Posts filed under ‘Engineering’

What do Engineers do?

Here are various kinds of engineers doing a lot of different kinds of jobs and hence it is impossible to put down just what an engineer does. Generally, however, engineers do one or more of the following nine kinds of jobs, regardless of which branch they belonged to.

  • Research engineers

Work on fundamental problems in engineering science. They use theory and do experiments to understand various principles and processes.

  • Development engineers

Take research engineers’ concepts and transform them into useful processes or prototypes (models).

  • Design engineers

Transfer a prototype or proven process from the developmental stage to a product or industrial scale process.

  • Production engineers

Select manufacturing equipment and processes for mass production. They design manufacturing plants, and worry about things like costs and safety.

  • Construction engineers

Convert designs in the form of plans and drawings into reality. They prepare the construction site, specify methods of construction on the basis of safety and economy, and coordinate materials, equipment, and human resources.

  • Operations engineers

Are responsible for the day-to-day control of such facilities as chemical, nuclear, manufacturing, transportation, communication, or water treatment plants.

  • Test engineers

Evaluate new designs and prototypes and ensure that raw materials and manufactured products meet the stipulated specifications.

  • Quality engineers

Focus on ensuring that products are made to desired quality.

  • Sales engineers

Usually are involved in selling technical and industrial products to other related businesses. .


March 26, 2009 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering as a career

Civil engineers are the quiet, unsung heroes of the engineering fraternity. While engineers from other branches work in quiet offices or noisy shop floors, the civil engineers’ theatre of operations are the great outdoors.

Civil engineers blast roads through the strongest mountains to make our journeys shorter. They build the massive dams that generate all our hydroelectricity and the reservoirs that capture rainwater in the monsoon so that people can have water through the long summer months. They design the amazing bridges – across rivers, across the sea, across deep mountain ravines – that can take the load of thousands of vehicles every day for years and years without breaking down. They build the flyovers, the airports, the sports stadiums, the sprawling factories and the underground transport systems. It is civil engineers who go in where others haven’t dared, especially in wartime, as they build roads, construct bridges, and clear forests to facilitate the movement of troops.

Whether it is the world-class Mumbai-Pune Expressway or the Sapporo Dome in Japan that played host to some of the most exciting 2002 World Cup football matches, the border roads between India and Pakistan where building is as difficult as it is dangerous or the underground train systems of London, Paris, Kolkata and Delhi, the Konkan Railway that connects Mumbai and Mangalore, an engineering marvel that incorporates 2,000 bridges and 92 tunnels or the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Pyramids of Egypt or the massive apartment block in your city, it is teams of brilliant civil and structural engineers who have made it possible.

Are you Civil Engineering material?

If you want to be a civil engineer, you need to:

Have a love of the outdoor life – most of the civil engineer’s life is spent at the mercy of the weather elements, be it sweltering sunshine or pouring rain.

Be more or less happy with your own company – civil engineers are usually the only ones on the building team with such a high level of education.

Be a patient kind of person – civil engineering projects usually take years and years to complete, and almost always take longer than what they were supposed to take.

Be able to handle large teams of blue-collar workers.

Be excited by the thought of designing and then overseeing the construction of gigantic structures.

You should not be:

A creature of the city. While there are city-based projects open to civil engineers, like building sky scrapers or flyovers or underground rail systems, there are definitely more projects in remote locations. Manufacturing and chemical plants, projects involving the railways, interstate highways, dams, and power plants situated mostly very far away from cities.

Someone who loves the good life – you will have to learn to live without the modern luxuries such as air conditioning, big cars, posh restaurants, and more, at least while you are on a project outside a city.

What do civil engineers do?

Civil engineers are required where anything needs to be constructed – whether it is a building, a factory, a bridge, a dam or any such structure. The presence of the civil engineer is required prior to construction, during construction, as well as after the construction.

A civil engineer’s job is perhaps more physically demanding than any other kind of engineer’s. You will spend days outdoors when you are on a project. In the first phase, you will survey the land, take soil samples, check the depth of the water table, and so on. This will help you decide what to do next – maybe, you will need to do some blasting if the ground is rocky, or drain some water out if the land is swampy. Testing the soil will also help you decide what type of foundation your structure will need and how deep it should be.

