Have you ever wondered why our modern society is so skilled at designing machines and constructing massive structures? Ultimately, humans have benefited from thousands of years of experience and innovations. Here is a brief history of the engineering industry.
The term “engineering” derives from the word “engine’er” (1325 A.C.E), which translates to “a constructor of military engines.” However, humans have engineered magnificent and complex feats far before the common era. Buildings such as the Ziggurats in Mesopotamia and the many cities within the Indus Valley civilization are proof that our ancient human ancestors possessed talent and knowledge when it came to construction and took the art of engineering seriously.
Humans really began creating innovative machines around the Middle Ages, especially during the Islamic Golden Age of the ancient Muslim world. There, engineers designed various wind- and steam-powered devices that greatly revolutionized society. While engineering became a more legitimate industry across the Eastern hemisphere, Western engineering was stagnant thanks to the Dark Ages. The European Renaissance witnessed a boom in Western engineering, but the sector was mainly military-focused.
The Birth of “Civil Engineering”
Around the same time as the European Renaissance, the term “civil engineering” was popularized. Civil engineering describes the sector of the industry focused on non-military projects. Individuals working in this field were more focused on creating beneficial machines and designing innovations that helped improve business and the quality of life. This career eventually became more accessible for the common person, helping grow the industry further.
American engineering, in the early days, was mostly focused on military projects. However, the Industrial Revolution saw a boom in civil projects, leading to rapid expansion and development. The abundance of work opportunities combined with the shared interest in developing America strengthened its economy and legitimized it as a world leader and power. This remains true today as the American engineering industry continues to contribute innovations to the world.
Flash forward to today, and the engineering industry has become quite global. Germany, China, Israel, and India also invest heavily in this field and help develop more and more impressive feats of design and construction.
Perhaps the most significant evolutions in engineering are the increase in workplace safety and practices and a major boost in efficiency and effectiveness. These modern changes make the engineering industry one of the most valuable and essential industries globally.
The history of the engineering industry is quite expansive, and the rate of innovation within this field only increases with time. The future of engineering remains secure, making it one of the most financially and personally rewarding career options for millions of people.