General Engineering Introduction/For Students

Don't be Intimidated

A young mind is a wonderful gift. Treasure it. Don't feel intimidated. A fresh mind can solve problems that older engineers have given up on. Technical expertise, engineering families, and a life of privilege can be a liability. Leverage your adversity.

The world has problems, NOT YOU

There are three ways to react to something you don't understand:

The world has a problem because I can not find a tutorial I understand
I am addicted to education, teach me.
I am an idiot, not good at, handicapped, have family problems, others must know because it exists ....

The first is the engineering response. This values your ignorance. It creates an engineering project. The project is creating a tutorial for someone similar to yourself.

You have valuable Gifts

Can you criticize something, some institution or some person? Then you have gifts. Stop thinking the rest of the world is messed up. You are gifted with a vision and the talent to fix things. Become an engineer! Forgive everyone else for being normal.


Engineers are not experts. Engineers are not experienced. Engineers earn respect.

This book

How this wikibook is used depends on your instructor. Typically you will be asked to read this, take some practice quizzes and then take the quiz again within your schools learning management system. You may also be rewarded by editing this books wiki pages, creating and editing project wiki pages, improving quiz questions, and suggesting new projects.

Getting Credit for this Course

Not all colleges offer the same opportunities, the same facilities, or the same projects. Community Colleges don't have four year programs. They have limited projects and few tools. They are open enrollment. Community College students try to transfer into the third year of these unique environments. Some engineering colleges have such unique programs that transfers are not accepted.

Is this course for you?

If your goal is to explore engineering, this course is for you. If your goal is to transfer this course to an engineering college, ask a transfer advisor at that college. Public, four year universities generally transfer this course.


Engineering Projects are graded in three ways: presentations, personal and team project reports, writing in an engineering notebook and project success. You, individually, control the first three. Project success is something negotiated with your instructor and is team based. For more details, see your instructors syllabus.

Change your attitude

Is this You? Changed Attitude
I take courses to get good grades by passing tests. I value courses. I want to get the most out of it. I am an excellent student.
I attend class some of the time to be able to pass the quizzes and earn points. I value class. I learn from the teacher and other students.
I make an effort to be on time, but it is no big deal when I am late. I rarely miss class.
I like to do a lot of things, so I plan to do the minimum required in my courses. I want to improve my learning to learn. I have my goals which are beyond what the teacher expects.
I take some notes. I arrive early to ask questions and prepare for class
I listen some if there is discussion. I listen and participate in all conversations I can.
I let others ask questions and discuss with the teacher. I ask questions the minute I am lost or suspect the teacher made a mistake.
I will keep my cell phone available to check, but not so it is obvious. I track my thinking during class, to see if I can improve how I learn.
I do OK with little effort, short cuts, and cram. I do a little of the homework every night.
I study enough to pass tests. If that does not work, I ask for extra credit work. I decrease distractions and have a quiet place to study.
I know I get easily distracted doing homework, but that is just the way I am. I know that concentration is very difficult while listening to music, or others watching TV.
I want to learn from the expert, the teacher, so I don’t listen when classmates talk or ask questions. I realize the teacher may be skimming, creating opportunities for conversations rather than trying to be the best explainer.