Fields of Engineering

There are many fields of Engineering.  Click on the links below to learn a bit about some of the more popular ones. You can study most of these topics within our faculty, either in stand-alone degrees or as an options within other programs.



Chemical engineers are involved with the research, construction and operation of equipment and processes related to the development and manufacture of various chemicals and chemical products.

From the development of new processes or products at the laboratory stage, the chemical engineer is responsible for translating them to production proportions, in which large quantities of materials are moved by conveyor or pipeline, and processed in large vessels equipped with automatic controls. Continuous processing is regulated more and more by computers, at the laboratory level as well as production.

Chemical engineers may be involved in hydro-metallurgical extraction, or in the manufacture of natural rubber, pulp and paper, fertilizers, soaps and detergents, salts, resins, pharmaceuticals, petroleum products, paints and varnishes, protective coatings, plastics and synthetics. There are also many areas of application in the food processing industries.

Other fields are in environmental pollution control, biomedical engineering and space technology.

Newly graduated chemical engineers are normally employed in junior positions, assigned to work with more experienced engineers. With necessary ability, they can expect to move up to greater responsibility in design, operations, marketing, consulting or management.
Civil Engineering

Broadly speaking, civil engineers design and supervise the construction of roads, highways, bridges, airports, railways, harbours, buildings, tunnels, hydro-electric plants, water supply and sewage systems. In fact, many specialize in one phase of civil engineering, such as highway, sanitary, soil, or hydraulic engineering.

Many civil engineers have direct contact with clients and the public. Often they are members of interdisciplinary teams on large projects requiring knowledge, ability and a variety of skills. Whether operating as an individual or on a project team, leadership is required, and opportunities exist to assume control, and exercise supervisory and managerial responsibility.

Today’s new structural design techniques involving pre-stressed concrete, high tensile steels and newly-developed composite materials have opened up exciting possibilities in the field.

The burgeoning growth of urban and regional areas require civil engineers for the development of infrastructure of the types just mentioned as well as transit and transportations systems and the various environmental controls to meet increasingly stringent standards for air and water purity, and noise levels.

Civil engineering graduates may find employment in large industrial organizations, federal, provincial and municipal governments, educational institutions, the construction industry, consulting engineering, the logging and wood products industry, and the iron and steel industry.
Computer and Electrical

Electrical and Computer Engineering are very similar except Computer Engineers deal with integrated circuit boards and digital electronic devices of all kinds. Both are involved in the design and construction of systems which generate, transmit, control and utilize electrical energy, and the development and manufacture of a wide variety of electrical devices. Those engineers specializing in the power field are concerned with the design and development of heavy equipment such as generators, power transmission and distributing systems used by utilities, control systems, and other electrical applications used by industry, commerce and the public.

Engineers in the field of communications are involved with the development, manufacture and maintenance of systems and techniques, such as fibre optic networks, digital switching relays and satellite communication links. Many electrical engineers in the communications field work to increase and improve the services offered by telephone and telecommunications providers.

Electrical engineers may also find employment with manufacturers of electrical and electronics equipment, including the automation and control of complex electrical systems, computers, and data processing. A new branch of electrical engineering known as computer engineering is now emerging that is dedicated to the design of digital systems of all types.

They may also be concerned with the maintenance of large industrial organizations, or employed by various government agencies.

The electrical engineer may fill positions in design, development, research, operations, and management in any of these fields.
Environmental and Biosystems Engineering

Environmental Engineering and Biosystems Engineering are offered through the same department. 

Environmental Engineering is a rapidly-growing discipline. Students learn various approaches to environment-based design, waste management, water and soil quality, energy conservation and renewables, and air quality.

Biosystems engineers apply the techniques of engineering to problems associated with agricultural production. The provision of services to farmers through various government agencies has been a major concern of agricultural engineers. However, the activities of agricultural engineers cover a broad spectrum, from research, development and design to manufacture, operation and marketing in various organizations within the agricultural industry.

Areas of specialization include: tractive power equipment; agricultural machinery; irrigation and drainage; soil management; electrical power applications; handling and processing of materials; farm structures; plant and animal environment control; and food processing.

In recent years there has been a trend for agricultural engineering as a discipline to encompass all biological resource industries (agriculture, fisheries, forestry, food processing) including their impact on the environment. A Biosystems Engineer, in the broadest sense, is a Biological Resource Engineer concerned with applying the techniques of engineering to the production and processing of plant and animal materials.

