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Energy Efficiency Engineers

History

Engineering has been a part of civilization since early time. The application of engineering plans, methods, and tools were used to solve problems and improve life. Early engineers contributed to the creation of the Egyptian pyramids, the Romans' aqueducts and roadways, and, in more modern days, electricity, dams, motor vehicles, nuclear energy, and more.

The roots of engineering are in the five basic machines created by ancient Greeks, who used geometry to develop the wheel, pulley, lever, wedge, and screw. Ancient Roman engineers improved water delivery to homes and increased transportation and trade through their creation of roads, bridges, and aqueducts.

Knowledge of physics and mathematics developed further in the 17th century with Isaac Newton's studies of math, physics, and optics. Newton's work led to his three laws of motion, known to all engineers today: an object in a state of inertia will stay in that state unless acted upon by another object (concept of Force); acceleration occurs when force of one object acts upon another object, with the formula being F=ma (concept of Mass); and for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction (concept of Motion).

Schools for engineering were introduced in the late 18th century, as governments realized the importance of having engineers in the military. Engineers also contributed to the Industrial Revolution, with new processes for steel and iron production, the introduction of steam power, and numerous building projects for new railroads and other vehicles, bridges, dams, and other structures.

The 19th century brought inventions such as the telegraph, telephone, light bulb, and electric motor. The 20th century abounded with engineering innovations, including airplanes, submarines, and navigational systems. Nuclear power was introduced with the first atom bomb, and was later used to generate power.

Interest in energy usage and energy efficiency grew in the 1970s, when oil-producing countries severely limited the amount of petroleum shipped to other countries. This caused an oil crisis in the United States in 1973, and raised awareness that other energy resources, as well as energy conservation, needed to be explored. In the decades since, federal, state, and local governments have established laws and public policies to improve energy efficiency and productivity. The field of energy efficiency engineer is a result of this increased focus on energy efficiency. Today, a wide variety of industries and companies employ energy efficiency engineers for help with developing new energy systems or improving their current energy usage.

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