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Books for Engineers

01/03/2018 4:25 PM

Here's an interesting list of books for engineers; I'm posting it here in case you missed the Engineering360 article. Do you agree with the choices? Would you add or change any of them?

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#1

Re: Books for Engineers

01/03/2018 9:04 PM

Interesting that there's no mention of a book on ethics...

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Books for Engineers

01/04/2018 8:28 AM

I suggest taking a look at book suggestion #3: The Making of an Expert Engineer, by James Trevelyan.

Although there no specific chapters on professional ethics and morals, Trevalyan deals with these issues across 2 chapters dealing with sustainability, and on engineers living and working in low-income, corrupt, and Third World countries, by providing at least 2 detailed case studies. Read up on "Kanemex", and separately, the provision of drinking water in LICs, namely Pakistan.

If you're asking this question, I highly recommend this book. Expensive, but worth every penny I spent

P.S.: There are online appendices to the book available at

http://staffhome.ecm.uwa.edu.au/~00006605/eng-work/MoEE-Appendices/Guide%20to%20Appendices%20140913.html

or as a zip file at the publisher's website:

https://www.crcpress.com/The-Making-of-an-Expert-Engineer/Trevelyan/p/book/9781138026926

Other interesting writings by the author on the related topics of the engineering profession and practice are on his website:

https://jamesptrevelyan.com/

Happy Hunting!

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#2

Re: Books for Engineers

01/03/2018 10:49 PM

I would add "Tesla: Inventor Of The Electrical Age" by W. Bernard Carlson.

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#3

Re: Books for Engineers

01/04/2018 5:48 AM

This one is on my bookshelf waiting to be read. Looks good with many of Newey's hand drawn technical sketches.

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#5

Re: Books for Engineers

01/04/2018 12:02 PM

In the category of a summer-engineering-type-of-read, it seems like the list should include

''To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design''

if learning from (others) experience/failures is a primary goal of doing better engineering at all...

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Books for Engineers

01/04/2018 2:39 PM

Another great Henry Petroski book. Thanks!

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#7
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Re: Books for Engineers

01/04/2018 3:27 PM

And, thank you.

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#8

Re: Books for Engineers

01/04/2018 6:12 PM

I have a couple great books on engineering I'd recommend.

A great history of the burgeoning computer age is 'Soul of a New Machine' by Tracy Kidder. I especially like it because the book tangentially mentions the early days of supermarket scanners, including a system I worked on. (I also liked his book 'House', a story of a couple having a 'bespoke' house designed and built by an architect.)

Computers and espionage come together in a fascinating book, 'The Cuckoo's Egg' By Cliff Stoll. I believe the story was a 'Nova' episode.

On my shelf waiting for me are two books: 'Backyard Ballistics' by William Gurstelle, and 'What If?' by Randall Munroe, the guy who does the tech-oriented comic strip XKCD.

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Books for Engineers

01/05/2018 9:00 AM

I really enjoyed both of the Kidder books you mention. The first online library catalog system we had at Carnegie Mellon ran on a Data General machine -- the one whose creation Kidder described in the book. For some reason I remember one of the designers opining that an early design "just hung a bag on the side" of an existing machine, whatever that meant.

Cuckoo's Egg is a fun read. Wasn't Cliff Stoll controversial for some reason?

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#11
In reply to #8

Re: Books for Engineers

01/05/2018 11:48 AM

He also has a few "What ifs" online

https://what-if.xkcd.com/

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#10

Re: Books for Engineers

01/05/2018 10:03 AM

The Martian is the best barely-sci-fi I've read. Full of real technical details. The movie version is also very good, but they had to leave out a lot for the general public.

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#12

Re: Books for Engineers

01/05/2018 4:46 PM

I should get one of those, but wow, where to start.

I have about zero time to read for the pleasure of it any more.

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#13

Re: Books for Engineers

01/05/2018 10:02 PM

I would add "Inviting Disaster-Lessons Learned from the Edge of Technology".

by James R.Chiles.

The paperback edition was printed in 2002, and opens with an analysis of the World Trade disaster on 9-11-01, offering enough detail to answer any conspiracy hack.

Additionally the book deals with many famous, or more properly, infamous disasters including Bhopal, Three Mile Island and the Apollo 13 incident.

Mr. Chiles examines the root causes of each, and is a wonderful read for anyone interested in risk management, in that how it describes how often the most minute detail can cause a failure of a whole system.

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