Core Engineering Concepts for Students and Professionals, by Michael
R. Lindburg, P.E. (Hardcover, 2010)|
(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you
want a hardcopy)
Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles.
Pick any superlative. Pick several. Now, multiply them together and
you won't even begin to describe how good this book is. Having written
several blistering reviews lately, I was in the mood for a high quality
book. This work by Michael Lindenburg did not disappoint.
The first thing that struck me was its sheer size (1440 pages at 8.5
x 11) and weight (about 6.5 lbs--I weighed it). Granted, there are many
code book sets that weigh far more, but this is still heavy for a single
The next thing that struck me is the excellent use of navigation
aids. Having been an engineer myself (with many awards from the IEEE,
including Outstanding Member) and having been recognized as an expert in
the National Electrical Code, I am quite familiar with how difficult it
can be to find things in an engineering reference book. This work has
several nice touches to alleviate that problem. These include faux tabs,
a faux tab "print" at the front, quick reference guides, logical
organization, and an index slightly over 60 pages long. I also like the
fact that reference tables and similar items are place in appendices so
they don't clutter up the main text. There are, in fact, 159 pages of
The book consists of eighteen "Topics," which are similar to "Parts"
in some works. Each Topic is an assembly of chapters relevant to that
topic. Topics include such things as Mathematics (naturally), Fluids,
Thermodynamics, Material Science, Circuits, and Physics. And, yes, it
does get intense at times. The math includes all of the heavy duty,
mind-twisting stuff we engineers have come to know and love.
This book contains 82 chapters. At the start of each chapter is a
short TOC, followed by (if applicable) a listing of the nomenclature,
symbols, and subscripts used. The contents in each chapter are amazing
in their depth and clarity of presentation.
The book is not a tutorial, but a resource for reference and review.
The explanations, therefore, are short and to the point. I personally
don't want to wade through a 16-page explanation of something I can
almost remember. The purpose of a reference work is to fill in those
forgotten facts. This book does so nicely. If you don't have an
engineering background, then of course it's not going to make up for
that. Nothing can; you have to crunch the numbers to learn the concepts.
You may notice the price. This is less than what many of us pay for
professional membership dues each year, and it's certainly less than the
cost of a "small" engineering mistake.
Earlier, I said I'd done several blistering reviews. The basic
problem was the authors were too lazy to do their research and get their
facts straight. That is not at all the case with this work. Lindenburg
says he put 30 years into creating this, and I believe him because it
shows. No, I did not check every formula. Yes, I did spot check a few
and they were correct. It's possible you will find an error in this
book. If you don't know how to calculate the probability of that, turn
to 13-4 to see how to do that.
But you don't need to run any calculations to determine whether this
book is worth every penny. If you're an engineer, it's one of the best
investments you can make.