Agricultural engineers are involved in every aspect of food production, processing, marketing, and distribution. Agricultural engineers design and develop agricultural equipment, food processing equipment, and farm structures. Major technical areas of agricultural engineering include food processing, information and electrical technologies, power and machinery, structures, soil and water, forestry, bioengineering, and aqua culture. With their technological knowledge and innovations, agricultural engineers have literally revolutionized the farming industry, enabling farmers today to produce approximately ten times more than what they could just 100 years ago. For more information, contact the American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE).
One ABET accredited Agricultural Engineering degree program in the Pacific Northwest
- University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
Architectural engineers work closely with architects on the design of buildings. Whereas the architect focuses primarily on space utilization and aesthetics, the architectural engineer is concerned with safety, cost, and sound construction methods.
Bioengineering is a wide ranging field, alternatively referred to as biomedical engineering, which was created some 30 years ago by the merging interests of engineering and the biological/medical sciences. Bioengineers work closely with health professionals in the design of diagnostic and therapeutic devices for clinical use, the design of prosthetic devices, and the development of biologically compatible materials. Pacemakers, blood analyzers, cochlear implants, medical imaging, laser surgery, prosthetic implants, and life support systems are just a few of the many products and processes that have resulted from the team efforts of bioengineers and health professionals.
Ceramic engineers direct processes that convert nonmetallic minerals, clay, or silicates into ceramic products. Ceramic engineers work on products as diverse as glassware, semiconductors, automobile and aircraft engine components, fiber-optic phone lines, tiles on space shuttles, solar panels, and electric power line insulators.
Manufacturing engineers are involved in all aspects of manufacturing a product. These include studying the behavior and properties of required materials, designing appropriate systems and equipment, and managing the overall manufacturing process. For more information, contact the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).
One ABET accredited Manufacturing Engineering degree program in the Pacific Northwest
Materials engineers are generally responsible for improving the strength, corrosion resistance, fatigue resistance, and other characteristics of frequently used materials. They are also involved in selecting materials with desirable mechanical, electrical, magnetic, chemical, and heat transfer properties that meet special performance requirements.
Examples are graphite golf club shafts that are light but stiff, ceramic tiles on the Space Shuttle that protect it from burning up during reentry into the atmosphere, and the alloy turbine blades in a jet engine. Metallurgical engineers deal specifically with metals in one of the three main branches of metallurgy--extractive, physical and mechanical. Extractive metallurgists are concerned with removing metals from ores and refining and alloying them to obtain useful metal. Physical metallurgists study the nature, structure, and physical properties of metals and their alloys, and design methods for processing them into final products. Mechanical metallurgists develop and improve metal-working processes such as casting, forging, rolling, and drawing. For more information contact the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS).
MINING & GEOLOGICAL ENGINEERING
The work of mining and geological engineers is similar to that of petroleum engineers. the main difference is the target of their efforts. That is, mining and geological engineers are involved in all aspects of discovering, removing, and processing minerals from the earth. The mining engineer designs the mine layout, supervises its construction, and devises systems to transport minerals to processing plants.
The mining engineer also devises plans to return the area to its natural state after extracting the minerals. For more information, contact the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME-AIME).
One ABET accredited Mining and one Geological Engineering degree program in the Pacific Northwest
Nuclear engineers are involved in the design, construction, and operation of nuclear power plants for power generation, propulsion of nuclear submarines, and space power systems. Nuclear engineers are also involved in processes for handling nuclear fuels, safely disposing radioactive wastes, and using radioactive isotopes for medical purposes. For more information, contact American Nuclear Society (ANS).
One ABET accredited Nuclear Engineering degree program in the Pacific Northwest
Ocean engineers are involved in the design of offshore drilling platforms, harbor facilities, breakwaters and underwater machines. Naval architects are involved in the design of ships and other seagoing vessels. For more information, contact the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME).
Petroleum engineers work in all capacities related to petroleum (gas and oil) and its byproducts. These include designing processes, equipment, and systems for locating new sources of oil and gas; sustaining the flow of extant sources; removing, transporting, and storing oil and gas; and refining them into useful products. For more information, contact the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).
One ABET accredited Petroleum Engineering degree program in the Pacific Northwest
Systems engineers are involved with the overall design, development, and operations of large, complex systems. Their focus is not so much on the individual components that comprise such systems; rather, they are responsible for the integration of each component into a complete, functioning "whole." Predicting and overseeing the behavior of large-scale systems often involves knowledge of advanced mathematical and computer-based techniques, such as linear programming, queuing theory, and simulation.