Resources & Tools for Engineering Students Networks, Tips and Technologies to Boost Engineering Careers

The rapid development of engineering software and mobile applications makes it possible for engineers to have tools and solutions at their fingertips. Students and those embarking on a career in engineering can use the following to find free classes and webinars, discover effective networking strategies to search for jobs in their field, and read the latest scholarly publications on theory and application.

Education & Skill Development

Each of the 17 major engineering disciplines has professional societies and career development organizations. Associations, institutes and private engineering schools offer certification, advanced courses and seminar programs. Engineers continue learning in the classroom, at conferences and seminars, and on the job. Fundamentals are available from free massive open online courses (MOOCs).

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

ASCE provides continuing education to civil engineers seeking advanced training and certifications. Options include face-to-face instruction, live webinars, P.E. and S.E. exam reviews and on-site corporate training.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

Professionals can sign up for career development programs at ASME that provide certification training in HVAC, nuclear quality assurance, and bioprocessing. Assessment tests are offered for certification candidates.

Canvas Network

Canvas provides open, online engineering courses taught by educators from major universities at no cost. Current courses are available in unmanned aerospace systems, physics for animators, communications boot-camp, project management, technical documentation, and data privacy.

Coursera

This MOOC pioneer has partnerships with the nation’s elite engineering colleges and universities, allowing Coursera to offer free classes in topics such as big data, machine learning, strategic management and innovation, applications in engineering mechanics, dynamics of motion, and mechanics of materials.

CourseTalk

Another MOOC aggregator, CourseTalk has 325 course listings in the engineering disciplines, including studies in circuit analysis, aerospace engineering, artificial intelligence and robotics, VLSI CAD, compilers, nanotechnology, nuclear science, and fuel cells.

edX

A MOOC offering free courses, edX currently lists 115 engineering classes in subjects such as astrophysics, robotics, big data, Six-Sigma, structural engineering for bridges, wastewater engineering, circuits and electronics, nanotechnology, thermodynamics, signal processing, and climate change.

Engineering.com

The engineering megasite maintains an extensive resources section that publishes white papers, ebooks, research findings and webinars. Members receive unlimited access to resources and newsletters.

Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE)

Professional engineers can receive LEAN and Six Sigma “green belt” training from the IIE. Other training programs from the institute provide courses in engineering management and industrial engineering.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers free online classes through practice exercises and instructional videos from top engineering college partners including NASA, MIT, and The California Academy of Science. Courses are coordinated through a personalized dashboard that tracks student progress through the curriculum.

MIT OpenCourseware

Massachusetts Institute of Technology was a pioneer of MOOCs and today hosts nearly 900 classes from its engineering faculty, offered free of charge. Engineering fields represented include mechanical, electrical, materials, civil and environmental, biological, chemical, nuclear science, and aeronautics.

MOOC List

Engineering students seeking free courses from top universities can find a wide range of classes, from introductory to post-graduate level engineering topics, at the MOOC aggregator. Recent classes included practical machine learning, signals and systems, hydraulics, numerical methods for engineers, dynamic controls, structural engineering for bridges, vehicle dynamics and robotics.

National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL)

The seven Indian Institutes of Technology have created this tech MOOC offering e-courses in topics such as non-linear dynamics, manufacturing systems, wireless communications, modern construction materials, the physics of materials, and propulsion systems.

National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)

Every year, NSPE offers 15 free courses to member engineers. Current offerings include studies in engineering ethics, sustainable development, team building, trends in seismic shifts, designing for high wind, and engineering leadership.

Open Learning Initiative, Carnegie Mellon University (OLI)

Carnegie Mellon’s OLI program has served up free courses to more than 45,000 students. Current offerings include classes in biochemistry, evidence-based practice in managing, logic and proofs, probability and statistics, and public policy analysis for engineers.

PDHdirect

Engineers seeking professional development hours, courses, or certificates to meet continuing education requirements will find more than 200 online, interactive courses and webinars in civil engineering, electrical engineering, environmental, industrial, materials, sustainability, HVAC, petroleum, and others at PDHdirect.

PDHengineer

PDH provides online engineering continuing education for professionals renewing their PE licenses. Subject areas include civil, electrical, geotechnical, HVAC, industrial, materials, oil and gas, renewable energy, and state-specific engineering.

