10 Significant Breakthroughs That We Owe to Engineering

Engineering has consistently been one of the most important areas of study throughout modern history, and many significant breakthroughs have come about as a result of the direct efforts of engineers.

With UK engineering currently experiencing a shortage of employees, and with a forecast that suggests that things are likely to get worse before they get better, we at Motion Drives and Controls thought that we’d take a little glance back through time to see some of the revolutionary (and absolutely vital) innovations that engineers have brought us in the past.


CarsThe Car

The science of engineering made the car possible in the first place, but it has also refined manufacturing to the extent that these invaluable devices can be accessible to all, rather than being a province of the privileged few.


Aeroplane - FaroThe Aeroplane

Airborne transport would never have taken off if it were not for the efforts of engineering. Nothing else has opened up the possibility of true globalisation quite like the aeroplane, and even the least complicated plane has broadened people’s horizons no end.



We take television for granted, but this is yet another invention that owes much to engineering. Much like the two previous breakthroughs, television enables us to have a window to other areas of the world, back into history and even into other worlds entirely – and all without leaving your living room.



Possibly the signature innovation of the entire 20th century, computers have changed the world beyond recognition, opening up access to information and boosting work productivity to truly extraordinary levels. They may frustrate us at times, but the benefits definitely outweigh the drawbacks.


TelephoneThe Telephone

Another revolution in the communication world, telephones were one of the first devices that enabled people to maintain relationships even over distance. Switchboards, satellites and fibre optics are all hallmarks of the engineering world, and telephones couldn’t exist without them.


101112-N-6320H-071Health Technology

Artificial organs, joint and prosthetic limb replacements, antibiotics…the list goes on and on, and none of these things could have happened without engineers. When you think about how much lives have changed for the better because of these things, that’s a huge contribution.


Air ConAir Conditioning

Seeing as it’s summer, we simply couldn’t leave this one out! It’s not only offices that benefit from some cool air though, as refrigeration revolves around just the same sort of technology as well, meaning that we can also thank engineers for the improved shelf life of foods, among other things.



Electricity networks and transmission grids as a whole are the handiwork of engineers throughout history, and likewise the world of electronics is similarly indebted to engineering breakthroughs. Has anything changed the world more than electricity? It’s a debatable point, but one that certainly carries weight.


Drinking WaterDrinking Water

Engineers have been involved in the sphere of water treatment for a long time, and have also masterminded various systems that have all but eliminated many dangerous waterborne diseases. Safe drinking water may not be as flashy as electricity, but it’s fair to say our lives depend upon it.


Enhanced MaterialsEnhanced Materials

Engineering is all about pushing the boundaries, and many enhanced materials that boast properties like reduced weight and greater strength have been customised by the work and research of engineers.


Of course, there are many more developments that we could have spoken about, but these ten alone are enough to convince anyone that engineering is a discipline that is absolutely invaluable, and one that the UK should be moving to support as much as possible.

Here at Motion Drives and Controls, we distribute a wide range of products to the engineering industry, and although devices like our Coiltek solutions may not be as life-changing as the aeroplane, they have reformed the areas where they are used nonetheless. We aim to be your one-stop source for systems like drives and transmission equipment, so contact us by calling 01926 411 544 or emailing to find out more.

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