The PESC Reading List


 Many of our customers have requested that we produce a suggested reading list. The list below contains books that we at Pre-Engineering Software have found to be enjoyable, educational, interesting and helpful.  Please visit often, this list will grow. 




Structures: Or why Things Don't Fall Down , by J. E. Gordon

Here's a practical approach to understanding structures. Technology education teachers should find this book helpful; This book will help you understand material properties.  (Grades 11 & 12 to adult)


The New Science of Strong Materials: or Why You don't fall through the floor, by J. E. Gordon

This makes a great gift for the college bound engineering student.  Learn why glass is weak at the molecular level. Wood science is also covered.


The Evolution of Useful Things, by Henry Petroski

Learn how a fork got its times. This book is great for young (high school) inventors.  Dads and Mom too!  Architects like to say form follows function.  Much of the advances in engineering are a result of form following failure.  Smart engineers learn from their mistakes, smarter engineers learn from the mistakes of others.


To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design, by Henry Petroski

A good answer to the questions "What is engineering?" and "What do engineers do?". (high school and up) 





Math through the Ages , by William P. Berlinghoff and Fernando Q. Gouvea. 

Ever wonder where the word algebra originated or how and why we started using zero?  This book starts with a gentle history of mathematics then goes on to examine many interesting milestones in its development.  It reinforces skills by explaining the need for the skills and placing them in historical context.  A great gift for a teacher!




C++ Programming 101, by Greg Perry

Want to get started programming? This book is a great starting point! (Grade 6 and up) 


History, Timelines & Maps


Atlas of World History: Mapping the Human Journey, by Jeremy Black (Editor)

Use this book to create a frame of reference for times and places in history.  It gives students a "place" ( in time and space) to put what their learning about math, science and engineering.


Bataan: A Survivor's Story, by Eugene P. Boyt, David L. Burch

This book chronicles the military service of one of our brave soldiers (also an engineer) during World War II.  Learn how his engineering education helped him survive the Bataan death march and a Japanese prison camp.  Dads and Moms should read this book first to decide if it is right for their individual child.  It's a real page turner and a great reminder of the price paid for the freedom we enjoy.


History (Engineering Timeline)

1  Achievements Through the Ages, Mears and Schneider,  Dallas, TX: Laidlaw Brothers,1985 pgs 30,31

2  The Greeks, S. Peach and A. Millard, Oklahoma: EDC Publishing, 1990, pg 88

3  A History of Mechanics, Rene Dugas, Dover Press, 1988, pg 24

4  A History and Philosophy of Fluid Mechanics, G.A. Tokaty , New York: Dover Books,1971, pg66

5  The Civilized Engineer, Samuel C. Florman , New York: St. Martin Press, 1987, pg 61

From the Carriage Age the Space Age..., Joseph Bell, NCMA,1969 , pg 3