This book explains engineering practice, what engineers actually do in their work. The first part explains how to find paid engineering work and prepare for an engineering career. The second part explains the fundamentals of engineering practice, including how to gain access to technical knowledge, how to gain the willing collaboration of other people to make things happen, and how to work safely in hazardous environments. Other chapters explain engineering aspects of project management missed in most courses, how to create commercial value from engineering work and estimate costs, and how to navigate cultural complexities successfully. Later chapters provide guidance on sustainability, time management and avoiding the most common frustrations encountered by engineers at work. This book has been written for engineering students, graduates and novice engineers. Supervisors, mentors and human resources professionals will also find the book helpful to guide early-career engineers and assess their progress. Engineering schools will find the book helpful to help students prepare for professional internships and also for creating authentic practice and assessment exercises.

part Part 1|54 pages

Preparation for an engineering career

chapter Chapter 1|11 pages

Engineering: doing more with less

chapter Chapter 2|5 pages

Engineering practice

chapter Chapter 3|11 pages

Seeking paid engineering work

chapter Chapter 4|5 pages

Neglected perception skills

chapter Chapter 5|7 pages


chapter Chapter 6|5 pages

Reading documents

chapter Chapter 7|4 pages

Reading people

chapter Chapter 8|4 pages

Seeing and creativity

part Part 2|109 pages

Workplace learning

chapter Chapter 9|6 pages

Learning the ropes

chapter Chapter 10|7 pages

Engineering knowledge

chapter Chapter 11|10 pages

Knowledge is a social network

chapter Chapter 12|9 pages

Making things happen

chapter Chapter 13|7 pages

Working safely

chapter Chapter 14|16 pages

Making big things happen

chapter Chapter 15|10 pages

Generating value

chapter Chapter 16|6 pages

Estimating costs

chapter Chapter 17|10 pages

Navigating social culture

chapter Chapter 18|9 pages


chapter Chapter 19|6 pages

Time management

chapter Chapter 20|11 pages


chapter |2 pages

Epilogue – next steps