RedVector

Professional training firm RedVector provides 1,300 continuing education courses for professional engineers. Programs include OSHA 30 training and CE training in engineering disciplines of chemical, architectural, construction, energy, minerals and mining, pulp and paper, and facilities management.

Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)

The largest society of petroleum engineers and scientists offers a SPE-certification course curriculum, webinars, and recorded classes. It also provides advanced PE courses, offered at locations across the globe.

Stanford Online

Engineering students have free access to Stanford University lectures and classes via iTunes and through Stanford Online. Recent courses include the Stanford LEAD certificate, economics of energy technologies, statistical learning, and the science of decision making.

Young Engineers in ASHRAE (YEA)

Designed to promote education and career development of young engineers, the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) created YEA to offer technical training weekends, HVAC Design Essentials scholarships, awards programs and the YEA Connection newsletter.

Academics & Research

Whether or not an engineering graduate student is required to complete a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation depends on the individual degree program. Some programs, particularly on the master’s level, offer both thesis and non-thesis degree options. Nevertheless, engineering grad students will be required to carry out some level of research as part of their degree programs. The sites linked below are provided to help engineering grad students get a feel for what is available online to aid them in conducting their research.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

The DOAJ is a not-for-profit organization whose site provides access to over 10,000 open access journals concerning all areas of science, technology and other subjects.

Microsoft Academic Search

Microsoft search engine that provides a connection to nearly 50 million publications including those from scientific journals in subjects such as engineering, computer science, and more.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

An agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the NIST website offers a broad selection of information and data sources for engineers, including scientific databases and an engineering statistics handbook.

National Technical Information Service (NTIS)

Another source provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The NTIS website provides access to approximately 3 million publications covering over 350 subject areas, including government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business related information.

NSSN Search Engine for Standards

Sponsored by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), this search engine provides users with standards-related information from a variety of developers, including government agencies, international organizations, private sector standards bodies and ANSI-accredited organizations.

SciCentral

SciCentral primarily functions as a news aggregate and ranking site for breaking scientific research news, including engineering-related news. The site also provides access to a number of non-news resources such as literature search toolsutilities and directories.

Science Direct

The search engine at Science Direct allows individuals to search for information regarding peer-reviewed journals, articles, book chapters and other content, much of which is offered via open-access platform.

Science.gov

Science.gov searches over 60 databases and more than 2200 websites from 15 federal agencies, resulting in access to 200 million pages of U.S. government science information including research and development information and data.

SciTech Connect

SciTech Connect is the U.S. Department of Energy’s clearinghouse site for its science, technology and engineering research information. Individuals can use the site’s search engine to access full text to studies, citations, software and much more.

United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Library

The NRC Library site provides access to the agency’s publically-released documents and data. A substantial amount of documentation is available for review online, while other information and data can be obtained through the library’s record retrieval systems.

Internships

Dedication, persistence and commitment are indispensable for landing an engineering job. The following job sites and internship resources also provide essential tools for researching engineering openings, credentials, or professional networks. Thousands of engineering openings are updated daily including jobs in particular disciplines posted on smaller job sites and professional association career centers.

Boeing Aircraft

Leading aerospace manufacturer Boeing offers a 12-week undergraduate and graduate Engineering Intern Program, held at one of its 11 research and development centers located around the globe.

Engineering Jobs.com

More than 5,000 internships are listed at this job site in a range of disciplines including civil, construction, mechanical, design, research and development, field testing and machine learning. Employers include Granite Construction, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Intel, Sachs Electric, Sandia National Laboratories, SpaceX, Go Pro, Seagate, Corning, and Priceline.

Five Great Engineering and Technology Internships for 2016

From Forbes Magazine, a roundup of five engineering internships, including the compensation, perks, how to apply and how well they’re viewed by the industry. The top internships (ranked in order by Forbes) are at Boeing, 3M, Computer Sciences Corporation, CH2M Hill, and SpaceX.

Glassdoor

This megasite that evaluates companies and corporate culture recently listed 12,000 engineering internships in mechanical, civil, software, electrical, structural, applications, and process engineering students. Companies recently seeking interns include Lockheed Martin, Bechtel, Sony Playstation, Novetta, TE Connectivity, Carfax, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Facebook.

Google

The innovative search company offers students year-round technical and product development internships at its facilities and labs. Recent internships were advertised for students of mechanical engineering, quantitative analysis, reliability testing, and software engineering.

