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Subject guides: Engineering

Engineering section

Welcome to the UCL Library Services subject guide to engineering. These pages are maintained by Tara Platt, subject librarian for engineering. The content is regularly revised and feedback or suggestions are welcomed.

This guide provides links to and information about resources relating to engineering subjects and covers both our printed and electronic collections:

WISE for Built Environment, Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences

WISE is a comprehensive, step-by-step online guide to finding and using information effectively. Go to http://www.ucl.ac.uk/moodle, and log in with your UCL userid and password. Click on WISE and select Built Environment, Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences to start the course (If WISE does not appear in your list of courses click on “All courses” in the top left menu then select WISE and register yourself on the course.) Help with WISE.

Library news for Science and Engineering
Visit Library news for Science and Engineering the library blog for the UCL faculty of Engineering and UCL Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences to keep up to date with new resources (both printed and electronic), Open Access, interesting events, useful websites and general library news.

Recent blog posts

Training sessions
Regular training sessions on electronic library resources in engineering are held in the DMS Watson Teaching Cluster. For dates and times see Information Skills Training. Individual sessions on specific databases and other electronic resources can be arranged on request.

The sessions focus on finding references using the Library's electronic resources (e.g. Compendex and the Science Citation Index) and how to identify and locate relevant electronic journals. British Standards Online and the European Patent Office website are also looked at and other relevant resources can be discussed as required.

For further information or to arrange an individual training session contact the Library Science Team on lib-sciteam@ucl.ac.uk or see contact details below.

Printed collections

The main Engineering collection is on the 4th floor of the Science Library, in the DMS Watson Building. There may be relevant material elsewhere in the Science Library. For information relating to Management and Computer Science you should refer to the separate subject resource guides.

Book collections
The Library has its own classification scheme for arranging books on the shelves. A typical classmark for a book will consist of the name of the subject (indicating a section of the Library) followed by letters and numbers indicating its classified position on the shelves within that section. For instance:

ENGINEERING CS 81 KOG for Movable bridge design by Terry Koglin (where Engineering is the collection; CS 81 the classified position within the civil engineering section of the collection and KOG the first three letters of the author's surname).

ENGINEERING GH 5 DOU for Fluid mechanics by John Douglas (where engineering is the collection; GH 5 the classified position within the mechanical engineering section of the collection and DOU the first three letters of the author's surname).

The ENGINEERING collection is divided into several sections. Some important ones are as follows:

ENGINEERING A - general engineering, including engineering mathematics
ENGINEERING C - civil and environmental engineering
ENGINEERING D - geomatic engineering
ENGINEERING G - mechanical engineering
ENGINEERING L - materials
ENGINEERING Q - chemical engineering
ENGINEERING QQ - biochemical engineering
ENGINEERING T - electronic and electrical engineering
ENGINEERING X – control engineering and robotics
GUTER - environmental engineering (this collection has been built from a memorial fund for Mark Guter, a former Professor of Chemical Engineering at UCL)

Some of the other sections of the Library you might need are:

PHYSICS (Science Library, 3rd floor)

MATHEMATICS (Science Library, 3rd floor)

COMPUTER SCIENCE (Science Library, 4th floor)

GEOLOGY (Science Library, 3rd floor)

MANAGEMENT (Science Library, 2nd floor)

The collections at the UCL Bartlett Library on Architecture and Town Planning may also be useful.

Use Explore to find the exact class mark (shelf location) of a book.

Journal collections
Journals are shelved separately from books in the Geosciences reading room on the third floor of the Science Library (ENGINEERING Pers sequence). Older journals and those which are also available electronically are held in the library Store. Store journals can be requested via the Store Request Form.

Science journals are not borrowable, but may be photocopied in the Library. For information about photocopying, see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/Photocopy.shtml.

For further information and a printable guide to finding printed and electronic journals and journal articles see the Library leaflet Finding journals. For information about electronic journals, see below.

There is a useful guide to journal title abbreviations at http://library.caltech.edu/reference/abbreviations/.

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Electronic collections

Material in electronic form is available to registered members of UCL. To access these resources, users are advised to navigate to material using the links from the Library Services website. If you are off-site, you will be prompted for your UCL userid and password. For more information about this visit the
Information for electronic Library resource users section of the Library Services website.