Once building starts, you will be supervising large teams of contract laborers. Apart from handling all the unexpected problems that come up while building, you will also have to manage your team. As head of the project, you have to keep workers’ welfare in mind while also making sure you finish the project within time. You will have to negotiate with your workers on wages, holidays, providing temporary shelters close to work site and so on. You will have to do it well, if you don’t want them to go on strike and bring all building work to an abrupt halt.

March 10, 2009 at 6:33 am 2 comments

Nano Technology in India

Query by a student:
Hi! What is nanotechnology and what are the career opportunities in this field?
Sameer (Delhi)

Reply from our FutureMap counsellor:
Hi Sameer,
Query received from a student:
Nano Technology is an interdisciplinary subject. Many fields of endeavour contribute to nanotechnology, including molecular physics, materials science, chemistry, biology, computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. One can study nanotechnology at postgraduate level and also go ahead with Ph.D. For admissions to M. Tech. (Nanotechnology) course candidates must have a B. Tech. / B. E. degree in Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering or Pharmaceutical Technology with at least of 65% marks. Besides other institute IITs and Indian Institute of science are well known for this course. The students with a degree in nanotechnology can find employment opportunities in a number of fields like: Agriculture, Food and Beverage, Genetics, Bio-technology, Space Research, Forensic Science, Environment industry, Medicine, Teaching etc.

February 13, 2009 at 5:44 am Leave a comment

Aeronautical Engineering

The following query was received from a student:

Which are the best colleges in India for Aeronautical Engineering?
Adnan (Mumbai)
Reply by our FutureMap counsellor:

Aeronautical Engineering is offered by the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai, Mumbai, Kanpur and Kharagpur and also by the Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh
The Madras Institute of Technology offers a three year Graduate Programme in Aeronautical Engineering for B Sc students, subject to their having passed Maths and Physics at the graduation stage. The Indian Institute of Science (IIS), Bangalore has M Tech and Ph D programmes in Aeronautics.
You can also apply for National Institute of Aeronautical Engineering, 1/2, Canal Road, Ballupur, Dehradun 248001,
Some polytechnics also offer diploma courses.

January 27, 2009 at 5:38 am Leave a comment

Becoming an Engineer

The Engineering Roadmap

So, how do you become an engineer? You start your journey right in Class XI or Plus 1, by choosing the science stream, with Physics, Chemistry and Maths. The next step is to get a BE (Bachelor of Engineering) or BTech (Bachelor of Technology) degree. This is a four-year course, and typically includes lots of practical project work in the final year. There are several different branches of engineering you can study; and unlike other professional courses like medicine or law, you need to choose your branch of study at the very beginning of the course. So, after you decide you want to study engineering, you also need to decide what branch you prefer.
Another option, if you want to get into an engineering career, is to acquire a diploma after your 10+2. There are several specialized diploma courses, which are typically of 3 years’ duration, after which it is possible to get an engineering job. Many people complete their diplomas, and then go in for an engineering degree.
Armed with a BE (or BTech) you are fully equipped to get a job in almost any company that requires engineers. (Almost all major companies do require.) You also have the option of studying further (ME or MTech in India, or MS in the US), or pursuing other postgraduate options like MBA.

Getting into the course:

India has over a thousand engineering colleges, and produces over 1,50,000 engineers every year – probably the largest number in the world. Yet, just as in most things in India, the top-ranked colleges are few, and most serious engineering aspirants covet admission to the top 20-30 colleges. This includes the 6 IITs, the 15 RECs, and another 10-15 reputed institutes.
Admission to these top colleges is based on a number of different entrance exams which you are eligible to take after your 10+2. The main exams are:
The Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), that admits students to the 6 IITs, and several other top engineering colleges. This is probably one of the most competitive entrance exams in the world at this level (both in terms of academic standard and ratio of number of seats available to the number of candidates taking the exam). Qualifying through the JEE is a matter of great prestige to students.
The All India Engineering Entrance Exam (AIEEE) is conducted by the CBSE for admission to a vast number of colleges across India, who reserve 15% of their seats for applicants who qualify through this exam.
The state level common entrance exam is conducted by most states for admission to engineering colleges within the respective state.

The other route:

There is another way to get into private engineering colleges in some states. If you can afford it, you can ‘pay’ for a seat and get into these colleges. This involves pretty large sums of money, but it is still a popular option. However, getting out is not as easy. Once you are in the course, you actually have to pass all your exams before you get your degree, regardless of how you got in.

January 14, 2009 at 7:19 am Leave a comment