References for Design Engineers (Must Haves)

In summary: Sorry for being obtuse, but I didn't want to make it easy for the lazy students who want to get the answer to the homework questions for free. (Yes, I know that is not what the OP is asking for.)In summary, design engineers like to have handy references such as Shigley's Mechanical Engineering Design, Roark's Formulas for Stress and Strain, Blueprint Reading for the Machine Trades, Hibbeler's Mechanics of Materials, Fundamentals of Machine Component Design, Crane paper TP410, Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam, and Zeus Precision Data Charts and Reference Tables for Drawing Office, Toolroom & Workshop. Other recommended references include Materials for Engineers and Technicians
Engineering news on
  • #3
I use "Fundamentals of Machine Component Design" by Juvinall and Marshek every day. Love that textbook. The example problems could of been a lot better though.
  • Like
Likes joshmdmd
  • #5
Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam, 12th edition, Lindeburg.

Its not exceptional for any of the topics it covers; however, it has a few bits and pieces on a wide variety of subjects (enough to jog the memory in the right direction.)
  • #6
You might look at

Mechanical Engineer's Data Handbook

James Carvill

This is more affordable than most.

Also some metrology books such as

Mechanical Measurement

Beckwith and Marangoni
  • #7
Good stuff. Thanks folks :smile:
  • #8
I use the Machinery's Handbook nearly every day, especially for calculations/specs regarding fasteners.

Also take a look at, great website for mil-specs and all free!
  • Like
Likes nicksan10s
  • #10

I'm not a practicing engineer, but that site contains a lot of free resources on the topics that are covered in Hibbeler's Mechanics of Materials, for example. It's also a good resource for prestressed concrete design, and other random engineering topics.

Like a previous poster said, I also find myself referencing the "mechanics of materials" notes more than anything else..

lazypast said:
Can anyone recommend a comprehensive polymer book?

What specifically were you looking for relating to polymers?
  • #11
Zeus Precision Data Charts and Reference Tables for Drawing Office, Toolroom & Workshop
Is a very handy little pocket book.

Materials for engineers and technicians by Raymond A Higgins ( good for material science)

Materials selection in mechanical design by Michael F Ashby

Mechanics of materials by James M. Gere and Barry J Goodno

And to help out with the maths Higher engineering mathematics by John Bird.

I find most of john bird books very helpful and get on bestvwith the layout and how the information is presented.
  • #12
I get a variety of trade and industrial journals, such as Power Engineering. Generally the articles are short and not highly technical, although they do address issues in industry. Those journals are mostly out for the advertising.

Anyway, one such journal came to my office over the past few months, Product Design & Development.

They have articles on product design, development and testing.

Such an article - The Sphere of Turbulence - discusses some of GE's testing of jet engines.

It does have some interesting articles.

Flying a Glider at the Edge of Space

Materials in Design

Theorists Predict New Forms of Exotic Insulating Materials
  • #13
Wow, interesting glider article! :smile:
  • #14
berkeman said:
Wow, interesting glider article! :smile:
It's a nice example of how far above an "aerofoil" (i.e. the mountain) the airflow is affected. Even in the UK, where the hills are mostly under 3000 ft, the gliding altitude record is over 38,000 feet, and flights to 10,000 feet are not particularly special. Records for the duration of flights are no longer accepted, because with modern equipment the main issue is how long the pilot can stay awake, rather than flying skill.

Air density at high altitudes is not really a big deal for the glider (though it is for the pilot). The lift-to-drag ratio doesn't change much, so you just fly faster to get enough lift. In gliding flying competitions, the planes are usually loaded up to the maximum permitted weight with sandbags for the same reason, which might seem counter-intuitive - you want to fly from one thermal to the next as fast as possible.
  • #15
i use this book
Machine Elements. Life and Design-Frederic E . Nystrom , David M . Barlam , and Boris M . Klebanov.
  • #16
How about some Engineering Design books like:
Engineering Design - George Dieter
Mechanical Design Process - David Ullman
To Engineer is Human - Henry Petroski and
The Science of Design - Gordon Glegg?
  • Like
Likes mickeysceme
  • #17
I love the book "From Marconi to Telstar" its all about how radio transmission started.
  • #18
Books that I use frequently include --
Timoshenko - Strength of Materials, Pt. II (Advanced Strength)
Timoshenko - Vibration Problems in Engineering, 3rd ed. (see note below)
BICERA - A Handbook of Torsional Vibrations
Budynas - Advanced Strength and Applied Stress Analysis
Shigley - Mechanical Engineering Design (mentioned by the OP)
Spotts - Mechanical Design Analysis

Note: Regarding Timoshenko's Vibs book, I recommend only the 3rd ed (or failing that, the 2nd ed), but none of the later editions. Other co-authors took over the text after the passing of Timoshenko and they bastardized it beyond recognition.
  • #19
If you ask chemical engineers they like to have perry's handbook as it contains detailed information about almost every chemical.
  • #20
Mechanical Design Analysis by M.F. Spotts (Prentice-Hall, 1964) includes a lot of very good, design oriented analysis information. It is old and may be difficult to locate, but it is very down to Earth design analysis.
  • #21
Hi , I refer to Blue print reading for the Machine trades , Hibbelers mechanics of meterials and fundamentals of machine component design . Hope these books will help you in your study |
  • #22
I once had a conversation with a gear design consultant. We were talking about a certain heat treated hardened and ground gear. I asked how much stronger that same gear would be if he did everything he knew to it. He mentioned a whole list of things, then concluded that it would be possible to almost double the strength of the gear without changing any dimensions. Making a light weight gear is a system optimization problem, not just material selection.

The definitive source for the OP's question is: Some effort required, but everything he needs to know is in that book.

Nylatron GS is a plastic that was specifically designed for gears.
  • Like
Likes Asymptotic, berkeman, jedishrfu and 1 other person
  • #23
From a thread in the DIY forum asking about column loading calculations:
Jodo said: has a lot of info

I clicked into the link and wow, there's a lot of useful info there! :smile:
  • Like
Likes Jodo
  • #24
This question depends entirely on what sort of engineering you do. However, there is one obvious answer: If you know enough about your field to type a good question, google has the answer.

PS: ITT Reference Data for Radio Engineers is a good old school choice.
  • #25
One of my favourite book for mechanical design is "A text book of machine design" by R.S. Khurmi & J.K. Gupta. Especially the approaches for calculating bolt connection with various examples are very userful.
  • #26
A note about the wealth of information on the Internet. "You're not the first one to ask that question, look for the fix, or do the math."

It always takes a bit of self education to use, which I enjoy, but I like it when an online calculator does the math. Quickly engineering my Tinker projects puts me back in the work shop where I belong. And theory is interesting reading, but why reinvent the wheel? The conundrum is .... Am I wise or lazy?
  • #27
IdBdan said:
A note about the wealth of information on the Internet. "You're not the first one to ask that question, look for the fix, or do the math."
Reminds me of the old Grad school joke: "3 weeks in the lab can save you 2 hours in the library"
  • Like
Likes IdBdan

Similar threads

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering