Engineering is the discipline of design and construction of mechanical devices, equipment, structures and public works systems. Topics include aircraft technologies, buildings, bridges, robotics and heavy machinery.

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I've noticed that the insides of road and subway tunnels are usually covered in ceramic tile. Is there any particular reason for this or is it simply convention?

Is there any rhyme or reason to how U.S. interstate highways are numbered?

I am entering a chemistry contest at my high school. The goal is to build the battery that produces the most watts for one minute. Our battery can't be bigger then 1 foot in any direction and can't use strong acids. What are the best chemicals to use, and what's the best design?


EPCOT was Walt Disney's "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow." But it didn't actually turn out the way he had envisioned it.

By Alex Krieger

Heck, it's even hard for some people to have common sense.

By Mayank Kejriwal

Smart buildings have technology embedded inside them, allowing unprecedented levels of interaction between a building and its occupants. Some would call it "unprecedented levels of snooping."

By Patrick Lecomte

Stanford researchers emulated the feet and legs of a peregrine falcon to enable a flying robot to land and perch on various surfaces, which could have lasting implications for future drone design and use.

By Patrick J. Kiger


The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most iconic and enduring symbols of the city of Paris, France. But why did Napoleon commission it?

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

Famed composer Ludwig von Beethoven died leaving just a few notes for his 10th Symphony. More than 200 years later, scientists use artificial intelligence to finish the job.

By Ahmed Elgammal

It's been some 15 years in the making and is still under construction. What's the real story behind the Jeddah Tower's delay?

By Dave Roos

This postwar era architecture has a heavy, raw look, hence the name. But the designs are sensible and authoritative, and many Brutalist buildings are experiencing a revival.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.


The first CT scan let doctors see inside a woman's skull and confirm her cystic brain mass. That scanner? It was developed by an eccentric engineer who worked at the Beatles' record company.

By Edmund S. Higgins

The Alaska Pipeline carries oil from wells in the far north of Alaska down to the the port in Valdez, Alaska. If that pipeline blew up, what would happen to all that oil, and how much damage would it do?

By Marshall Brain

If you wanted to build a Great Pyramid in today's market, you would need to take into consideration a lot of factors. How much labor would you need? What about materials? And how much would it cost you?

By Marshall Brain

Domed cities would provide the same temperature year-round, no rain or snow, and the ability to go outside without worrying about a sunburn. Have they been tried before, and what about the people who enjoy their seasons?

By Marshall Brain


Abandoned mine shafts may look romantic with their clapboarded entrances and rusting pickaxes, but they can be deadly. So who ensures that these dangerous sites are properly closed up? You may find the answer a little unsettling.

By Josh Clark

Steam technology powered the Industrial Revolution, transformed the global shipping industry and revolutionized modern warfare. But how do steam engines actually harness the power of steam?

By Robert Lamb & Yara Simón

It may seem like a strange idea, but one British researcher believes that by 2050, robots and humans will be able to marry legally in the United States. What social implications might this strange-sounding phenomenon have?

By Josh Clark

Welcome to the wonderful and weird world of nanowires. Scientists can adapt this incredibly thin material for a number of uses, whether as a fiber-optic nanowire or to build increasingly smaller microprocessors. They're even used in medical implants.

By Jonathan Strickland


Turning saltwater into tasty, drinkable H20 at desalination plants is probably the biggest-selling point of reverse osmosis, but let's back up a minute. What's osmosis, and why — and how — is reversing it useful to us?

By Kate Kershner

A tunnel can be simply defined as a tube hollowed through soil or stone, but actually constructing a tunnel is a challenge. Find out how tunnels are built.

By William Harris

Lobsters have one of the animal world's most unique vision systems. Researchers hope to apply that system to scanners that will make steel walls transparent.

By Julia Layton

Michelangelo was not only a great sculptor; he was also a master builder. He loved cities over nature and although had many architectural feats under his name, he often declared that he was not an architect. See the famous buildings of Michelangelo.

By Lauren Mitchell Ruehring


Engineers have gotten good at making very small things. We're already talking about building at the nanoscopic scale. Is it possible to build tiny machines that can move even tinier atoms?

By Jonathan Strickland

Artificial intelligence has advanced very quickly. Some believe that it's possible that machines will eventually be able to improve themselves. But could machines ever truly achieve consciousness?

By Jonathan Strickland