engineering?

Besides the above four major branches, sources also quote naval engineering and mining engineering are the two other major fields in engineering. As research intensified in the subsequent years, newer branches came in to picture. With the invention of new devices, fresh engineering sciences came in to existence. For instance, when information technology made waves in the late nineties, gradually it became a favourite branch in the study of engineering.  Manufacturing engineering, acoustical engineering, corrosion engineering, instrumentation engineering, and other innumerable branches developed in the following period as newly-developed sciences to help in work of scientists, who are busy in finding specific solution to the human problems. Literally, any field of research gradually developed in a special branch in engineering. Such branches create new avenues for employment and growth.

Traditional Engineering Vs Contemporary Engineering

Traditional EngineeringSpecialized study of any scientific subject- Contemporary branches in engineering shed light on newer areas of development in scientific study and derive fresh technology from experiments. However traditional branches in engineering have stayed confined to the basic precepts of their chapters. Whenever, it has become essential to come out with fresh development, a new branch in engineering has come in to existence.

Combination of specialities- Traditional engineering subjects were studies on sole subject, whereas contemporary engineering subjects were often combinations of specialities. Take for instance earth system engineering is the combination of subjects like engineering studies, environmental science, Philosophy, ethics, and anthropology.

Meeting of specific and further requirements- With the passage of time, traditional branches in engineering were found to have inadequate resources in them to meet specific and further requirements from industries. The contemporary branches have the specialities to meet specific requirements from industries. The contemporary branches in engineering successfully dealt with the constraints in designing a project in industrial arena, where traditional branches had limitations in doing the same.

Development of designs- As the contemporary engineering branches are often special studies on different subjects, those have enough resources in them to develop designs for special projects. Aerospace engineering might have schools of thought from Physics and other sciences but it is capable enough to develop future space projects, which the other traditional branches in engineering are not capable of doing.

Insight for future- As the contemporary branches in engineering is the results of special studies on different scientific subjects, thorough research not only helps in the development of innovation in products but it contains meaningful insight for the future. When computer engineering developed in the seventies and eighties, other developments in the field of communication helped in deriving an important tool for communication, which is internet.

Helpful in problem-solving- The contemporary engineering branches not only deal with newer fields but those are extremely efficient in problem-solving in their respective fields. Although the traditional branches have their own capacities in problem solving, those are not enough to provide complete solutions for all the fields.  As life-styles and professions of humans keep on changing, contemporary engineering scientists are capable of developing effective solutions for the problems.

Highly efficient in conducting tests- The traditional engineering branches are like preambles of exact sciences, while the contemporary engineering science could marvel at conducting experimental tests. With time, the types of tests have changed to a considerable extent and vary from the original tests in traditional engineering subjects, which the scientists would perform only in the laboratories.  The tests are applicable in developing prototypes, formation of models and simulations, and especially in making destructive, non-destructive, and stress tests. Such tests offer greater help in saving the mankind from disasters and elevate the standards of performance in various fields.

Efficacy in developing industrial productivity and human efficiency- The traditional branches only catered to the original formulations of product ideas but obviously had lesser roles in promoting industrial productivity and human efficiency. The contemporary branches in engineering have greater focus on industrial productivity that led to the development in human efficiency. One instance about instrumentation engineering is development of product ideas that boosted up performances in time management. Time management in industries through this branch in engineering has now products that could keep exact tab on timing during performance hours by the employees. Classy development of product ideas is only possible by the efforts of contemporary engineering scientists.

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