Basic Engineering Background

So, you want to be an engineer? Got your own calculator, have you?

Engineering is a veritable art form, my friend. It combines the strengths of human ingenuity and scientific theory to design, develop and analyze technological solutions to various problems. It is one of the pillars on which rests our modern society.

Basically, it can be split up into five main branches:

  • Chemical engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Systems engineering

These branches contain numerous other engineering subdisciplines and interdisciplinary subjects that are derived from concentrations, combinations or extensions of the major engineering branches.
For a complete list, click here.

Engineers are designers and builders at heart. They strive for perfection and love coming up with workable solutions. Or they might grow old, disillusioned and bitter with lack of proper funding.
They rely heavily on logic, science and mathematics as well as an in-depth knowledge of their respectable field(s), aided by a good library and an internet connection, to arrive at suitable solutions for various problems. They can compromise between costs, safety and efficacy. Usually they are experts in one or two particular fields. However, they have to be a bit of a generalist as well.

Essentially, there are two types of engineer: desk engineers and field engineers. The former mostly devise theoretical solutions and ways to test a certain design before (mass) production. Generally, they can’t be trusted to hold the right end of a hammer. The latter aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and usually rely on tacit knowledge to, unhesitatingly, make ad-lib workable solutions. (a.k.a. making it up as they go along.)

There are three degrees in the engineering disciplines. They vary between countries and continents but, in essence, they boil down to this:
Years required added as a rough guideline to estimate the age of your character.

Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.): undergraduate or graduate, depending on country. Usually, an undergraduate academic degree awarded after three to five years of study at university or college.
You’ve got the sine, cosine and tangent bang to rights and have an intimate knowledge of the workings of CH3CH2OH.
+3 years minimum.

Master of Engineering (M.Eng.): graduate or postgraduate, depending on country. Can be an academic or a professional master’s degree. Usually a graduate degree that requires a thesis of significant depth. Prerequisite is a bachelor’s degree in engineering.
The world trembles at your fierce algebra skills and fails to comprehend the technobabble spouting from your lips.
+2 years minimum

NOTE: some countries combine the bachelor’s and master’s degree into a single graduate course. +5 years minimum.

Engineering Doctorate (D.Eng.): postgraduate specialization after master’s degree in Engineering. Requires a doctorate of significant depth and various publications in peer-review journals.
You get to call yourself a doctor and wear spiffy white lab coats without people questioning your dress sense. The retro-encabulator finally gave up all of its secrets.
+4 years

Finally, in a tight spot, it often helps to spout some technobabble at the problem and quickly run away in the opposite direction while it is distracted.
Conversely, sometimes it pays to know what you’re talking about. To that end, here’s a glossary of common engineering terms.

There you have. You're an engineer now. Use your powers with care.

A B.Eng. or M.Eng. will most likely start with one of the following occupations at the Foundation (in order of descending likeliness):

  • Containment Specialist
  • Senior Technician
  • Senior Research Assistant
  • Junior Researcher
  • Mobile Task Force Operative (as a mission specialist; ONLY after extensive combat training)

A D.Eng. will most likely start with one of the following occupations at the Foundation (in order of descending likeliness):

  • Researcher
  • Senior Containment Specialist
  • Mobile Task Force Operative (as a mission specialist; ONLY after extensive combat training)

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