24 Books Every Engineer Should Read To Be Successful

Books Every Engineer Should Read

Engineering is a skill you grow with time through experience and learning. While there are many engineering majors and subfields, the principles that make an engineer successful are not different.

The following offer the top 24 books (Not Textbooks) for every topic and field of engineering:

Top 3 Books Every Engineer Should Read To Be Successful

1- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorStephen R. Covey
TypeSelf-Help Book
Date Published1989

The 7 habits of highly effective people provide an in-depth analysis of the habits everyone needs to develop to become very effective and successful in their career and life.

2- How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorScott Adams
TypeSelf-Help Book
Date Published2013

The story behind Scott Adams of how mindset and the way you look at things change your perspective. This book gives you steps to follow to improve and find a way to succeed at anything through an engaging story that is fun to read.

3- The Existential Pleasures Of Engineering

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorSamuel Florman
TypePassion For Engineering
Date Published1996

Wanna change the way you view engineering and design, this book gives you all that and more. Samuel disproves the radical thinking that engineering is passionless and cold with a new refreshing viewpoint on engineering and how ordinary people who sought to make big changes with simple ideas inspired the world’s biggest innovations.

Top 3 Books Every Civil Engineer Should Read

1- To Engineer Is Human

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorHenry Petroski
TypeFailure In Engineering
Date Published1985

How failures in engineering inspire more complicated and successful designs. This book takes us on a journey of some of the most catastrophic failures in engineering, specifically in civil engineering, and the lessons learned from those failures.

2- Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorJ. E. Gordon
TypeCivil Engineering
Date Published1978

This book explains the engineering behind buildings, bridges and dams from a common sense perspective. This book is excellent for curious people who want to expand their knowledge and vision and is suitable for any engineer.

3- Man of Iron: Thomas Telford and the Building of Britain

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorJulian Glover 
TypeThe Biography Of Thomas Telford
Date Published2017

The biography of Thomas Telford, the genius behind who built Britain. This book takes us on the journey of how Thomas Telford, a poor Scottish, rises to become one of Britain’s best civil engineers. He is the man behind many bridges and national roads tying England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales together.

Top 3 Books Every Mechanical Engineer Should Read

1- Engineer to Win

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorCarroll Smith
TypeMechanical Engineering Book
Date Published1984

The engineering behind racing cars. This book takes you behind the mechanics and engineering of developing fast formula one cars by detailing specific components and principles such as brakes, aerodynamics and heat treatment.

2- The Way Things Work Now

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorDavid Macaulay
TypeMechanical Engineering Book
Date Published2016

This book takes you on a journey of the mechanics behind everything from windmills to WIFI. The principles behind those technologies are brilliantly explained with tons of information in a descriptive approach that leans more toward explaining the common sense behind those inventions rather than the technical aspects.

Highly recommended for mechanical engineers specifically but also a good book for any engineer.

3- Mechanical Engineering For Makers

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorBrian Bunnell & Samer Najia
TypeMechanical Engineering Book
Date Published2020

A practical approach to mechanical engineering is written for those with no mechanical engineering degree to give them a process for creating things. This book is not a textbook that will bore you to death. Instead, it provides mechanical engineering concepts illustrated by hands-on projects.

Top 3 Books Every Electrical & Computer Engineer Should Read

1- Steve Jobs

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorWalter Isaacson
TypeThe Biography of Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs
Date Published2011

Based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs and more than 100 family members, this biography brings forward the man behind one of the biggest tech companies known today. Highly recommended for computer engineers.

2- Electrical Engineering 101

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorDarren Ashby
TypeElectrical Engineering
Date Published2005

This book explains electrical engineering principles in a down-to-earth format. It uses real-world examples to explain the principles to help engineers understand and have the technical know-how to build and troubleshoot electrical systems.

3- Clean Code: A Handbook Of Agile Software Craftsmanship

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorRobert C. Martin
TypeSoftware Engineering
Date Published2008

As the name suggests, this book teaches how to write clean and reliable code that is easy to maintain. This book aims to introduce order to writing codes that save time and effort. This book will challenge the reader to practice how they write codes to become agile coders.

