• David BlockleyEmail author


How have we engineered the ‘things’ that enable us to travel at ever increasing speeds’? Moving requires energy—so the engineering of moving is about managing the way energy flows. We coach natural forces to do what we want. All processes have energy as a potential drives a flow. It took a long time to get to the initial idea of a bicycle but then the evolutionary progress was relatively quick. The ideas of a few individuals were influential in triggering yet more ideas into an explosion of innovation. Likewise, it took us a long time to understand that we can use heat to power machines—then again relatively quickly along came the steam engine and out of that, the internal combustion engine, the turbojet and the space rocket. Although the steam engine was at first an intuitive notion later developments depended on an understanding of the essential technical differences between solids and fluids. Our relatively recent discoveries of how to generate and use electricity are becoming even more important as we enter the age of the electric vehicle.


Energy-conservation Evolution Wheel Cycling Water transport Steam engine Thermodynamics Otto cycle Fluids Venturi effect Internal combustion engine Electric motors Turbine Pelton wheel Francis turbine Jet engine Frank whittle Rockets and missiles Space 

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BristolBristolUK

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