Books – Engineering

<< Return to Books


Engineering Solutions

Hop! Plop!
Corey Rosen Schwartz and Tali Klein, Walker Childrens, 2006, ISBN:  9780802780560
Friends Elephant and Mouse visit a playground and struggle to use the playground equipment. For example, Mouse is sent flying when Elephant sits opposite him on the seesaw. Appropriate for ages 3 and up.

On the Seesaw Bridge
Yuichi Kimura, Vertical, Vertical, 2011, ISBN:  9781935654186
A fox and his potential prey, a hare, are trapped on a seesaw bridge. They use the bridge’s movement to launch themselves to safety. Appropriate for ages 4 and up.

How Do You Lift a Lion?
Robert E. Wells, Albert Whitman & Company, 1999, ISBN-13 9780780779228
Children ages 4–8 can imagine how levers, wheels, and pulleys could be used to move heavy animals in this playful exploration of simple machines.

Cool Engineering Activities for Girls
Heather Schwartz, Capstone Press, 2012, ISBN 9781429676779
Photographs depict girls undertaking nine different projects, including a water filter and solar cooker. Step-by-step instructions are provided. Appropriate for ages 8–14.

Rosie Revere’s Big Project Book for Bold Engineers
Andrea Beaty; David Roberts

The science of bridges and tunnels : the art of engineering
Ian Graham. 2019. Scholastic Inc.

Invention and Innovation

The little inventors handbook : a guide to becoming an ingenious inventor
Dominic Wilcox. Collins, 2018.

Calling all minds: how to think and create like an inventor
Temple Grandin. Puffin Books, 2019.

Girls think of everything : stories of ingenious inventions by women
Catherine Thimmesh; Houghton Mifflin, 2018

Space Machines
Ian Graham, ages 6-9

Joan Marie Galat

Ancient Machine Technology:  From Wheels to Forges
Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods, Twenty-First Century, 2011, ISBN-13 978-0761365235
This book combines engineering and science concepts with information about ancient cultures to explore simple machines. Appropriate for ages 12 and up.

A Century in the Works: Freese and Nichols, Consulting Engineers
Simon W Freese and Deborah Lightfoot Sizemore, TAMU Press, ISBN 0890965617
A civil engineer from Minnesota, John MacDonald Blackstock Hawley began a tradition of engineering in Texas that his successors in the firm of Freese and Nichols have continued for one hundred years. This history of Freese and Nichols focuses on the firm’s contributions, design innovations, and “firsts” in water supply, water treatment, and wastewater engineering; transportation design for roads, bridges, and airports; city and regional planning; environmental science; and general civil and environmental engineering. Appropriate for adults.

Rocket Boys
Homer Hickam. Delta, 2000 ISBN 0385333218
This bestselling memoir tells the story of the author’s life growing up in a harsh West Virginia mining town, and how he grew up to become a NASA engineer. Rocket Boys inspired the film October Sky. Appropriate for young adults and adults.

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by 2100 
Michio Kaku, Anchor, 2012 ISBN 0307473333
Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku details the developments in computer technology, artificial intelligence, medicine, space travel, and more, that are poised to happen over the next hundred years. He also considers how these inventions will affect the world economy, addressing the key questions: Who will have jobs? Which nations will prosper? Kaku interviews three hundred of the world’s top scientists—working in their labs on astonishing prototypes. He also takes into account the rigorous scientific principles that regulate how quickly, how safely, and how far technologies can advance. In Physics of the Future, Kaku forecasts a century of earthshaking advances in technology that could make even the last centuries’ leaps and bounds seem insignificant. Appropriate for adults.

The Soul of a New Machine
Tracy Kidder, Back Bay Books, 2000 ISBN 0316491977
Pulitzer Prize winner Kidder’s 1981 volume was published when mini-supercomputers were still the stuff of science fiction. How the world has turned. Though technology has grown immeasurably since then, this volume still serves as an interesting history of the machine that conquered the world. Appropriate for adults.  

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge
David McCullough, Simon & Schuster, 1972 ISBN 1451683235
This book tells the story of one of the greatest accomplishments in our nation’s history, the building of what was then the longest suspension bridge in the world. The Brooklyn Bridge rose out of the expansive era following the Civil War, when Americans believed all things were possible. Appropriate for adults.

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
William McDonough and Michael Braungart. North Point Press, 2002 ISBN 0865475873
Paper or plastic? Neither, say William McDonough and Michael Braungart. Why settle for the least harmful alternative when we could have something that is better–say, edible grocery bags! In Cradle to Cradle, the authors present a manifesto calling for a new industrial revolution, one that would render both traditional manufacturing and traditional environmentalism obsolete. Appropriate for adults.

The Book on the Bookshelf
Henry Petroski, Vintage, 2000 ISBN 0375706399
Most of us take for granted that our books are vertical on our shelves with the spines facing out, but engineer Henry Petroski didn’t. As a result, readers are guided along the astonishing evolution from papyrus scrolls boxed at Alexandria to upright books shelved at the Library of Congress. Appropriate for adults.

To Engineer is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design
Henry Petroski, Vintage, 1992 ISBN 0679734163
Behind every great engineering success is a trail of often ignored engineering failures. Petroski covers many of the best known examples of well-intentioned but ultimately failed designs. Appropriate for adults.