GovCentral

Part of Monster.com, this federal jobs/internships site features “The Ultimate Government Internship Index”, a roundup of special federal internships by department, a list of branches and agencies, and articles on landing government placements.

IEEE Job Site

Managed by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Job Site hosts a searchable engineering job bank, job-seeker tools, career fair listings, and current news in engineering hiring. There’s a special student section for entry level jobs.

Internships.com

Intern candidates are matched with internship opportunities at this site which allows students to search by location or discipline. Recent internships were listed for Mitsubishi Electric, Honda, Lakeview Industries, THX Ltd., Intel, Women’s iLab, Conoco Phillips, Verizon and Ericsson.

LinkedIn

As part of their vast professional networking company, Linked-In maintains an engineering internship board. Among the 6,000 recent opportunities were internships with Global Nomadic, Groupon, Google, Amazon, Tumblr, Verizon, NuScale Power, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Rolls-Royce and Facebook.

Looksharp

The engine behind Looksharp allows students to search engineering internships among 17 disciplines in the field. Recent internships were listed for BlueStamp Engineering, Allegro MicroSystems, Inc., Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, American Engineering Testing Inc., Campbell Soup Company, Fedex Ground, Streck, Hewlett Packard, and Consolidated Container Company.

Washington Internship for Students of Engineering (WISE)

Engineering students from more than 50 colleges and universities have received these nine-week internships in the nation’s capital to learn the legislative process and conduct original research leading to a paper on engineering public policy.

Groups & Networking

An engineering employment expert writes that whether entering the workforce or looking to rise to management, engineers have little success without networking. Joining campus or regional chapters of professional engineering associations and posting at networking sites or on engineering forums – such as at Engineering.com – build credibility and link with colleagues.

American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)

Student members that join ASEE receive publications, access to an engineering job board, fellowship listings, workshops and discounted participation at national and local conferences.

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

The AIAA is the largest technical society representing the aerospace professions. A center of information exchange, the institute has published 200,000 technical articles and 300 books. Student membership ($25 per year) provides access to ongoing learning, networking and career assistance.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

The largest professional organization in the field, IEEE publishes a third of all technical literature in electronics, computer science, and electrical engineering. Member benefits include a job board, continuing education, career development resources and networking opportunities.

Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE)

The IIE offers student memberships to this international society of efficiency and productivity professionals. Membership grants website access to the institute’s career center, job board, webinars, newsletters, the Industrial Engineer magazine, and Six Sigma training courses.

National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)

For more than 80 years, the NSPE has represented licensed engineers across all disciplines. Its online resources provide members access to industry news, free online seminars, a job board, licensure programs and networking opportunities at its annual conference.

Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)

SPE advocates for education and career development of professional engineers in the oil and gas industries. Membership includes access to OnePetro, an online library of more than 105,000 documents culled from national and international petroleum engineering organizations.

American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES)

AAEES offers special student memberships for free that come with subscriptions to its publications, Environmental Engineer and Scientist, and Environmental Engineering and Science Resource Guidebook. The academy offers Board-Certified Environmental Engineer designations for qualified applicants.

American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)

Representing 45,000 chemical engineering students and professionals from more than 100 nations, AIChE offers its members professional and technical training programs, webinars, technical publications, career and employment services and a resume database.

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

The ASCE is made up of more than 146,000 professional and student members pursuing civil engineering careers. Student members have access to seminars, webinars and continuing education, newsletters, publications, and participation in student member groups in nine regions of the country.

American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)

Student members find networking opportunities within and beyond ASEE. They also receive publications, access to an engineering job board, fellowship listings, workshops and discounted participation at national and local conferences.

American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)

More than 53,000 member professionals and students in the HVAC fields find educational, networking, news, and career resources online at the ASHRAE website. Student members can enter design competitions and find internships in HVAC.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

ASME serves engineers from students and early-career professionals to academic experts, senior leadership and executives in the mechanical field. Its website site offers useful tips, tools and information on conferences and competitions.

An Awkward Engineer’s Guide to Professional Networking

This LinkedIn article not only provides insightful guidance on building a network, the author invites readers to sign up for his newsletter. Talk about networking!

Associations – Science and Technology

This master list of nearly 400 science and technology associations contains thumbnail summaries and links to organizations of interest to engineering students looking to build networks.

Engineering Exchange

More than 11,000 engineers from around the globe participate in 53 discussion groups that cover the engineering disciplines. The site is also home to engineering blogs, more than 1,700 videos, job listings, and white papers.

