Collection Selector

Paula Carey

Librarian for Engineering and Mathematics

Mugar Memorial Library, Science and Engineering Library

General Purpose of the Collection

The Engineering collection reflects the organization of the College of Engineering into three departments: Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering and two divisions: the Division of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and the Division of Systems Engineering (SE). The book and journal collections include theoretical, experimental, and applied topics. The collection has particular strengths in electrical and computer engineering. Lasers and optics, optoelectronics, optical communications, and photonics are areas of particular strength and emphasis. Manufacturing systems, manufacturing process automation, and robotics are also strong subject areas. Other topics of more recent interest or emphasis include materials, nanotechnology, neural networks, signal and image processing, and molecular engineering. The following outlines areas of specialization and research interests in the three departments of the College and reflects subject areas very actively collected:

Biomedical Engineering

Research is focused on applying engineering techniques to biological systems with emphasis on the following areas: Advanced biotechnology, biodynamics, biomechanics and bioinformatics, hearing research, biomedical materials research, biomedical optics, biomimetic systems, biomolecular systems, brain and vision research, cell and tissue engineering, cellular and subcellular mechanics, micro and nano biosystems, protein engineering, respiration research, sensory signal processing, therapeutic microtechnology, visual and circulatory biophysics, and visual information processing.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research is broadly organized into three areas:

  • electro-physics
  • information sciences and systems, and
  • computer engineering

Faculty research areas include: biomedical optics and biophotonics, communications and networks, computational electronics, computer architecture and automated design, electromagnetic phenomena, integrated circuitsand systems, multimedia processing, nanomaterials, optics and photonics, reliable and high performance computing, signal and image processing, solid state materials and devices, software engineering, VLSI and neural networks systems.

Mechanical Engineering

Research interests of the faculty are in the following interdisciplinary focus areas: acoustics and vibrations; biomechanics; computational science and engineering; dynamics, robotics, systems and controls; thermofluid sciences, energy and sustainability; materials; MEMS and nanosciences.

Division of Materials Science & Engineering

Research is focused on four key areas: biomaterials, electronic and photonic materials, materials for energy and environment, and nanomaterials.

Division of Systems Engineering

Research is focused on five key areas: automation, robotics and control, communications and networking, computational biology, information sciences, production, service systems and distribution systems.

The College of Engineering offers undergraduate programs (BS) in Biomedical Engineering, Computer Systems Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. The Mechanical Engineering department offers an accredited bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with four possible concentrations: aerospace engineering, energy technologies and environmental engineering, nanotechnology, or manufacturing engineering. A combined BS/MS program is also offered.

The Boston University Dual Degree program allows students to earn a second bachelor’s degree from another school or college at Boston University. The Double Major program allows students to earn two engineering BS degrees, provided that both degrees are not in the same department. The Late Entry Accelerated Program (LEAP) is an MS degree designed for students who have at least a bachelor’s degree, but whose academic background is in the liberal arts or another area that does not substantially overlap with traditional engineering/science programs. The College of Engineering and the School of Medicine offer a combined program called Engineering/Medical Integrated Curriculum (ENGMEDIC) leading to a BS in biomedical engineering from the College of Engineering and an MD from the School of Medicine.

The Master of Science (MS) is offered in Biomedical Engineering, Computer Systems Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Global Manufacturing, Manufacturing Engineering, Materials, Mechanical Engineering, Photonics, and Systems Engineering. The Master of Engineering (MEng) degree is offered in Biomedical Engineering, Computer Systems Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Materials, Mechanical Engineering, Photonics, and Systems Engineering.

The Engineering PhD is offered in the following areas: Biomedical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Systems Engineering. The MD/PhD program offers a combined degree and is conducted under the joint auspices of the School of Medicine and the College of Engineering.

The Division of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) will offer the MS and the PhD degrees in Materials Science and Engineering and the Division of Systems Engineering (SE)will offer the MS and the PhD degrees in Systems Engineering.

Other specialized programs include a dual degree Master of Business Administration/Master of Science (MBA/MS) in Mechanical Engineering offered in partnership with the Questrom School of Business. MS and PhD degrees are offered by the Program in Bioinformatics in cooperation with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The Mechanical Engineering Department provides graduate courses and a master’s degree program to engineers working in industry through its Distance Learning Program (DLP). The DLP currently offers an Engineering Master’s Degree (MEng) in Manufacturing or Mechanical Engineering. The Metropolitan College SEP (Science & Engineering Program) two year program is also supported.

The College of Engineering provides a complete list of Research Centers and Laboratories associated with the College and whose research is supported by the Engineering collection.

