Difference Between Engineering and Science

Science and engineering are two terms that refer to systematic knowledge about different topics or areas of knowledge. These could be misused as synonymous words but they are actually two very different concepts.

Therefore, in this article we will show the definitions of science and engineering, in order to show the readers the most outstanding differences that exist between these two branches.


Engineering can be defined as the professional activity that is based on the use of scientific methods to transform natural resources into useful entities for human beings in an optimal, economic and sustainable way. The main objective of engineering is to obtain a final product (tool, object, equipment, device or machinery) that can respond to a specific need for human beings. This is achieved through the design, creation, elaboration and implementation of the same, which usually comes from natural materials and resources.

Engineering is oriented towards the economic feasibility of its productions, in order to reduce costs and generate economic gains or benefits for humanity. Likewise, this implies the understanding of the facts already known for the generation of ideas that lead to the production of goods in the specific area in which they work and that consequently lead to the solution of problems.

In this order of ideas, the fundamental process of engineering is design, which allows the study and creation of useful resources for the improvement of the quality of life of the human being from minimum levels such as smaller electrical appliances to macro levels. such as the creation of hydroelectric systems with a large radius of reach.

Example : Electromechanics, electronics, petrochemistry and biomedicine are areas of engineering.


Science can be defined as the systematized set of knowledge that we have about facts, events or nature. The end product of science is knowledge itself. In addition, science seeks to provide a scientific response and explanation to the events or occurrences that occur in nature and their impact on human life through the formulation of theories, laws and statements aimed at explaining the why of things.

That is why science is made up of a series or set of ordered and systematized steps that aim to obtain knowledge. Subsequently, the sciences can be classified in different ways, according to their object of study, according to the method they apply or according to the affinity with certain areas. In this aspect, some sciences can be social, natural, factual, philosophical, technical, agrarian, exact, ideal or real.

Example : biology, chemistry, agronomy, medicine and anthropology are some sciences.

As can be seen, there are notable differences between engineering and science, which we can summarize below:

  • The main objective of engineering is to obtain a final product while the final objective of science is to obtain knowledge.
  • Engineering implies the understanding of already known facts while science implies the search for knowledge to explain the facts that occur in our world and around it.
  • Engineering is based on -doing- while science is based on -knowing-.
  • The engineering method is design, development, execution and operation while the science method is scientific investigation.

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