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What is engineering?

Engineering uses knowledge of science (particularly physics) and mathematics, to find new solutions to everyday problems.

Engineering improves our lives

Engineering is all around us, all of the time.  It's in your smart phone, the internet, your car and the roads it drives on – it's everywhere.  It plays a vital role in literally everything our lives depend on.  It's involved in our buildings, food, water, energy, transport, communication, medicines – everything!

It uses our knowledge of the sciences (particularly physics) and mathematics, to find new solutions to everyday problems.  It creates better ways of doing things and continually helps to improve our lives.  It makes things easier, faster, safer, smaller, lighter, more consistent and affordable – we all rely on engineering.

Engineers are problem solvers, they research, innovate and either create something new or improve something.  They find alternative solutions, they design and build better things. You might even call them inventors.

Myth buster 1 - what is engineering?

So strictly speaking, garage mechanics, plumbers and electricians for example are not engineers.  Yes, they're technically minded and trained professionals but they're technicians rather than engineers. They find and fix faults, they install equipment, but they don't invent or improve products and systems.

Myth buster 2 - are they all scientists?

Engineers are also not necessarily ‘scientists' either. They're not all dressed in laboratory coats and spend their time working in research laboratories.  Albert Einstein once said, “Scientists investigate that which already is.  Engineers create that which has never been.”  There's a big difference.

Science enables us to understand the world around us, but it's engineering that makes practical use of the understanding, by solving problems, designing and building new things or improving existing solutions.

And there's dozens of different types of engineering too.  Renishaw is involved in many of them, including electronic, mechanical, software and medical engineering.  Find out more about them below.