Engineering

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Christian Engineering Schools

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

“If you are God, your work is to create out of nothing. If you are not God, but like God—that is, if you are human—your work is to take what God has made and shape and use it to make him look great.” ~John Piper

Advances in engineering are happening every day. Imagine the mass production of cell-sized robots. Contemplate a newly discovered bionic mushroom that generates electricity. Or try to conceive of a recently developed window coating made to save consumers millions in air conditioning expense. These headlines surround us and stem from the complex discipline known as engineering. Part empirical evidence, part innovation, engineering is the creative and artful application of science and math to solve problems common to humanity. Engineering, as a major, is fascinated with the design, building, testing, maintaining and operation of engines, machines, structures and materials. An engineering major constantly asks the question “how does it work?” and jumps quickly to the question “how can it be improved?” Engineering majors are excited about connecting scientific discoveries to practical applications.

In addition to having a strong “math mind,” an engineering major frequently shows a natural curiosity about the world and possess an attentive eye for detail.  Often, they are the individuals who enjoy “tinkering” in the lab, garage or shop. They are strong problem-solvers whose logical reasoning and keen technical skills enable them to solve real life problems. Other necessary traits of an engineering major include good communication skills and the ability to collaborate and work as part of a team. It is also helpful to have a persevering, adaptable attitude and to possess strong leadership skills.

The classes you will take as an engineering major totally depend upon what specialization you choose. There are several overarching branches of engineering and literally hundreds of subcategories, making it a diverse educational area. In general, an engineering major can expect to take plenty of upper level science and math including several semesters of calculus. Other classes in this rigorous major may include:

  • Differential Equations
  • Probability
  • Statistics
  • Data Analysis
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science and/or Computer Programming

Finding your exact area of engineering interest may be challenging and require some investigation and trial and error learning. Are you wired for biomedical or biotechnological engineering? What is the difference between astronautical or aeronautical engineering? How is environmental engineering unique from geotechnical engineering? Are you more drawn to automotive or robotics engineering? There is obviously an expansive range of careers that fall under the central umbrella of engineering. Understanding some of the general subcategories is a helpful place to start:

  • Civil Engineers are the structure experts who focus on dams, bridges, stadiums and buildings of all kinds
  • Chemical Engineers create functional substances and products out of raw materials.
  • Electrical Engineers work with electrical systems like generators, engines and pylons.
  • Mechanical Engineers deal with machines, tools and apparatus that use heat and mechanical power, including vehicles and engines.
  • Industrial Engineers focus on solving problems within a business setting (factory or otherwise) and are interested in processes and systems running smoothly.

If God has given you a resourceful, problem-solving mind, drawn to anything from rollercoaster design to construction trends to the creation of health-monitoring biosensors then maybe His intention is that you pursue a major in engineering. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (I Corinthians 10:31)

A future in Engineering

By Amber Gragert

"The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is that of a planter - for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come and point the way." - Nikola Tesla

That quote was from a man who quite literally shaped the future for us through his work as an electrical engineer. Nikola Tesla is most famously known for his work in the designs for our modern day alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. He was not only an electrical engineer and inventor, but also a mechanical engineer, physicist and futurist. His passion for the sciences speaks for itself.

The world of engineering is an exciting and innovative one that requires a 'can do' attitude, which is why James A. Michener once said, "Scientists dream about doing great things. Engineers do them." That's not to diminish what scientists do, but engineers take what scientists imagine, get it down on paper and bring those ideas to life. From air conditioning units, to working bridges, to space shuttles, it's engineers that put it all together. Naturally people that succeed in the engineering industry are those that have a desire to figure out and build what others can only imagine. They have the ability to apply creative thinking, are capable of both analytical and logical thought process, have strong listening and problem skills, pay great attention to detail, have stellar interpersonal and leadership skills and, it should go without saying, the best engineers have excellent mathematical and mechanical skills.

Engineering is really a broad term and covers a wide range of industries and fields. It's the perfect marriage between mathematics, science and technology. That said, there are many different engineering degrees available that fit many different applications. Today there are 10 major branches on the tree of engineering: aeronautic and astronautic, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer science, electrical, environmental, mechanical, nuclear and systems engineering. If we stick with that word picture, each branch has hundreds of different smaller branches and leaves of engineering attached to it.

Most future job prospects will require a bachelor's degree in whichever area you decide to focus your energy studying in.

Career examples:

•  Agricultural Engineer

•  Automotive Engineer

•  Biomedical Engineer

•  Civil Engineer

•  Computer Engineer

•  Drafting & Design Engineer

•  Electrical Engineer

•  Mechanical Engineer

•  Petroleum Engineer

Other options include: architecture, construction manager, education or even urban planning. There are so many facets to the world of engineering, you can really just take your pick of passions and start shaping the world for future generations with your degree in engineering. You could even use your degree in ministry and missionary work. Who do you suppose designs and builds everything from functioning roads and bridges to orphanages, schools, and clean water projects in developing countries? That's right, engineers play a major role in those ministry endeavors too.

Unlike the vastness of the engineering field, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever." -- just as it says in Hebrews 13:8. So keep your eyes on Him and your studies a priority and you will do great things with your engineering degree in hand.