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Books and Journals

There are very few books which deal with the education of engineers. Many of the more recent volumes are listed below, together with some of the key journals in the field.

Books on Engineering Education

Readers are invited to suggest other books and journals which would be appropriate for inclusion in these pages; please email Higher Education with your suggestions.



Professor Peter Goodhew FREng has written a short book which was designed to demystify educational jargon and to review the wide range of teaching techniques which are available. A number of important but rarely-asked questions are addressed. These include “What is engineering education for?”.  It is available on paper or online, and you can add comments and suggestions to the online version.

Teaching Engineering, Peter Goodhew 2nd Ed ISBN 978-3-7375-3639-4 (2015)

Online version of Teaching Engineering by Peter Goodhew


UNESCO commissioned a monograph on engineering education from two Australian academics.  This was published in 2014 and covers many aspects of engineering education across the world.

Engineering Education: Transformation and Innovation, David Beanland & Roger Hadgraft , UNESCO, RMIT University Press, ISBN 978-1-922016-09-6 (2014)

rapid changing world


One particular university, the Technical University of Delft, has considered the changing nature of engineering and its impact on engineering education.

Engineering Education in a Rapidly Changing World, Aldert Kamp, ISBN 978-94-6186-403-1, TU Delft (2014)

Online version of Engineering Education in a Rapidly Changing World by Aldert Kamp



The CDIO (conceive, design, implement, operate) movement has developed a unified approach to the active learning of engineering and has more than 100 member universities across the world.  The principles and practices espoused by the movement are described in this book by Crawley et al.

Rethinking Engineering Education: The CDIO Approach,  2nd Ed, Edward Crawley, Johan Malmqvist, Sören Östlund, Doris Brodeur & Kristina Edstrom, Springer ISBN 978-3-319-05560-2 (2014)

One of the most radical recent developments in engineering education was the establishment of Olin College in Massachusetts. This intentionally small engineering college teaches almost entirely using projects and problem-based learning. Two of its founding faculty have written a book about this highly successful project.

A Whole New Engineer: The Coming Revolution in Engineering Education, David Goldberg and Mark Somerville, ISBN 978-0986080005 Three Joy Associates (2014)

changing world


University of Michigan engineer James Duderstadt produced a thoughtful analysis sub-titled A Roadmap to the Future of Engineering Practice, Research and Education.  In it, he considers the needs and challenges for 21st century engineering.

Engineering for a Changing World: The Millennium Project, James Duderstadt, University of Michigan (2008)

Engineering for a Changing World: The Millennium Project

The origin and effective use of student response systems is described by the Harvard physicist Eric Mazur. His book is now almost 20 years old, but still contains useful suggestions on how to make engineering students think in the classroom.

Peer Instruction, Eric Mazur, ISBN 0-13-565441-6, Prentice Hall Series in Educational Innovation (1997)

Three books with similar titles offer complementary views of engineering education:

Think like an engineer: Inside the minds that are changing our lives by Guru Madhavan (2015)  ISBN: 978-1780746371

A short but powerful book containing well-described case studies showing that to have an impact on society engineers need more than just technical skills. And, unusually, the Kindle version has a good index!


Think like an engineer: Use systematic thinking to solve everyday challenges and unlock the inherent values in them by Mushtak Al-Atabi (2014) ISBN: 978-1500972288

A collection of thoughts and anecdotes around the theme of CDIO, based on the author’s experiences teaching, and running MOOCs at Taylor’s in Malaysia.  Contains some nuggets of good stuff, embedded in a load of standard techniques and over-emotional anecdotes.

Thinking like an engineer: Studies in the ethics of a profession by Michael Davis (1998) ISBN 978-0-1951-2051-6

A collection of essays examining the responsibilities of an engineer in society.

Educating Engineers: Designing for the Future of the Field by Sheri Sheppard, Kelly Macatangay, Anne Colby and William M Sullivan (2009) ISBN 978-0-7879-7743-6

This is a useful volume from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

And for background (and fun):

Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik FREng (2013) ISBN 978-0-670-92054-9

Books to introduce engineering

Many educators need to introduce engineering itself to their audience, especially when engaged in outreach activities.  The following books might help.

Engineering: A Beginner’s Guide by Natasha McCarthy (Oneworld, 2009) ISBN 978-1851686629. McCarhy’s book is notable for being written by a non-engineer, albeit one who worked at the Royal Academy for several years.  The text deals with the origin of engineering, the various types of engineering and their place in the world.

Engineering, A Very Short Introduction by David Blockley (OUP, 2012) ISBN 978-0199578696

The Beginner’s Guide to Engineering: Mechanical Engineering by Mark Huber (Createspace, 2013) ISBN 978-1493506453

The Beginner’s Guide to Engineering: Chemical Engineering by John T Stimus (Createspace, 2013) ISBN 978-1492965046

The Beginner’s Guide to Engineering: Electrical Engineering by Mary Ellen Latschar (Createspace, 2013) ISBN 978-1492986652

Civil Engineering, A Very Short Introduction by David Muir Wood (OUP, 2012) ISBN 978-0199578634

Structural Engineering, A Very Short Introduction by David Blockley (OUP, 2014) ISBN 978-0199671939

Civil Engineering for the Curious by Nick Tyler and others (Curious Publishing, 2016) Kindle only

The Existential Pleasures of Engineering by Samuel C Florman (St Martins Griffin, 1996) ISBN 978-0312141042

The New Science of Strong Materials or Why You Don’t Fall Through the Floor by J E Gordon (Penguin, 1991) ISBN 978-0140135978

Structures or Why Things Don’t Fall Down by J E Gordon (Da Capo, 2003) ISBN 978-0306812835

Why Buildings Stand Up: The Strength of Architecture by Mario Salvadori (Norton, 1991) ISBN 978-0393306767

A series of books published over the past 30 years by Henry Petroski are still stimulating today.  They include:

To Engineer is Human: The Role of Failure in Engineering Design by Henry Petroski (Vintage 1992) ISBN 978-0679734161

Invention by Design: How Engineers Get From Thought to Thing by Henry Petroski (Harvard, 1998) ISBN 978-0674463684

The Evolution of Useful Things by Henry Petroski (Vintage, 1997) ISBN 978-0679740391

Remaking the World by Henry Petroski (Vintage, 1999) ISBN 978-0375700248

Pushing the Limits: New Adventures in Engineering by Aleksandar Vesic and Henry Petroski (Vintage, 2005) ISBN 978-1400032945

Success Through Failure: The Paradox of Design by Henry Petroski (Princeton, 2008) ISBN 978-0691136424

The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems by Aleksandar Vesic and Henry Petroski  (Random House, 2011) ISBN 978-0307473509


 “It is important to remember that some things are constant. Students, for example, are driven by passion, curiosity, engagement and dreams.”

Charles Vest, President, US National Academy of Engineering

Engineering Education Journals

There are many small journals dedicated to teaching and learning in specific areas of engineering.  However, there are three which aim for multinational coverage across all engineering disciplines, and they are listed here.

The Journal of Engineering Education, published by ASEE

The European Journal of Engineering Education, published by SEFI

Engineering Education, published by the HEA

There are several other journals listed on the Useful Links page for the Engineering Education Research Network.