Engineering is the applied science of acquiring and applying knowledge to design, analysis, and/or construction of works for practical purposes.
The American Engineers' Council for Professional Development defines Engineering as: "The creative application of scientific principles to design or develop structures, machines, apparatus, or manufacturing processes, or works utilizing them singly or in combination; or to construct or operate the same with full cognizance of their design; or to forecast their behavior under specific operating conditions; all as respects an intended function, economics of operation and safety to life and property."
One who practices engineering is called an engineer, and those licensed to do so have formal designations such as Professional Engineer, Chartered Engineer or Incorporated Engineer.
The broad discipline of engineering encompasses a range of specialised subdisciplines that focus on the issues associated with developing a specific kind of product, or using a specific type of technology.
Engineers borrow from physics and mathematics to find suitable solutions to the problem at hand.
They apply the scientific method in deriving their solutions.
If multiple options exist, engineers weigh different design choices on their merits and choose the solution that best matches the requirements.
The crucial and unique task of the engineer is to identify, understand, and interpret the constraints on a design in order to produce a successful result.
It is usually not enough to build a technically successful product; it must also meet further requirements.
Constraints may include available resources, physical, imaginative or technical limitations, flexibility for future modifications and additions, and other factors, such as requirements for cost, safety, marketability, producibility, and serviceability.
By understanding the constraints, engineers derive specifications for the limits within which a viable object or system may be produced and operated.
Engineering is a key driver of human development.