ENG-TIPS Forum

Join the engineering forums, swap ideas, get answers, and build community at Engineering.com. Find forums by industry, engineering discipline, codes and standards, project management, and corporate survival.

Google+

Engineers and students can create Circles in their Google+ account that creates an instant network or community. Circles can overlap, or be restricted to identifiers such as friends, family, mentors, recruiters, peers, or educators.

LinkedIn

One of the world’s largest career networking sites, LinkedIn today has nearly 16,000 independent groups and forums for engineers. By joining, members can make daily posts on their specialty as they build extensive networks of employers, mentors, peers, and recruiters.

Professional Associations for Engineers

The staff at Monster.com has compiled a list of 80 engineering societies, institutes and associations that offer networking opportunities for their members.

Twitter

Even techies that hate to write will have little trouble composing the 140 character “tweets” they send to their networks. The Twitter site has a Technology & science page that’s a great place to start networking.

Ways of Networking for Employment Opportunities and Career Growth

Read advice from Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers in this article that focuses on the use of a mentor for building a strong engineering career network.

Industry News & Scholarship

Engineering professions and supporting knowledge communities stay informed about advancements in theory and practice. Commercial, professional and scholarly publications provide macro and micro views of the disciplines. Some dedicated engineering magazines and trade journals are available with memberships or subscriptions while other journals are freely available for viewing and downloading.

Civil Engineering Magazine

Produced for members by The American Society of Civil Engineers, current and archived copies of the digital magazine is available for members. There’s also free access for all to exclusive articles on architectural engineering, engineering mechanics, computing and IT, geomatics, and climate change.

EE Times

This global electronics magazine carries articles on the EE industry, breaking news, engineer’s bookshelf, and information on mobile tech, open source, industrial control, embedded systems and semiconductors.

Engineering.com

Dedicated to “Inform. Inspire. Entertain”, this mega-site for engineers rounds up industry news with information devoted to CAD, CAE, CAM, BIM, 3D printing, electronics and engineering education.

Engineering News-Record (ENR)

Founded as an engineering journal in 1874, ENR today is an essential publication for engineering professionals with its articles on design and construction trends, legislation and the environment.

ME Today

Designed by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers to serve early career engineers, ME Today keeps readers up to speed on issues and industry trends, emerging technology and campus related engineering news.

Petroleum News Online

Students in petroleum or energy engineering disciplines can keep up with oil and gas news, international and North American trends, litigation and market issues.

Popular Science

Students preferring digital content should love this iPad app that delivers the latest and archived PS issues of “the latest news and features on the people, technologies, and gadgets shaping the future.”

ScienceDaily

The large engineering sections of ScienceDaily serves up pithy articles, videos and tutorials for a wide range of disciplines including 3D printing, energy resources, machine learning, metallurgy, communications, robotics, aviation, thermodynamics, and nanotechnology.

Wi – Wireless & RF Magazine

Wi, published monthly by EEWeb, is free for viewing and for PDF download. Each issue features wireless product reviews, tech reports, tech trends and industry news.

Woman Engineer

Women studying engineering fields in college can scour current and achieved editions of the magazine, each packed with career advice, certification trends, and a list of companies currently recruiting engineers.

AIAA Journal

The monthly journal published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics features scholarly articles with information on theoretical developments and experimental findings.

AIChE Journal

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers publishes the journal each month for members. Scholarly articles are organized by specialization, with sections dedicated to fields like bioengineering, particle technology, soft materials, inorganic materials, thermodynamics, process systems engineering and fluid mechanics.

Curious Cat

Considered one of the top engineering sites in the blogosphere, Curious Cat is a rich cornucopia of articles, reviews, and blog categories in scientific inquiry, innovation, research, technology, education and gadgets.

Engineering Ethics Blog

Managed by an engineering consultant and educator, the EEB blog examines the powerful choices facing engineers in an age typified by environmental, political and spiritual challenges. It is among the top visited engineering blogs, according to Google.

International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences

Rock engineering students and professionals will find publications of original research, case studies, and new developments at this peer-reviewed, open-access journal.

Journal of Applied Mechanical Engineering

This open-access journal has featured topics including mechanical systems, robotics methods, fluid bodies, applied theories on machines, and thermodynamic methods.

Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering

This peer-reviewed journal features articles and studies on building material, environmental engineering, computation fluid dynamics, geotechnical engineering, pollution control, water quality and wastewater treatment.