Indexes, abstracts and e-books
The Library subscribes to a number of bibliographic databases, of which the following might be particularly useful:

General engineering:

  • Compendex indexes engineering journals, proceedings and reports back to 1969.
  • Engineer-It holds product and supplier information for design and manufacturing, process engineering and electronics.
  • Web of Science (Science Citation Index) indexes over 6000 science journals from 1981 onwards. You can follow a number of online tutorials in various languages on the Web of Knowledge website by clicking here. You will need a browser running Flash Version 8 or higher to view these tutorials.
  • SCOPUS multi-disciplinary database containing references to journal articles, conference proceedings, trade publications, book series and web resources. For further information see the online tutorials at SCOPUS.

Biochemical Engineering and Chemical Engineering:

  • EMBASE is a comprehensive pharmacological and biomedical database renowned for extensive indexing of drug information.
  • SciFinder Scholar provides access to the databases produced by the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS).
  • Reaxys is a chemical information system, covering chemical compounds, bibliographic data and chemical reactions. It includes the content of the three CrossFire databases: Beilstein, Gmelin and Patent Chemistry Database, producing a single results set. Online tutorials are provided on the website.
  • PubMed indexes biomedical literature, including all data from the Medline database from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the US National Library of Medicine (NLM). Medline is the premier database for journal articles in the health sciences. For further information follow the online tutorials provided on the PubMed website.

Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering:

  • Concrete Society Reference Database indexes publications about concrete and its use in construction, accessed via the Construction Information Service. Covers books, journal articles, conference papers, standards and technical reports. Select Construction Information Service and then Concrete Society - The Reference Database.
  • Construction Information Service indexes standards, regulatory and advisory documents for the UK construction industry plus their full-text images, either scanned facsimiles or in Adobe PDF format.
  • Earthquake Engineering Abstracts indexes and abstracts of all major journals that publish significant earthquake engineering research.
  • Geobase is an index of literature in the fields of physical and human geography, geology, oceanography, geomechanics, mineralogy, ecology and development studies.
  • Georef indexes geoscience journals, books, maps, conference papers and reports.
  • ICE Virtual Library offers full text of civil engineering journals published by Thomas Telford and Institution of Civil Engineers.
  • Landmap provides orthorectified satellite image mosaics of Landsat (including Mediterranean), SPOT and ERS radar data and a high resolution Digital Elevation Model for the British Isles.
  • Structurae: International Database and Gallery of Structures gives information on works of structural engineering, architecture or construction, from the Egyptians and Romans to the present day. Structurae deals mostly with bridges, tunnels, dams, skyscrapers, stadiums, towers, etc.

Electrical & Electronic Engineering:

  • Inspec covers physics, electronics, computing, control engineering and information technology.
  • IEEE Xplore gives the full text of IEEE and IET journals and conference proceedings back to 1988, and the current IEEE standards. For more information, see IEEE's online tutorials. You will need Adobe Flash Player 9 or above to view these.
  • SPIE Digital Library the most extensive resource available on optics and photonics, providing access to more than 200,000 technical papers from SPIE (International Society for Optical Engineering) Journals and Conference Proceedings from 1990 to the present.

Mechanical Engineering:

  • Marine Technology Abstracts indexes articles and other material in all aspects of marine technology.

Transport Engineering

  • For students on the MSc in Transport taught jointly with Imperial College London there is a full subject guide available here.

Full-text database resources:

  • Encyclopedia of Earth is an encyclopedia covering the Earth, its natural environments and their interaction with society. Articles are written in non-technical language by scholars, professionals, educators and experts who collaborate and review each other's work.
  • Knovel is an interactive database and ebook provider containing full-text science and engineering publications and including tables, graphs and equations which can be manipulated and exported.
  • Synthesis Digital Library of Computer Science and Engineering is a collection of more than 200 e-books in several series on important research and development topics in engineering and computer science.
  • Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry is a comprehensive encyclopaedia of science and technology as applied to industrial chemistry. Subject areas include inorganic and organic chemicals, advanced materials, polymers and plastics, metals and alloys, and many others.

For a complete list of databases available at UCL go to http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/database.

MetaLib can display a full list of indexing & abstracting services which can be cross-searched. For further information see our online guide.

Standards and patents
There are a variety of electronic resources available to help you identify relevant patents and standards.

Electronic journals
A range of journal titles are available electronically to registered members of UCL.

  • To look for a specific title, go to the alphabetical list on the Library's web pages at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/ejournal. You will also find details of the access arrangements for each title.

