The Engineering Body of Knowledge

The National Society of Professional Engineers has released the first edition of “The Engineering Body of Knowledge” (EBOK), a first effort on behalf of the profession in defining the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for the practice of engineering as a professional engineer in responsible charge of engineering activities that may impact public health, safety, and welfare. The EBOK is intended to apply to all disciplines of engineering.

The 60-page document is intended for a broad audience—engineer interns and practicing engineering supervisors and mentors, employers, engineering students and faculty, licensing boards, engineering societies, accreditors, and specialty certification boards. It addresses three basic topics: guiding principles and trends that will shape the practice of engineering in the future, the key requisite attributes of professional engineers, and the broadly described capabilities and abilities necessary for the professional practice of engineering. The EBOK purposely does not tease apart what of these knowledge, skills, and attitudes should be imparted in education and experience, as both are critical and will vary considerably in different disciplines and employment situations.

Thirteen key attributes are suggested. The successful professional engineer needs to be:

  • Analytical and practical;
  • Thorough and detail oriented in design;
  • Creative;
  • Communicative;
  • Able to apply mathematics and sciences;
  • Knowledgeable in a selected field of engineering and conversant in related technical fields;
  • Skillful in management;
  • Able to provide leadership;
  • Professional and positive in attitude;
  • Aware of societal considerations in an increasingly global context;
  • Aware of laws, standards and codes;
  • Ethical in practice; and
  • Dedicated to increasingly critical lifelong learning.

This might seem to be a “tall order,” but think about practicing engineering absent any of these key attributes.

Thirty basic capabilities of professional engineers and related abilities necessary in the practice of engineering are broadly defined, in three basic categories as listed below:

Basic or Foundational: mathematics, natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences.

Technical: manufacturing/construction, design, engineering economics, engineering science, engineering tools, experiments, problem recognition and solving, quality control/assurance, risk and uncertainty, safety, societal impact, operations and maintenance, sustainability, and technical breadth and depth.

Professional Practice: business aspects, communication, ethical responsibility, global awareness, leadership, legal aspects of engineering, lifelong learning, professional attitudes, project management, public policy, and teamwork.

Think about these capabilities in your engineering practice. Do all of them apply in your practice? Are there others that are not mentioned?

Finally, Are you proud of become professional Engineer?


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One Response to The Engineering Body of Knowledge

  1. Akbar says:

    nice share. may i to ask such as whether your understanding of what had been conveyed?

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