To first understand how engineering can and does make the world we live in a better place, you first must understand what exactly engineering is. According to the Free Dictionary, engineering is “The application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems.”

Another way to state that is that engineering takes the collective learned knowledge of the human species to manipulate the basic materials available into more advanced devices aimed at improving and advancing the lives of the species.

It’s a bit of a mouthful, but it’s also very accurate. Engineering lets us take chaos and turn it into order. It helps us use the collective knowledge and labor of the species to create long-lasting one-time solutions for daily problems and figurative roadblocks.

For example, a civil engineering team has the ability to create bridges. Those bridges help people take a very direct route from point A to point B instead of having to find other mush longer routes. A bridge can cross a small body of water, a large body or water, and even large ravines.

One a bridge is built, it solves that single problem day in and day out. Of course it will require upkeep and maintenance, but the amount of time a very large mass of people will save due to one single bridge is truly astounding if you think about it.

And, the real hidden gem in all of this is the potential of what all of those people can do with all of that extra time.

Engineering isn’t only about large civil structures though. There are all types of engineering disciplines that better our world for the masses, such as:

  • Civil
  • Electrical
  • Chemical
  • Nuclear
  • Industrial
  • Environmental
  • Computer
  • Mechanical
  • Aerospace
  • Architectural
  • Agricultural

All of these engineering disciplines do things for the common person and the mass of the entire population that arguably make the world a better place, much the example of the bridge.

Here are a few more broad examples.

Electrical engineers assist with powering entire cities.

Environmental engineers make sure we don’t destroy our world as we try to improve and enhance it.

Aerospace engineers help us explore the skies above us.

It’s hard to imagine what would have become of the population of the Earth without the engineers of the past. We still might be living in small little villages, as we would be unable to erect large cities or travel easily across long distances.

We certainly would not have hospitals, x-ray machines, vaccines, or any of the many creations we have built over the decades of modern human history.

Of course we have also been responsible for some dangerous creations like the atom bomb. But, from those creations we have also learned more about humanity as whole, and that we can control, at least until now, the power that we unlock.

Engineering is everywhere. It is how we got to where we are today. It is how we will continue to grow in the future.