For further information you can consult the Library leaflet on Finding journals.

Exam papers
For information about exam papers, and access to all undergraduate and postgraduate papers for the last 5 years up to 2010, go to http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/exam.shtml. A list of online papers including those covering all Engineering disciplines can be found by clicking on this link. Paper copies of exam papers for the current year for all Main and Science Library subjects are shelved in the Photocopying Room of the Main Library. Older papers are available in printed format and are kept in Stores. These can be requested by clicking here.

Other Internet resources


TechXtra can help you find articles, key websites, books, the latest industry news, job announcements, ejournals, eprints, technical reports, the latest research, thesis & dissertations.
Engineers International is a gateway for engineering information with useful information and services for students.
HelpEngine.org is a student guide to engineering resource centres.
Higher Education Academy Engineering Subject Centre

Chemical Engineering

NIST Chemistry web book
Michigan chemical process dynamics and controls open textbook
Introductory chemical engineering thermodynamics
MIT OpenCourseWare: chemical engineering
Cheresources.com - chemical Engineering tools and information provides online content and tools to chemical engineers, some of the content is free.
ChEMBL - ChEMBL is a database of bioactive drug-like small molecules, it contains 2-D structures, calculated properties (e.g. logP, Molecular Weight, Lipinski Parameters, etc.) and abstracted bioactivities (e.g. binding constants, pharmacology and ADMET data). The data is abstracted and curated from the primary scientific literature, and cover a significant fraction of the SAR and discovery of modern drugs. Additional data on clinical progress of compounds is being integrated into ChEMBL at the current time.

Professional organisations

American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) The AIChE is a professional association that provides leadership in advancing the chemical engineering profession.
Biomedical Engineering Society focuses on translating biomedical engineering and technology into industrial and clinical applications.
Chemical Industries Association The CIA is the UK's leading trade association for the chemical and the chemistry-using industries, representing members both nationally and internationally.
Institute of Biological Engineering is a professional organisation which encourages enquiry and interest in biological engineering. It has details of events and confererences and publishes the Journal of Biological Engineering
Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicinebrings together physical science, engineering and clinical professionals in academia, healthcare services and industry.
Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) The IChemE is the hub for the chemical, biochemical and process engineering professionals worldwide.
The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine is an international, nonprofit, scientific association whose purpose is to promote communication, research, development, and applications in the field of magnetic resonance in medicine and biology and other related topics.
Royal Academy of Engineering The RAE brings together the country's most eminent engineers in order to enhance engineering capabilities and to promote all areas of engineering as a profession.
Society of Biological Engineers as part of the AIChE it aims to promote the integration of biology with engineering and realize its benefits through bioprocessing, biomedical and biomolecular applications. 

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Other libraries

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Library is the largest civil engineering library in the UK and is open to all members of the Engineering Faculty at UCL. The Library is based at the ICE Headquarters; 1 George Street, London SW1P 3AA.

The The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Library & Archives is at Savoy Place, London WC2R 0BL. The Library's website includes information about membership and opening hours.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Information and Library Services is open to all members of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UCL. The Library is at 1 Birdcage Walk, London, SW1H 9JJ.

The Institution of Structural Engineers Library is also open to all members of the UCL Engineering Faculty. The Library is located at 11 Upper Belgrave Street, London SW1X 8BH.

The London office of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) is at 1 Portland Place, London, W1B 1PN. Email the IChemE for details of student membership on memserv@icheme.org.uk.

The Energy Institute library is free for members of the Energy Institute. The Energy Institute holds a comprehensive collection of published material on all aspects of the oil and other energy industries. The library is at 61 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 7AR

The British Library is a useful resource and all UCL staff and students can apply directly for reference access. You will need to bring indentification showing proof of address (e.g. utility bill), proof of signature (e.g. driving licence) and proof of student or research status (UCL ID card) in order to obtain a reader's pass.

More information about using other libraries, and links to other library catalogues, are available at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/otherlib.shtml.

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Contact details

For further assistance in using the Library, visit the Enquiry Desk, which is located on the ground floor of the Science Library and is staffed from 09:30-17:30 during term-time (shorter hours during vacations). You may also telephone the Enquiry Desk on 020 7679 7789 or extension 37789.

Tara Platt is based in room 314 of the Science Library. For further information, or to arrange individual training sessions, email Tara or call 020 7679 2634/32634.

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Last modified 16 August 2012

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