Here we collect 10 essential engineering problems to get you
thinking before you embark on your degree. We recommend that you
try them over the summer before starting university as they will
give you a good mathematical grounding in the topics likely to
arise in your degree course.
Remember, these problems are designed to make you think and there
is not necessarily a 'right' answer. Approach them in a thoughtful
way; they are hopefully both interesting and stimulating. What
questions do they raise in you mind? Where do these questions lead
you? Take them to a level that feels comfortable for you.
Finally, once you have done the problems, study the solutions.
These will give you additional insights into the problems and the
underlying mathematics and physics.
||Well-reasoned estimates and carefully considered approximations
are crucial in engineering. Here you can hone these skills whilst
drawing on your knowledge of science and mathematics.
Dam Busters 1
||This problem will help you to review your kinematics by giving
a different approach to the standard problem of motion of a
projectile. A follow-on problem is available on the
||This problem provides a situation in which you can draw your
skills of mechanics and modelling together in a study of time and
||Statics in a critical concept in engineering. Here you can
explore how tensions and thrusts interact in a static structure,
which will develop your skills with vectors. A follow-on problem is
available on the
Building up friction
||School concepts of modelling will be refined and made more
realistic in university contexts. Here you can explore how friction
can complicate modelling matters.
||Power is critical concept. Explore power to weight ratios and
its implications in various settings.
||Develop your skills with logic gates by building a binary
||You will need to have clear recording and visualising to be
able to represent the sound waves propogating from these
NOT another NAND
||Logic gates underlie the workings of the computer. Find out
here which gates form the basic logical unit from which all others
can be built.
||This problem will thoroughly test your pattern spotting and
systematic experimentation and problem solving skills as you try to
reverse-engineer the algorithm the computer uses firstly to
identify a pattern and secondly to determine if it is likely to be
These articles will be of interest:
Who Is an Engineer? A Quick Perspective After One Year of a
University Engineering Course