The Origins of Engineering   Search this site with Google  S-Index
  NS: The Origins of Engineering              
  FNF: ECOLE NORMALE SUPÉRIEURE (PARIS) Created in 1794. Basis Lakanals report.

The Origins of Engineering 2000-11-27

"The first engineers were military engineers, employed by the government, who concerned themselves with subjects such as roads, bridges, and fortifications.

The first schools of engineering were founded in France in the middle of the 18th Century.

By the turn of the Century, France had established military and polytechnic schools to teach engineering that produced such notables as Laplace, Lagrange, and Fourier. "


"Lagrange, Joseph Louis, Comte de (1736-1813),
   French mathematician and astronomer, born in Turin, Italy, and educated at the University of Turin.
He was appointed
- professor of geometry at the Turin military academy at the age of 19, and
- in 1758 he founded a society that later developed into the Turin Academy of Sciences.
- In 1766 he was appointed director of the Berlin Academy of Sciences  and
- 20 years later, at the invitation of King Louis XVI of France, went to Paris.

During the period of the French Revolution he was in charge of the commission for establishing a new system of weights and measures.
- He was made professor in the newly established École Normale after the French Revolution, and under Napoleon he was made a member of the Senate and given the rank of count.   
- One of the greatest mathematicians of the 18th century, he
  - created the calculus of variations,
  - systematized the field of differential equations, and worked on the theory of numbers.

Among his investigations in astronomy were calculations of the libration of the moon and motions of the planets. His greatest work is Mécanique analytique (1788). "


The Ecole Normale Supérieure as we know it today results from the merger, in 1985, of two separate institutions: the Ecole Normale Supérieure of the rue d'Ulm and the Ecole Normale Supérieure for Girls (Sèvres).

  The former was created in 1794. On the basis of a report issued by Lakanal, who spoke in the name of the Committee for Public Education, the Convention decreed the founding of 'a School in Paris to which citizens from all parts of the Republic, already instructed in useful branches of knowledge, would be called so that they might learn, from the most skilled teachers, the art of teaching'. "   

"4.  Ecoles d'ingénieurs à concours particuliers
99% - Directories & Lists: Quid. Écoles d'ingénieurs à concours particuliers.
Formations polyvalentes. Écoles polyvalentes. Recrutement. Écoles ayant un
mode de recrutement propre. Voir ... 06/16/2000
French site: WEB/ ENSEIGNE/ Q036370.HTM "
LAKANAL, Joseph (1762-1845) French politician, author, educator - France B361 
Joseph Lakanal

Britannica: History of Engineering,5716,108127+2+105842,00.html

"History of engineering

The first engineer known by name and achievement is
- Imhotep
, builder of the Step Pyramid at Saqqarah, Egypt, probably in about 2550 BC.

successors--Egyptian, Persian, Greek, and Roman--carried civil engineering to
remarkable heights on the basis of empirical methods aided by arithmetic,
geometry, and a smattering of physical science.

The Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria,
Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem,
the Colosseum in Rome,
the Persian and Roman road systems,
the Pont du Gard aqueduct in France
, and many other large structures,
some of which endure to this day, testify to their skill,
imagination, and daring.

Of many treatises written by them, one in particular survives to provide a picture of engineering education and practice in classical times: Vitruvius' De architectura, published in Rome in the 1st century AD, a
10-volume work covering building materials, construction methods, hydraulics, measurement, and town planning.

In construction medieval European engineers carried technique, in the form of the
Gothic arch and flying buttress, to a height unknown to the Romans. The
sketchbook of the 13th-century French engineer Villard de Honnecourt reveals a
wide knowledge of mathematics, geometry, natural and physical science, and

In Asia, engineering had a separate but very similar development, with more and
more sophisticated techniques of construction, hydraulics, and metallurgy helping
to create advanced civilizations such as the Mongol empire, whose large, beautiful
cities impressed Marco Polo in the 13th century.

Civil engineering emerged as a separate discipline in the 18th century
, when the
first professional societies and schools of engineering were founded. Civil
engineers of the 19th century built structures of all kinds, designed water-supply
and sanitation systems, laid out railroad and highway networks, and planned
cities. England and Scotland were the birthplace of mechanical engineering, as a
derivation of the inventions of the Scottish engineer James Watt and the textile
machinists of the Industrial Revolution. The development of the British
machine-tool industry gave tremendous impetus to the study of mechanical
engineering both in Britain and abroad."

See much more at:,5716,108127+2+105842,00.html

  1. LJ_Stjörnuverkfræðingar  



Motivation: The Hawthorne Effect

  Simply by making people feel valuable you
  increase their motivation and their performance!

This effect is independent of any changes in skill or knowledge!              

"The Hawthorne Effect at Work

Suppose you've taken a management trainee and given her specialized training in management skills she doesn't now possess.

Without saying a word, you've given the trainee the feeling that she is so valuable to the organization that you'll spend time and money to develop her skills.

She feels she's on a track to the top, and that motivates her to work harder and better. The motivation is independent of any particular
skills or knowledge she may have gained from the training session.

That's the Hawthorne Effect at work.

FNF: ECOLE NORMALE SUPÉRIEURE (PARIS) Created in 1794. Basis Lakanals report.