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Engineering 190W - Spring 2023 - Bach Sections: Specialized Resources

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Recommended Reference Sources

A variety of resources exist and basically every book is a reference work in some fashion - the standard reference tool includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, maps & atlases, directories, etc and some examples include:

          Encyclopedia Britannica Online

  1. Wikipedia- no peer review content in this encyclopedic resource; all contributed to voluntarily

    Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology, Springer, 2012.

  2. Dictionary of computer science, engineering and technology / editor-in-chief, Phillip A. Laplante, Boca Raton, FL. CRC Press, 2001, Science Library – Reference, QA 76.15 D5258 2001
  4. Images of technology: a pictorial dictionary of Modern engineering research / Edited by Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, Science Library – Bar, TA9 I43 1999

Additional resources include:

  1. Government Information - major source - consult Library Search or visit Reference desk on the First Floor of the Langson Library. For Federal US sources, check the websites of specific agencies such as the U.S. Department of Energy Web page or specific state agencies at
  2. Professional Societies publications – very prolific and common in Engineering and now increasingly specialized - investigate IEEE, ACM, SPIE, ASEE, ACS, ASME, ASCE, AIAA, CNI, IFIP etc. Consult Associations Unlimited for additional information; most of these associations also have a Code of Ethics
  3. California Engineer - this is a professional publication that accepts student submissions.  See Science Library (SL) Drum and Curr Per under TA 1 C28

Engineering Ethics

Finding Books about Engineering Ethics – appropriate subject headings may include:

  1. Engineering ethics
  2. Engineering ethics – Case studies
  3. Genetic engineering - Ethics
  4. Genetic engineering – Moral and ethical aspects
  5. Medical ethics – United States
  6. Science – Moral and ethical aspects

When searched in Library Search by Subject Headings,” Engineering ethics” one retrieves 64 titles; by title the retrieval is 6 titles; by keyword 236 titles appear

Recommended books and eBooks include:

          Synthesis Digital Library of Engineering and Computer Science - Lectures on Engineers, Technology and Society - the following specific titles may be of particular interest:  Ethics for Bioengineers (2012); Tragedy in the Gulf: A call for a new engineering ethic (2011);  Style and Ethics of Communication in Science and Engineering (2008)  Engineering Ethics: Peace, Justice and the Earth (2006)

           Engineering Ethics: Outline of an Aspirational Approach / W. Richard Bowen.  London: Springer, 2009.

  1. Introduction to Engineering Ethics, 2nd ed / Mike Martin and Roland Schinzinger.  Boston, MA: McGraw Hill Higher Education, 2010. 
  2. Science Library (SL) Bar, TA 157 S83 2010
  4. Ethics in technical communication: a critique and synthesis / Mike Markel, Westport, Conn.: Ablex Pub., 2001, Science Library (SL) Bar, T10.5 M34 2001  

Recommended journal is Science and Engineering Ethics (vol. 1, 1985+)

Appropriate websites may include:

  1. Engineering Ethics Blog
  2. Online Ethics Home at the National Academy of Engineering
  3. Center for Engineering, Ethics and Society, NAE
  4. National Society of Professional Engineers Engineering Ethics (NSPE) Case Studies and the Code of Ethics (to be downloaded)

  5. ASCE Code of Ethics

  6. ASME Code of Ethics

  7. IEEE Code of Ethics

  8. Ethics Unwrapped - an online library of 51 key ethics terms and concepts animated in short, shareable video clips




Patent information


  1. U. S. Patent and Trademark Office and How to Search the USPTO database Official source for U.S. patents and trademarks in full text from 1976 (full page images available since 1790) with links to the Library of Congress for copyright information. Definitions, application forms and instructions, handbooks, notices, and patent attorney directory are just a few of the products provided. Includes design patents and reissued patents as well as patents currently in application process (coverage starts March 2001). Full-text searching is available.


  2. Google Patents - different arrangement of output - there is lots of help; not as formalized a search process - contains 7.3 million patents with references to worldwide patents; images are inline

  3. Google Scholar - Google Scholar's Advanced Scholar Search can now be used to find patents and legal opinions. Search options include all legal opinions and journals, search only US federal court opinions, and search only court opinions from individual states.

  4. Other valuable patent resources:
    Training Guides from USPTO
  5. "How to Conduct a Preliminary U.S. Patent Search: A Step by Step Strategy " - Online, Web-Based Tutorial (38 minutes) - Tutorial on the new Patent Public Search
  6. Patent Guide from University of Washington Engineering Library
  7. European Patent Office - index of patents originating in Europe
    Freepatentsonline - Fulltext and images of US patents beginning with patent number 4,000,000
    Crazy Patents
    Scirus - Indexes over 13 million patents from the US, European and Japanese Patent Offices and WIPO
    Subject Guide for Patents



Standards and Specifications are described as documents that describe the rules and conditions for how materials and products should be manufactured, defined, measured, tested, and applied.  They are used to establish baselines or a minimum level of performance and quality control to ensure that optimal conditions and procedures for the purpose of creating compatibility with products and services from different periods and a range of sources.  Specifications have a more limited range of application than standards and generally establish requirements for materials, products, or services. Standards and specifications may be issued by voluntary technical or trade associations, professional societies, national standards bodies, government agencies, or by international organizations. It is critical to establish the source.