The Evolution of Useful Things: How Everyday Artifacts–From Forks and Pins to Paper Clips and Zippers–Came to be as They Are
Henry Petroski, Vintage, 1994 ISBN 0679740392
This book may appear to be about the simple things of life—forks, paper clips, zippers—but in fact it is a historical adventure on the evolution of common culture. To trace the fork’s history, Duke University professor of civil engineering Henry Petroski travels from prehistoric times to Texas barbecue to Cardinal Richelieu to England’s Industrial Revolution to the American Civil War—and beyond. Appropriate for adults.

You Wouldn’t Want to Work on the Brooklyn Bridge!

Twenty-one Elephants and Still Standing by April Jones Prince 

The World’s Most Amazing Bridges by Michael Hurley 

Bridges! Amazing Structures to Design, Build, and Test 

Fabulous Bridges by Ian Graham 

A Book of Bridges: Here to There and Me to You by Cheryl Keely 

Pop’s Bridge by Eve Bunting 

Mackinac Bridge: The Story of the Five-Mile Poem by Gloria Whelan 

Bridges: An Introduction to Ten Great Bridges and Their Designers by Didier Cornille 

The Science of a Bridge Collapse by Nikole Brooks Bethea 


Engineers Are Real People

Engineered!: Engineering Design at Work

Engineer Academy
Steve Martin and Nastia Sleptsova

eGFI Kids’ Book:  If I Were an Engineer
Introduce kids ages 5 to 8 to engineering through rhyme

Technology:  Cool Women Who Code
Andi Diehn, Nomad Press, 2015, ISBN 978161303256
Profiles of women in technology bring computer-related fields to life for teens. Questions ask the reader to consider societal and personal implications of different career choices. QR codes link to online resources.

The Existential Pleasures of Engineering
Samuel C. Florman, St. Martin’s Griffin, 1996 ISBN 0312141041
Florman celebrates engineering while correcting the myth that engineering is cold and passionless. Florman gives readers a practical, creative, and even amusing philosophy of engineering that boasts of pride in his craft. Appropriate for adults.

James Nasmyth, Engineer; An Autobiography
James Nasmyth and Samuel Smiles, Nabu Press, 2011 ISBN 1172906734
The autobiography of one of the last pioneers of the machine tool industry and an amateur astronomer, James Nasmyth, who was most famous for his invention of both the steam hammer and the hydraulic press, instruments still used in engineering today. Appropriate for adults.

Engineering Legends: Great American Civil Engineers
Richard Weingardt, American Society of Civil Engineers, ISBN 0784408017
Throughout history civil engineers have made an enormous impact on the progress and development of this nation. While their engineering achievements are regularly recognized, the engineers themselves are rarely discussed. Engineering Legends provides a unique view into the history and progress of 32 great American civil engineers, from the 1700’s to the present. It explores the personal lives and professional accomplishments of these outstanding engineers, providing an in-depth look at the people behind these achievements. Appropriate for adults.

Smart Technology (e.g., Clean Energy)

Harness It :  Invent New Ways to Harness Energy and Nature
Tammy Enz,, Capstone Press, 2012, ISBN 9781429676335
Enz provides step-by-step instructions for building projects, including a solar cooker. Appropriate for ages 8–11.

Solar Cell and Renewable Energy Experiments
Edwin Sobey, Enslow, 2011, ISBN 9780766033054
Sobey offers background information and step-by-step instructions for conducting experiments related to electricity, solar power, wind power, and hydropower. Ideas for science fair projects are also provided. Appropriate for ages 11–14.

Energy: Its Use and the Environment
Roger A. Hinrichs and Merlin H. Kleinbach, Brooks Cole, 2005 ISBN: 0495010855
This book emphasizes the physical principles behind energy and its effects on our environment, explaining the basic physical principles behind the use of energy, including the study of mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, and atomic and nuclear physics. By placing energy issues within the context of everyday examples and asking the reader to define and support critical arguments, this book offers a provocative approach to this crucial issue. Appropriate for adults.

Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air
David JC MacKay, UIT Cambridge, 2009 ISBN: 0954452933
This book addresses the sustainable energy crisis by analyzing the relevant numbers and organizing a plan for change on both a personal level and an international scale. In case study format, this informative reference answers questions surrounding nuclear energy, the potential of sustainable fossil fuels, and the possibilities of sharing renewable power with foreign countries. Appropriate for adults.

Energy: A Beginner’s Guide
Vaclav Smil, Oneworld, 2006 ISBN: 1851684522
This book offers a sweeping view of the ways energy moves the economy and ecology. Smil provides the reader with a greater understanding of energy’s place in the past and present. Appropriate for adults.

Energy Systems Engineering: Evaluation and Implementation
Francis Vanek and Louis Albright, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008 ISBN: 0071495932
Energy Systems Engineering presents a systems approach to future energy needs, covering carbon-based, nuclear, and renewable energy sources. This unique guide explores the latest technology within each energy systems area, the benefits and liabilities of each, the challenges posed by changing energy supplies, the negative impacts from energy consumption, especially CO2 emissions, and the ways in which a portfolio of new technologies can address these problems. Appropriate for adults.

Windmills by Charlotte Hunter 

Energy Island: How One Community Harnessed the Wind and Changed Their World by Allan Drummond 

Catch the Wind; Harness the Sun: 22 Super-Charged Science Projects for Kids by Michael J Caduto 

100 ways to make the world better!


<< Return to Books