Journal of Engineering

Published by Britain’s Institution of Engineering and Technology, the journal focuses on engineering in biomedical, civil, computing, electrical, energy, materials, mechanical and nanotechnology disciplines.

Journal of Fluid Mechanics

This peer-reviewed journal, published online by Cambridge University Press, is published twice monthly with original writings on computational, theoretical and experimental findings in FM. Site includes movies and open-access articles.

NANO Letters

The American Chemical Society publishes research findings and scholarly articles on the theory and practice of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Focus includes chemistry, physics, materials science and chemical engineering.

Apps, Tools & Tech in Engineering

Engineers invent for engineers. While educational and professional challenges are part of the engineering life, there are apps, cloud-based software suites, and hardware that can streamline learning and practice. Apps on all platforms can help speed computations, test new formulas, crunch field data and document everything, across all possible devices. Many are available for free at app stores for iOS, Android and Microsoft phones and tablets. Other manufacturers may only offer free trials.

Autodesk ForceEffect Motion

Android users can create moving mechanical systems right on their mobile devices. The program features drawing, constraining, and simulation toolsets.

Engineering Cookbook

An android reference resource for mechanical designers, the cookbook provides immediate online access to industry information on air quality ventilation rates, guidelines for sound and vibration, and heating and cooling estimation.

Engineering Professional

More than 650 formulas make up the backbone of this iOS program designed for students and professionals in civil, chemical, mechanical, electrical, environmental and hydraulic engineering.

Engineering Unit Converter

The spinning wheel interface to this app for androids allows researchers and students dial up conversions based on length, electric charge, energy, entropy and other factors. Works on the net or offline.

Engineers Point

Students preparing for JEE, GATE, IES, PSU and other engineering-related exams can use this Android app to study and review curriculum and take mock tests in engineering disciplines.

FingerCAD

This iTunes app provides a computer assist for engineers creating technical drawings by finger touch. Supports widescreen display.

Mechanical Engineering Magazine Online

The monthly flagship publication of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, this magazine is currently available for delivery through this app for android devices.

OfficeLens

This Windows-based tool allows users to edit captured images of white board and documents and format them for PowerPoint and PDF files saved to OneNote.

RealCalc Plus

Dump that handful of calculators dedicated to single purposes. RealCalc Plus for Android ($3.49) is a scientific calculator app that supports a palate of customizable configurations, as well as binary, octal and hexadecimal calculations.

WolframAlpha

Part search engine, part toolkit, iOS users can rely on Alpha as a knowledge base and deep resource for engineering students and professionals. The app is occasionally offered for no charge during promotional periods.

AutoCAD 360

Designed for the iOS, this free CAD app by Autodesk works in concert with a smart pen. It is updated by the manufacturer every two weeks.

Cross Section Property Calculator

This online tool can take simple or common structural shapes and calculate their properties using unit systems and dimensional information selected by the user.

E3.Series

Zuken offers web-based software for electrical wiring, control systems and fluid engineering. System includes pre-defined projects, parts libraries, MCAD/PDM/PLM integration and schematics. Free demos.

Engineering Field Tools (EFT)

The USDA has created a toolkit for engineers in conservation planning, natural resources assessment and ecological sciences. Applications include survey engineering tools, design tools and hydraulic formulas.

Engineering Toolbox

Engineering professionals and students can grab instant definitions and tools for technical applications from this collection of information on drawing tools, dynamics, electrical, fluid mechanics, HVAC, hydraulics, mathematics, materials and water systems.

HoloLens

Microsoft’s emerging Windows 10 hardware allows engineers to insert and view high-definition holograms that interact with the visible, physical environment. Engineers can collaborate using HoloNotes in Skype.

iCircuit

Available for Mac, Windows, and Android platforms, iCircuit is a simulation engine that works with both analog and digital circuits and is resourced by a multi-meter and more than 30 design elements.

MATLAB

The Swiss-Army Knife for scientists and engineers, Matlab hosts languages for data analysis/visualization, numerical computation, application development, mathematics functions, and documentation.

Rotring Pencils

From Germany comes the granddaddy of the stylus and mechanical pencils used by engineering students and professionals.

Steel Profiles

Find defined profiles for use (Android devices) in the US, Canada, UK, European, Japanese, and Russian steel industries. Data includes parametric and free-form profiles.