Scope of Coverage

Languages collected (primary and selective) or excluded
Materials are collected primarily in English and only occasionally in other languages.
Geographical areas covered by the collections in terms of intellectual content, publication sources, or both, and specific areas excluded, as appropriate
There are no limitations on geographical areas covered in terms of intellectual content. Sources are generally English language publishers.
Chronological periods covered by the collection in terms of intellectual content, movements or schools, and specific periods excluded, as appropriate
There is no limit to coverage in terms of intellectual content but emphasis is on collecting the most recent materials.
Chronological periods collected in terms of publication dates, and specific periods excluded, as appropriate
There is no limit to coverage in terms of publication dates but emphasis is on collecting recent publications and new research.

General Subject Boundaries and Library Locations

The subject scope of this collection is primarily determined by the following Library of Congress call number ranges: T-TA (General Engineering), TD (Environmental Engineering), TJ-TN (Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Aeronautics & Astronautics, Metals & Metallurgy), and TS (Manufacturing Engineering). Items in these categories are housed in the Science and Engineering Library.

  • T-TA : Industrial Engineering (Quantitative Methods, Operations Research, Systems Analysis), Industrial Research, General Engineering (Bioengineering, Systems Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Engineering Mathematics, Engineering Analysis, Applied Mechanics, Acoustical Engineering, Mechanics of Materials, Applied Optics, Photonics)
  • TD : Environmental Technology (Environmental Protection, Environmental Pollution, Water Supply for Domestic and Industrial Purposes, Hazardous substances and their disposal)
  • TJ-TN : Mechanical Engineering and Machinery, Electrical Engineering and Electronics, Metallurgy and Nonmetallic Materials
  • TP 315-360 : Fuel (alternative sources, environmental effects), Petroleum Refining (environmental effects)
  • TS : Production management, Operations management
  • Z 5851-5853 : Engineering Bibliography
  • Z 8001-8999 : Personal Bibliography

Collected Very Selectively:

  • TC : Hydraulic and Ocean Engineering
  • TH 6014-6081 : Building Construction – Environmental Engineering of Buildings (green design)
  • TP 248.13-248.65 : Biotechnology
  • TP 690-692.5 : Oils, Fats, and Waxes – Petroleum Refining and Products
  • TP 751-762 : Oils, Fats, and Waxes – Gas Industry

Not Collected:

  • TE : Highway Engineering
  • TF : Railroads
  • TG : Bridge Engineering
  • TH 1-5701 : Building Construction
  • TH 6101-6887 : Plumbing and Pipefitting
  • TH 7005-7699 : Heating and Ventilation, Air Conditioning
  • TH 7700-7975 : Illumination, Lighting
  • TH 8001-8581 : Decoration and Decorative Furnishings
  • TH 9025-9745 : Protection of Buildings (including protection from dampness, fire, burglary
  • TP 155-156 : Chemical Technology – Chemical Engineering
  • TP 200-248 : Manufacture and Use of Chemicals
  • TP 248.13-248.65 : Biotechnology
  • TP 250-261 : Industrial Electrochemistry
  • TP 267.5-301 : Explosives and Pyrotechnics
  • TP785-1185 : Oils, Fats, and Waxes

The selector for Engineering consults with selectors in several other subject areas :

Related subjects and Interdisciplinary Relationships

Biology and Health Sciences
The collection has some overlapping interests with the Biology and Health Sciences collections in the areas of biomedical engineering and biotechnology.
Computer Science
Engineering has a cooperative relationship with Computer Science for electrical and computer engineering. Internet and especially World Wide Web (TK5105.888) topics are more often collected by Computer Science.
General Science
Engineering has a cooperative relationship with General Science for environment and energy topics.
Operations research is of interest to both the Engineering and Management selectors.
Applied Mathematics is related to all areas of Engineering. Engineering has overlapping interest with Mathematics for engineering mathematics.
Engineering cooperates with Physics for many areas but especially optics, lasers, photonics, acoustics, electromagnetic theory, classical and statistical mechanics, and thermodynamics.

Types of Materials

Books, conference proceedings, periodicals, and reference materials, including indexes and abstracts, bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks.
Collected Selectively
Electronic resources, government documents, theses and dissertations, and standards. Textbooks are collected very selectively (see Comments/Notes).
Not Collected
Solutions manuals, popular works, and patents.

Other On-Campus or Local Resources

The Engineering collection has some overlapping interests with the Boston University Alumni Medical Library collection for the area of biomedical engineering.


Civil engineering and chemical engineering materials are generally not collected. Textbooks are generally not collected except when they are considered to be standard works or classics for a subject area and of lasting value.