Standards and specifications are of greatest utility to engineers, scientists and those working with new innovations.

Learn more about Standards

Types of Standards:

  • Category, type, dimension, structure, equipment, quality, grade, component, performance, durability, or safety 
  • Methods of manufacturing, methods of designing, methods of drawing, methods of using, or methods of operation of safety condition of production
  • Methods of testing, analyzing, appraising, verifying, or measuring 
  • Terms, abbreviations, symbols, marks, preferred numbers, or units 
  • Design, methods of execution, or safety conditions

What are some points to remember when using standards?

  • Some standards are government-mandated, and others are voluntary.  There may be various penalties associated with not adhering to the standard. 
  • Standards are updated frequently to keep pace with changing technology -- check to see if the standard you are using is the latest version. 
  • Older, superceded versions of standards may be useful in many cases, such as legal disputes concerning the performance of a product that was manufactured when the older standard was in force.  The Engineering Library DOES NOT maintain historical or superceded standards.

To locate a standard you should (ideally) have at least three of the following:

  • The name of the publishing organization
  • The standard number
  • The title
  • The subject

Sources for Standards:  ASTM SEDL

  Scientific & Medical Images

  Open Access Image Collections

Collections of digital images freely accessible to the public.

Preparing a Presentation

For assistance in preparing presentations you should consider the Tab on Preparing Presentations and you will also find the following resources helpful in preparing a Powerpoint presentation that can capture your ideas with some visual elements including images, graphs, photographs, etc.  Also several of the books listed in the section or box just above will be exceedingly helpful.   For some background in creating an appropriate presentation, consider the needs of your audience and play to that group. You may find the following resources and tutorials helpful:

  1. Top Ten Slide Tips - by Garr Reynolds -
  5. Mastering Powerpoint 2000 - Science Library (SL) Bar T385 M8863 1999


  6. Tutorials:
  7. Sources for images include: Google Image Searchand other search interfaces; remember to cite the source even if it is in the public domain.


Technical Writing Resources

Technical Writing and Communication & Resume Guides Selected current resources & texts (SL = Science Library & Ref; LL = Langson Library (Ref on 1st floor))

Explaining Research: How to Reach Key Audiences to Advance Your Work, 2010 - SL REF Q223 M399 2010           

The Essentials of Technical Communication, 2010 - SL Bar T11 T295 2010         

Learning to Communicate in Science and Engineering: Case Studies from MIT, 2010 - SL Bar Q223 P64 2010 

Communicating Science: Professional, Popular and Literary, 2010 - SL Bar Q223 R87 2010      

Presenting Science: A Practical Guide to Giving a Good Talk, 2010 - SL REF Q223 I87 2010          

The Craft of Scientific Communication, 2010 - SL Bar Q223 H37 2010  

A Guide to Writing as an Engineer, 3rd ed., 2009 - SL RESERVES T 11 B396 2009   

Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations, 2008- SL HF5718.22 D83 2008

Speaking About Science: Manual for Creating Clear Presentations, 2006. SL Bar Q223 M67 2006

Careers in Focus: Engineering, 3rd ed. Chicago, IL: Ferguson/Infobase Pub., 2007. SL REF TA157 .C283 2007

Resumes for Engineering Careers: With Sample Cover Letters, 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006. SL REF TA 157 R47 2006

Writing from A to Z, 5th ed., 2004 - SL RESERVES PE 1408 W773 2005 c. 2

Writing Power: Communication in an Engineering Center / Dorothy Winsor. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2003. SL Bar TA 158.5 W56 2003

Writing and Speaking in the Technology Professions: A Practical Guide / edited by David F. Beer, New York: IEEE Press, 2003, SL Bar, T11 W75 2003

A Student Guide to Writing at UCI, 11th ed. / John Hollowell. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2003. SL Ref Desk PE 1408 H668 2003

Handbook of Technical Writing / Gerald J.Alred, Charles T. Brusaw, Walter E. Oliu, New York: St. Martin’s 2003, SL Ref T11 B78 2003

MIT Guide to Science and Engineering Communication, 2nd ed. / James G. Paradis and Muriel L. Zimmerman. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002. SL Bar Q223 P33 2002

Technical Communication, 6th ed. / Mike Markel. NY: St. Martin's Press. SL Bar, T11 M346 2001

Technical Style / J.M. Haile, Central, S.C.: Macatea Productions, 2001, SL Bar, T11 H24 2001

Technical Writing and Professional Communication for Nonnative Speakers of English / Thomas N. Huckin, Leslie A. Olsen, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1991. SL T11 H823 1991 

IEEE transactions on professional communication (journal)