A wide variety of challenges and opportunities is available to professional engineers with an education which includes training in biology together with engineering. Employment may be found with industrial organizations, government agencies, and consultant firms. An engineering education is also an excellent preparation for a career as an independent farm manager.

Environmental Consulting Career Advice



Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineers are concerned with the design, improvement, and installation of integrated systems of men, materials and equipment. The techniques of industrial engineering embody specialized knowledge and skill in mathematics, the physical and social sciences, the use of computer systems, together with the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design, to specify, predict and evaluate the results to be obtained from those systems.

Many industrial engineers work in the manufacturing industries, where they are involved with ergonomics, methods engineering, time and motion studies, plant layout, facilities and material planning, production and quality control, training programs, value analysis, accident prevention, and wage incentive planning.

The industrial engineer, then, is involved with the application of engineering principles to produce industrial products in the most efficient and economical manner.

Employment may be found in service industries of all kinds, basic and manufacturing industries, warehouses, wholesalers and retail stores, transportation services, offices, public services, and public utilities.

Opportunities for advancement to management and executive positions are available to those who have demonstrated the necessary attributes.
Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineers are concerned with the design, development, manufacture, sale, operation and maintenance of machinery or mechanical devices that produce, transmit, or consume power, or employ heat energy. Such devices range from household plumbing to pneumatic actuator systems in aircraft, and from household appliances to gyro stabilizers.

Several specialized areas of employment are available to graduates of mechanical engineering, and include machine design, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, refrigeration, power plants, development of water control works, the automotive and aerospace industries and thermal and nuclear power and process plants.

Others may be engaged in the field of power generation dealing with steam, diesel or other internal combustion engines; hydraulic or gas turbines; power transmission; locomotives, marine vessels; boilers, pressure vessels and heat exchangers; motors and generators; machine tools. Mechanical engineers are employed in such industries as mining, transportation, oil refining, communications, paper, sugar refining, textiles, construction and chemical manufacture, and all levels of government and educational institutions.

Generally, mechanical engineers prepare specifications and cost estimates for machinery, equipment or plants. They direct feasibility studies and the testing of pilot plants or prototypes, evaluating and recommending modifications or improvements. They also work at quality control, production scheduling, and the development of more efficient methods and techniques. New graduates are assigned routine duties under close supervision and as they gain experience and demonstrate their ability to assume greater responsibility, the degree of supervision is relaxed. Recognition of engineering ability and leadership qualities often leads to senior engineering and management positions.
Other Fields of Engineering

AEROSPACE ENGINEERING - The art and science of designing, developing, manufacturing and operating air-borne and space vehicles, and their associated ground systems.

The use of engineering knowledge to improve the well-being of man, and the construction of instruments, artificial organs ands systems for medical practice and biological research.

GEOLOGICAL ENGINEERING - The study of rocks and soil of an area to determine its surface and subsurface structure, and the application of the results to the exploration and development of mineral deposits, and the planning and construction of dams, buildings, highways, etc.

MINERAL RESOURCE ENGINEERING (MINING ENGINEER) - are involved in planning, organizing and managing the complex operation of a mining enterprise. Their work entails the development of new methods of drilling, the general improvement of the mining environment, and the sociology of mining. Not only are their skills applied to conventional methods of mining ore deposits but also to unconventional methods in the exploitation of marine resources and design of tunnels, underground power houses, and dam foundations.

PETROLEUM ENGINEERING - The study of the earth’s crust in relation to its deposits of oil and gas, and their recovery for commercial purposes. Engineering

PHYSICS - The application of the principles of physics and chemistry to design machinery and processes

There are many specialized fields and most of these programs are offered as graduate programs.

Possible Careers

Graduates from Acadia’s ENGINEERING program have gone on to successful careers in:


Automobile and Aviation Engine Design

Machine, Tool, and Process Design

Highway, Bridge, Roadway Design

Construction Management

Consulting Engineer


Manufacturing Plant Management

Research and Development Engineer

Electrical Automation Design

Oil Refinery Management

Mine Management

Automatic Control System Design

New Materials Research

Water and Waste Water Treatment

Alternative Energy Research

Environmental Impact Assessment

Sales of Highly Technical and Specialized Products

Civil Infrastructure Design