History of engineering ✅ origin and evolution

The History of engineering goes back to very remote times, from the invention of tools such as the lever or the wheel, which facilitated the realization of other works through basic principles of mechanics.

The Word engineer has its roots in Latin. Ingenium is literally translated as the innate qualities of a person, but militarily it was used to call the war machines that were built by humans.

Those who could operate such creations were known as Ingeniairus and engineer. From There must have moved the word to French engigneur and then the English engineer (machinist).

The first manifestations of engineering were given in the old Age with the great constructions like the pyramids, both Egyptian and pre-Columbian. Likewise, there are the great works of the Greeks and the Romans, who took engineering to other aspects of life as the militia.

In Medieval Times, Advances in civil engineering gave way to Gothic architecture in Europe, while in Asia important advances were made in the areas of metallurgy and hydrography.

During the Modern Age, the steam engine inaugurated the Industrial Revolution. It Was then that engineering began to be a formal science. It Should Be taken into account that the current engineering is a set of knowledge and techniques applied to problem solving.

From then on, the areas of specialization began to separate, such as military, mechanical and civil engineering, and new names were added to that list.

Electrical engineering emerged with Volta in the NINETEENTH century. Later, the electronics were detached from her. Also The NINETEENTH century, was given way to chemical engineering, which was the hand of mechanics trying to meet the needs of the last.

Then The aeronautics was added, which was necessary during the First and Second World War. One of the most recent was popularized in the decade of 1980 and is computer engineering.

Old Age

The first engineer to have records was named Imhotep, and was a builder of the staggered pyramid that is located in Saqqara, Egypt. It was built for the pharaoh Zoser of the Third Dynasty.

It Is believed that Imhotep was the first to use columns for architecture. His work dates back to approximately the year 2550 B.C.

There Is A theory that the great projects of antiquity could have taken the witness of the work of this Egyptian using empirical methods, while giving use to other sciences such as geometry, physics and arithmetic.

There are few examples of the architecture of antiquity that can be named. Among The most outstanding works are: The Alexandria Lighthouse, the Temple of Solomon, the Roman Coliseum and, of course, the aqueducts.

Also the Greek Acropolis and the Parthenon, the ziggurat Mesopotamian and the structures of the Native Americans like the Mayas, Incas or Aztecs.

In Addition, in Asia is located one of the greatest works of humanity as is the Great Wall of China.

As for the architecture of the Romans, their principles were settled in the Book of architecture written by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, where he recounts his experience and what he knew about the theory of Greek architectural works, which were the basis of This discipline for the Romans.

History of Engineering


However, the Greeks were one of the first to use the machines for different purposes. First, there was military use in creating weapons. The first mechanical computer known as the Anticiter Mechanism, which dates from the 2ND or 3RD century BC, is Also recorded.

Middle Ages

High Middle Ages
Although by many it is considered that the engineering did not have great advances in the High Middle Ages, it can be said the opposite, because at that time thanks to the development of the Christianity in all the Western civilization, the work done by slaves was not well seen.

Then, the Catholic religion was what led to the development of techniques that allowed to do great jobs with less staff. However, there was a period in which the quality and quantity of buildings declined.

At this time in Europe the style dominating the architecture was the pre-Romanesco. Through this current, the builders copied the design of the structures created by the Romans.

Low Middle Ages
In the Lower Middle Ages The great Gothic cathedrals were built. Moreover, due to the constant clashes between islamics and Catholics, it became necessary to build castles and fortresses.

As for Asians, they made great strides during that time, including their specialization in metallurgy. In Addition, they were responsible for the creation of the plant paper and gunpowder, which changed the course of history by being taken to Europe.

In Turkey, different advances were made in mechanical engineering, since more than 50 mechanical devices were developed for different purposes, including pumping water to supply the city of Damascus, especially in the mosques and Hospitals.

Besides that, mechanical controls, clocks and some very basic automata were devised.

In The 13TH century the engineer Villard de Honnecourt created the Book of Sketches, In This it expresses its knowledge, applied to the construction, of areas like mathematics, geometry, natural sciences, physics and talents of drawing.

In spite of that, during that time the knowledge was transferred from teacher to apprentice and was not standardized.

History of Engineering


During 1445 Johannes Gutenberg manufactured a machine that changed the history of humanity: printing. Until then the books were hand-copied almost artisanally and few had access to them.

But the arrival of Gutenberg’s printing revolutionized the way of transmitting knowledge, by allowing that thanks to a mechanical process the texts could be reproduced quickly and in great volume for a much lower cost.

This process consisted of applying ink on metal parts and transferring it to paper by pressure.

Thanks to the printing press, which allowed the dissemination of information to a greater number of people, engineering could begin to be part of a separate work.

This means that the knowledge of apprentice master or father to son was no longer transmitted, but that there could be people dedicated to the study of certain aspects of science. That was what allowed the separation between engineering and architecture or mechanics and military science.

During the Renaissance the construction of large domes was popularized, especially in religious buildings. This structure existed since antiquity, but its design was evolving and, during the Renaissance, a solution arose to the problem of the complicated creation of scaffoldings.