Top 3 Books Every Chemical Engineer Should Read

1- Chemical Engineering: An Introduction

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorMorton M. Denn
TypeChemical Engineering
Date Published2011

This book explains the science behind chemical engineering with all its subfields using examples to explain the principles of modern chemical engineering.

2-Chemical Engineering For Non-Chemical Engineers

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorJack Hipple
TypeChemical Engineering
Date Published2017

Do not let the name fool you. This book is jam-packed with tones of chemical engineering principles and basics. This book is suitable for both engineers and non-engineers.

3- Rules Of Thumb For Chemical Engineers

Books Every Engineer Should Read
Author Stephen Hall
TypeChemical Engineering
Date Published1994

For those who want a reliable source of chemical engineering principles to solve problems on the job, this book is for you.

Top 3 Books Every Industrial Engineer Should Read

1- The Design of Everyday Things

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorDon Norman
TypeProduct Development & User Experience
Date Published2013

This amazing book around product development and user experience explains how average consumers dislike a product unconsciously due to bad design. The book explains the cognitive psychology companies use to develop products that relate to people and solve problems.

2-  Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, And The Quest For A Fantastic Future

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorAshlee Vance
TypeLife Of Elon Musk
Date Published2015

Elon Musk is a self-taught engineer, specifically an industrial engineer. This book takes us on the journey of the silicon valley entrepreneur and his rise to become the smartest man alive with his success in the tech industry with both his companies, Space X and Tesla.

The Goal: A process of ongoing improvement

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorEliyahu M. Goldratt
TypeA Business Graphic Novel
Date Published1984

Want to transform your management thinking? This book will do that and more. This book uses a story to show practical management concepts to improve operations management and strategic planning efficiency. You can apply those ideas in management and your personal life.

Top 3 Books Every Entrepreneur Engineer Should Read

1- Zero to One

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorPeter Thiel
TypeEntrepreneurs & Business Startups
Date Published2014

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies, and Founders Fund and the first outside investor in Facebook, aka Meta. Zero To One describes the humble beginnings of PayPal and how its innovative idea of online transactions brought the success of this small silicon valley startup.

2- The Lean Startup

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorEric Ries
TypeEntrepreneurs & Business Startups
Date Published2011

Entrepreneurship can be engineered, which means it can be taught and mentored. After failing in his startup company during the dot com bubble and later finding success, Eric Ries developed principles that can lead to success in new startups.

3- That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorMarc Randolph
TypeThe Evolution OF A Tech Company
Date Published2019

Although Marc Randolph does not have a background in engineering, he has successfully created one of the top tech companies in the world: Netflix, the giant streaming service.

This book takes you on the journey of how tech startups should test their idea or, as Marc likes to say, “collide your ideas with reality” to test how well they can perform and how much attraction it gets before deciding to go fully with the idea.

Very interesting book for those with big dreams with no idea how to start.

Top 3 Books To Improve Your Engineering Communication

1- How To Win Friends And Influence People

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorDale Carnegie
TypeSelf-Help Book
Date Published1936

This book is generations old but still the best communication and business book you can ever read. It is written to improve communication but also to formulate long-lasting relationships.

This book is recommended for anyone who wants to improve communication and learn to be more confident and say the right things at the right time.

2- How To Talk To Anyone

92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorLeil Lowndes
TypeSelf-Help Book
Date Published1999

Written on the same principles as How To Win Friends And Influence People, this book provides a step-by-step guide to being more confident in social situations, especially in business and engineering, with cool 92 tricks.

3- Crucial Conversations: Tools For Talking When Stakes Are High

Books Every Engineer Should Read
AuthorKerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Al Switzler, Ron McMillan
TypeCommunication Book
Date Published2002

Crucial communication is the perfect book for engineers to improve their communication skills. Negotiation, Winning relationships and maintaining a highly technical conversation are skills all engineers need to learn, and this book offers that and more.

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Joseph Maloyan

Hi, this is Joseph, and I love writing about engineering and technology. Here I share my knowledge and experience on what it means to be an engineer. My goal is to make engineering relatable, understandable and fun!

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