Engineering is the creative application of science, mathematical methods, and empirical evidence to the innovation, design, construction, operation and maintenance of structures, machines, materials, devices, systems, processes, and organizations. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specialized fields of engineering, each with a more specific emphasis on particular areas of applied mathematics, applied science, and types of application. See glossary of engineering.
Incorrigible humanity, therefore, led astray by the giant Nimrod, presumed in its heart to outdo in skill not only nature but the source of its own nature, who is God; and began to build a tower in Sennaar, which afterwards was called Babel (that is, 'confusion'). By this means human beings hoped to climb up to heaven, intending in their foolishness not to equal but to excel their creator.
Dante Alighieri, De vulgari eloquentia, Chapter VII
Engineering is the art of directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and convenience of man.
Thomas Tredgold (1828), used in the Royal Charter of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) published in: The Times, London, article CS102127326, 30 June 1828.