What is Engineering?


Something you do if you do well in math and science, right? Well, if doing math and science is your thing, engineering might be for you, but there's a lot more to it than that.

Engineering is applying math and science to design things like the cars we drive, build things like the buildings in our cities, and operate things like computers, or even spacecraft.

You might be thinking that all engineers do the same boring thing - sit at a desk and do math problems all day. Actually, there are loads of different types of engineers who do loads of different things. Interested? Continue reading to find out more about different kinds of engineering.



Civil engineering deals with the design and construction of things like buildings, bridges, and highways. We see the work of civil engineers every day in our cities and towns. Civil engineers can work in all levels of government and work in industries like construction companies.

Civil engineers get careers in areas like these:

surveyors and contractors in construction
offshore oil and gas industry



Electrical engineering deals with the technology of electricity. Electrical engineers do things like analyze, design, and manufacture electrical devices, systems and processes. For example, all the electrical systems that run your car were the work of an electrical engineer.

Electrical engineers get careers in areas like these:

  • communications
  • aerospace
  • medical
  • manufacturing
  • oil & gas, pulp & paper and mining



Computer engineering deals with the design and analysis of computer systems. It involves hardware and software design, and applies to things like telecommunications, information systems (like the internet), and robotics. Computer engineers enjoy investigating new ideas, solving problems, and can concentrate on many tasks at the same time. Since technology today is getting better and better and more and more important, computer engineers have many career opportunities.

Computer engineers get careers in areas like these:

  • software and hardware design
  • telecommunications and computer network industries



Mechanical engineering deals with machines and tools. This type of engineering is very broad because it contains aspects of other types of engineering. For example, mechanical engineers can do some of the structural engineering that civil engineers do, or some of the control system design that electrical engineers do. Mechanical engineers are involved in things like building ventilation and air-conditioning systems, robotics, and aerodynamics. Because mechanical engineering is so broad, mechanical engineers get hired in many different industries.

Mechanical engineers get careers in areas like these:

  • design of car components (ex. Brakes)
  • air conditioning, ventilation and heating systems for buildings and vehicles
  • oil industry
  • design, construction and maintenance of robots


Ocean and Naval Architectural

Ocean and naval architectural engineering deals with the design and construction of ships, offshore structures, and other floating equipment. Memorial's ocean and naval architectural engineering program is rated one of the top programs of its kind in North America, and is the only cooperative program in ocean and naval architectural engineering in the world.

Ocean and naval architectural engineers get careers in areas like:

  • fisheries and ocean systems
  • design of ships, offshore structures, and other floating equipment
  • telecommunication and electronics



Process engineering deals with the development, design, optimization and operation of sustainable processes for human needs to ensure that the environment is safe and protected. Process engineers process substances through biological, chemical and physical processes to produce useful products such as petrochemicals, gasoline, diesel, metals and alloys. For example, the materials used to make a vehicle and the fuel used to drive them; the cheese you eat; and the medicine you take are all the work of a process engineer.

Process engineers get careers in areas like these:
• biomedical engineers
• food engineers
• metal and mineral engineers
• petroleum and petrochemical engineers
• chemical engineers
• safety engineers
• environmental engineers
• engineering consultants


Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000