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A civil engineer supervises a stage in the construction of a building in Nigeria.Engineering is the application of science and mathematics to the design and construction of structures, machines, materials and devices. There are four main branches of engineering: chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. Nowadays, engineers work in a wide range of specialized areas, not just these four. To find out how well their designs perform to their specifications (and that they will not cause any harm), engineers usually build scale models or prototypes, and carry out computer simulations before going to full-scale production. Testing (such as non-destructive testing) ensures that the materials, components or systems used in the design will not fail.

Engineers today

Aerospace engineers design, test, and supervise the manufacture of aircraft, spacecraft and missiles. Those who work with aircraft are called aeronautical engineers; those working with spacecraft are astronautical engineers.

The word engineer comes from the Latin word ingenium, meaning "cleverness" and ingeniare, meaning "to devise".

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