Ecological engineering—Complex ecosystem problems call for the application of ecology to engineering. Ecological engineers control erosion, restore the health of streams, develop watershed management techniques, assess the ecological risk of human activity and design advanced wastewater treatment.
Biotechnology—Create new products and manage natural resources. In the field of biotechnology, you could genetically modify bacteria to produce new chemicals and pharmaceuticals or you could monitor the food supply to protect us from biological terrorism. You could even work on integrating biological materials into medical systems to create new tools to diagnose and treat disease.
Biomedical—Design systems that save lives and improve our health. For example, you could create implantable devices such as artificial hips or pacemakers, design dialysis machines or develop new technology to better diagnose diseases.
Medicine—Biomedical engineering is an excellent preparation for medical, dental or pharmacy school.
Green Process Design—Develop new products and processes, such as biofuels and hydrogen power, that reduce pollution, hazardous waste and dependence on non-renewable resources.
Petrochemicals—Produce products such as gasoline, plastics and even medicines from crude oil, and develop ways to use renewable resources to make these products.
Safety—Develop and practice new methods for managing chemicals and chemical processes. In this field, you would work to prevent spills, leaks and explosions in chemical plants and facilities.
Biochemical—Apply principles from chemical engineering, biochemistry and biology to make products such as vitamins and medicines or to develop medical screening processes, such as microarrays that can test for many different medical conditions using a tiny tissue sample.
Environmental—Improve the health of the planet by developing technologies that remove contamination from natural resources, such as new and better methods of cleaning up oil spills.
Bioprocesses—Use living cells to produce high-value products like medicines and alternative fuels. In this field, you could design a special type of cell that delivers chemotherapy directly to a cancerous tumor
Structural—Design bridges, buildings and dams to stand the test of time. Structural engineers helped create the Itaipu Dam in South America, which generates most of Paraguay's power supply, and the solar- powered Santa Monica Ferris Wheel.
Geotechnical—Test and prepare the ground for any structure or use the ground as a structure itself. You could perform a soil analysis before designing the foundation for a building, design and build an earthen dam or embankment, or stabilize an existing structure, such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Environmental—Study the impacts of development and work to clean and protect the environment. In this field, you could develop new methods to treat wastewater or clean up hazardous waste sites.
Transportation—Create safe, efficient and organized transportation systems by designing airports, highway interchanges, "smart" traffic signals and high-speed rail systems.
Water Resources—Design systems to deliver clean water to communities, transport used water to facilities and control runoff to prevent flooding. You might design locks and dams, canals, pumping stations, water lines, sewer systems and storm drains.
Interactive and Visual Computation—Pioneer new technologies to enable next generation games, digital entertainment, virtual worlds and virtual cultures. Society uses these technologies as a new form of entertainment and industry uses these technologies to simulate complex environments to explore new business opportunities.
Bioinformatics and Biomolecular Computing—Use computers to solve biological problems, such as sequencing the human genome or diagnosing cancer. In biomolecular computing, computers are built from biomolecules, like DNA, to solve complex problems and store massive amounts of information.
Low Power Digital Systems—Explore ways to reduce power consumption in digital systems. In this area, you could learn about low power technology that can be used to create smaller, more energy efficient devices, and study the trade-offs between performance and power conservation.
Security and Information Protection—Protect personal and public information through encoding systems that allow only certain people to access information and learn how to protect systems and information from attack.
Computer Networking—Study how computers talk to one another and how people interact with machines. Computer networks allow people to access information on the internet and send messages all the way around the world in a matter of seconds.
Theory of Languages, Systems, and Environments—Use, analyze, and develop computer languages and the theories behind them. This field involves understanding how programming languages operate and how to efficiently translate one language to another.
Embedded, Distributed and Parallel Systems—Develop systems of computers that interact with each other in different ways such as embedded systems, that work as individuals within a larger system, distributed systems, that work as members of a team, and parallel systems, that function together on one large, complicated task. Hospitals monitor patients with these systems, businesses use them to communicate internationally and research institutions perform large calculations with them.
Biomedicine—Design electronic medical equipment such as glucose monitoring systems for people with diabetes, deep brain stimulation devices that control seizures, defibrillators to treat heart failure, breast cancer detectors or use EE as a path to med school.
Power and Energy—Help develop cleaner, more cost efficient energy sources by finding new ways to generate, transmit and distribute electricity. Work to modernize the electric power grid and develop renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power.
Control Systems—Design automated control and decision making systems, like the kind found in your car's cruise control, on an airplane's autopilot or in unmanned aerial vehicles used by the military.
Electromagnetic Fields & Waves—Work with lasers, microwaves, fiber optics and digital signals, and design equipment that uses them: high-definition televisions, night vision technology and instruments used in laser surgery.
Communications—Design new methods to transfer information. Recent innovations in communications technology include internet video conferencing programs, satellite radio and smart phones.
Digital/Analog Electronics—Create new versions of devices such as cell phones, MP3 players and GPS.
Engineering Management and Economic Analysis—Use science, engineering and management skills to make decisions that help companies become more competitive. For example, you could work as the corporate vice president and oversee the entire sales division of a company.
Operations Research and Simulation—Use mathematical and computer modeling to organize the purchase, storage, transportation and delivery of goods, and find ways to effectively use limited resources. You could work for a clothing company, deciding exactly how many items they should keep in stock at one time and creating a system to deliver the goods to stores.
Ergonomics and Work Measurement—Improve employee efficiency, safety and productivity by studying how the human body fits into the workplace. You could work in the manufacturing industry, designing new hand-held tools that reduce carpal tunnel syndrome.
Quality Assurance—Improve the quality of finished products with statistics and management techniques. You could use statistical analysis to help a car manufacturing operation improve the overall quality of its vehicles.
Manufacturing—Study the way things are produced and the application of machines and robots in industry. In this field, you could design a new electronics production facility that uses automated circuit assembly, conveyors and machine vision robots that can check the quality of the electronic device.
Energy systems—Generate power from both traditional and alternative sources. You could develop new applications for hydrogen and solar power or design more efficient heating and cooling systems.
Aerospace—Research and develop new technology to advance space exploration, such as an engine that keeps a satellite in perfect orbit for several months or a robot that can collect rock samples from another planet.
Mechanical systems—Design machines and mechanisms, such as kinetic watches or electric cars.
Materials—Develop and improve new materials, such as biodegradable plastics or h4er, lighter metals.
Micromachines—Design machines that are nearly invisible to the human eye, such as a machine the size of a grain of salt that is capable of performing dental work.
Manufacturing—Create new devices and methods to make production more efficient. For example, use a 3-D printer to build a full sized model of a car part before production begins.