Some Historical and Future Aspects of Engineering

by Ching-Jen Chen,
Yousef Haik,

Part of: Perspectives in Civil Engineering: Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the American Society of Civil Engineers


This paper considers some historical aspects of engineering mechanics with emphasis on the long historical development of mechanics from the evolution of mathematics and tool-making before the Common Era to modern genomic and nanoengineering research. To focus, the discussion is divided into five periods of development: (1) engineering mechanics before the Common Era B.C.; (2) development between the first and sixteenth centuries; (3) acceleration in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; (4) glory of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and (5) window in the twenty-first century. The paper also attempts to project a personal view on the future development in the next 50 years in engineering mechanics. This is given in a section of science fiction and fact at the end of the paper.


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