The form that was found during the Renaissance was to build two domes that were held one on the other, one on the outside and the other internal, with a strong structural union between them. The greatest exponent of this structure was the Basilica of St. Peter.

Industrial Revolution

A couple of centuries later came the invention that generated a revolution in all aspects of human life as it was known until then: the steam engine.

From there began to exploit a theory that broke schematics, which indicated that the heat could be used as energy.

The economy of many countries took off thanks to the application of this apparatus, which transformed the thermal energy of the water into mechanical energy thanks to an engine.

This is how the Industrial Revolution began, because thanks to this machine and its successors, the mass production of products and other devices that could take advantage of this energy was allowed.

Among the inventions that broke the established paradigms was that of the automated manufacturing of textiles, which radically changed the behavior of the market and the labor system that existed until then.

In Addition, another of the great mechanical developments of humanity emerged from that same period: the locomotive. It Was dispensed of animal and human work, almost artisanal, to give rise to mass production and a new type of society.

History of Engineering


After the Industrial Revolution, other processes also influenced the history of engineering. For example, the experimentation that intensified from 1816 with the communication system known as The Telegraph, which eventually got its most stable prototypes after the contributions of Samuel Morse in 1838.

This opened the doors to the electromagnetic studies that took place during the NINETEENTH century. This was one of the most necessary impulses to separate the study of electrical engineering from future telecommunications engineering, which would come later, given the multiple advances in the area.

Also, as a need to supply what the growing manufacturing and mechanical industry demanded, everything related to chemistry went into a much more careful exploration process.

Then, it was intended to obtain other sources of energy for the operation of the engines, and to supply to the industry of materials and products.


During the First and Second World War, the use of more sophisticated armaments was the only way of being able to outdo on the contrary and to demonstrate at the same time the power, not only military, but technical and scientific of the victorious nations.

This gave impetus to several fields of engineering, including aeronautics, with the creation of aircraft for military use, and also in the naval, thanks to the most advanced boats or submarines.

On the other hand, these conflicts contributed to the development of mechanical engineering, especially in the war tank and in armaments, which over time were becoming more automated.

In this way, the military engineering was finally detached from the mere maquinism and sought, rather, to find a specialized path in certain tasks related to the administration of resources, but without completely neglecting its mechanical and civil roots.

Nuclear engineering was another of the branches that was heavily supported by the war, although it was tried to find utility as a source of energy in the radiation that disfigured these elements when performing certain processes, thinking that it would be a Clean energy source.

Information for all

Other major advances that have brought the last decades to engineering studies are in the area of technology; Computing, electronics and software development.

These are elements that progressively evolve, allowing a democratization of access to information every day. This process began to increase with the overcrowding of computers in the mid-1980, when it became popular in households.

History of Engineering

Finally, one of the types of engineering that has posed some problems in the field of professional ethics is that of genetics.

It Is considered that experimentation with living beings, even if it is only animals, could go against nature, in addition to being an unknown the consequence of these processes.

But in 2019 the first genetically modified twins in China have already been born, something that is unprecedented.

Types of engineering throughout history

From its source to the present day, the engineering has diversified in many branches to specialize the study of some areas and to allow a deeper and more delicate development of each one of the fields of work.

Aerospace engineering, airport Engineering, agricultural Engineering, environmental Engineering, bioengineering, biomedical Engineering, civil engineering, building Engineering, electrical Engineering, electromechanical Engineering.

Electronic engineering, Energy engineering, railway Engineering, forestry Engineering, Genetic Engineering, geoengineering, hydraulic Engineering, industrial Engineering, automotive Engineering, audio Engineering, control Engineering, engineering of Computer science, Mechanical engineering, military Engineering, mining engineering, naval Engineering, petroleum Engineering.

Polymer Engineering, fire protection Engineering, chemical Engineering, sanitary Engineering, systems Engineering, software Engineering, sound Engineering, telecommunication Engineering, energy Engineering, cost Engineering, Computer Engineering, molecular Engineering, urban Engineering.

History of Engineering
Engineering and its evolution

Engineering consists of the application of the resources that science and technology provide in the control of the forces of nature, to put them at the service of the human being.

They Were called engineers who were mainly in charge of studying the problems of a society, in a very elementary principle but very essential for the development of the community.

As time went on the situation became more difficult and seemed more complex problems.

Therefore every engineer had to have the will, knowledge and resources to succeed in his resolution strategy. The Historical aspects form the context of the development of the specialties.

In This evolutionary process at the beginning the members of the tribe spent their time looking for food for their livelihood, then some members were freed from this obligation and were dedicated to cultivate, for this it was necessary the availability of water to irrigate their Crops and for human consumption, thus developing irrigation systems.

Others thought of different things by opening up possibilities for intellectual advancement. In this way, primitive engineering performs an important role in the evolution towards more technical and productive societies through technological evolution along with society.

Technology is the extension of science in terms of a direct service to the community. Science is an activity that often only seeks to know the reason for being something without being given anything specific about the outcome.

Technology, on the other hand, performs the fundamental work of developing in depth the achievements of science and provides the methods to build the instruments or apparatus necessary for these achievements to benefit the environment in which the Human species.