Engineering scientists have the skills to conduct scientific research and use the results to develop and design new materials, devices, sensors, and processes for a diverse range of application in communication, transportation, energy production, health, security, environment, and other cutting-edge commercial applications. Engineering science covers a wide range of subjects, from microelectronics to offshore oil rigs.
Traditionally, engineering has been considered different from science, because the latter has traditionally been misunderstood by many engineers and philosophers of science. Some engineers quote Theodore von Kármán saying: “Scientists study the world as it is, engineers create the world that has never been” . However, this is a gross mischaracterization of science that ignores traditional branches like inorganic chemical synthesis; as Marcelin Berthelot stated, “La chimie crée son object [chemistry creates its object]” .
It seems that those engineers and philosophers have missed the entire history of chemistry from the 16th century to recent times. The Chemical Abstract Service has been recording the phenomenal growth in patent filings over the last decade, with the number of chemistry-related patent publications increasing by more than five hundred percent, with the majority of patents registering new molecules that did not exist in nature before. Engineering chemistry is concerned with synthesizing new materials or recreating existing materials in industrial chemical plants.
Engineering science is closely related to synthetic science
, with the main difference between the two being the scale. The industrial environment in which engineering science is practiced involves not only large scale synthesis but also series production.