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A History of UK Engineering

Even though the field of engineering is much appreciated, it is equally overlooked especially considering that it is to thank for some of the greatest achievements in the history of the UK.  Engineering has not always been what we know of it today and has come a long way. Here is a quick walk down memory lane to have a look at the history of engineering and what its earliest forms were like.

A History of UK Engineering

Earliest Examples and Etymology

The concept of engineering has been in existence for a long time. Today, engineering is best described as the application of mechanical solutions and skills to build things and solve different problems, and the same description can be used in the ancient world.

One of the best examples of engineering in the ancient times was the use of levers which is also one of the earliest forms of engineering. The wheel and its many uses is also another perfect example of engineering from the ancient times. While during the earliest inventions the term engineering had not yet been coined, the term itself has its roots dating back to the year 1325.

The first definition of the term was simply a person who operates an engine. During those days, the term ‘engine’ largely referred to military machines, and in most instances, these included a siege engine, a catapult or a trebuchet.

Formal and Organised History of UK Engineering

narrow and shallow definition that engineering had in its earlier days, it has come a long way with numerous achievements and has become broadly used and practised. By the 19th century and in particular the Victorian times, engineering was one of the most exceptional fields with tremendous achievements.

Because of its impact around this era, engineering started becoming better organized and professional with the Institution for Civil Engineers being the first established professional engineering organization and was established in 1818.

There are several other institutions that quickly followed suit to continue with the professionalising of engineering and also in a bid to maintain the high standards in the UK. Through this framework, the field of engineering and some of the greatest engineers in the history of the UK were able to flourish.

The Greatest Engineers in the UK

The UK is not short of great men who excelled in the field of engineering, and a quick roundup of the history of engineering would not be complete without the honourable mention of some of the greatest minds in engineering.


Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Brunel was born in 1806 and is easily one of the most popular engineers in the UK in his time. He was the mind behind great creations of his era like the Great Western Railway and also the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Robert Stephenson

Robert Stephenson

Stephenson and Brunel were born around the same time and was the son of George who had played a significant role in the building of railways. Stephenson went on to make a name for himself as one of the greatest engineers of his time because of his contribution to the locomotive design and railway development.

Barnes Wallis

Barnes Wallis

While the former two built their reputation in the 19th century, Barnes contributions were in the 20th century. He is credited for building the bouncing bomb which played a critical role in WWII and is also the inspiration behind the Hollywood film ‘The Dambusters.’

CNC Milling Vs. Manual Milling

Different fields in the manufacturing industry rely heavily on machining. Whether you are considering starting a machining business or looking to have components for your next project produced, you need to decide whether you are going for CNC machining or manual machining.

CNC Milling vs Manual Milling

Even though CNC milling has eclipsed manual milling with better technology and broader applications, manual machining still holds an important place in the world of machining. Both types of machining can be used in different applications in different fields like construction, dental, aerospace, medical, metal work, automotive, agriculture among others.

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3 Benefits of Manual Turning

Since the inception of CNC milling, a lot of machining experts and even service providers have tried their best to make the move and make their machining operations more automated. However, there are some that are still holding on to manual turning.

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Benefits of Wire Erosion

Wire erosion which is also known as Electronic Discharge Machining (EDM) is a highly accurate process where a strand of wire is used to cut through the workpiece.  During the process, electrical sparks between the workpiece and the wire are used to cut the workpiece.

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Spark Erosion Explained

When dealing with difficult materials or complex shapes and sizes, spark erosion is one of the most successful forms of machining. There are no cutting forces so the integrity of the material is always maintained.  The process is highly controlled and allows for proper removal of material even on delicate materials.

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What Exactly Does an Aerospace Engineer Do?

An aerospace engineer does whatever his current job requires him to do. During his undergraduate training, an aerospace engineer is trained and given all the fundamentals of all subsystems that are related to rockets, aircraft, spacecraft and rotorcraft. You also receive training on design, testing and some aspects of manufacture.

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aerospace engineers

MNB Precision is Hiring!

Our Growth and Investment

Here at MNB Precision, we strive to provide our clients with the very best precision engineering services and we are delighted to announce we have embarked on a growth program that will see our turnover double to £20 million within the next 5 years. In order for us to meet this target, we have invested over £500,000 in four new machines.

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Engineering growth: Coventry manufacturer invests half a million pounds in new machinery and calls for more skilled workers

A Coventry engineering firm based at Charter Avenue Industrial Estate has embarked on a growth program that will see its turnover double to £20 million within five years.

In order to meet this target MNB Precision Ltd has invested over £500,000 in four new machines and taken on nearly 30 staff over the last 12 months. It hopes to fill a further 15 skilled positions by the end of year, bringing the total workforce to 80.
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What is Nuclear Engineering?

As a precision engineering company, we often get asked what is nuclear engineering and what does it involve?

Many people will automatically think of power plants when they hear the word nuclear. However, nuclear engineering is much more than that.

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What is nuclear engineering?

Difference between Sandblasting and Shot Peening

Here at MNB Precision, we have teams of precision engineers specialising in many different engineering services including shot peening. One of the many questions we see is what is the difference between shot peening and sandblasting? So we have listed the advantages and disadvantages of both services.

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Sandblasting Shot Peening Difference