British Dictionary definitions for pre-engineering
the profession of applying scientific principles to the design, construction, and maintenance of engines, cars, machines, etc (mechanical engineering), buildings, bridges, roads, etc (civil engineering), electrical machines and communication systems (electrical engineering), chemical plant and machinery (chemical engineering), or aircraft (aeronautical engineering) See also military engineering
1680s, from engineer (n.). Meaning "work done by an engineer" is from 1720. As a field of study, attested from 1792. An earlier word was engineership (1640s); engineery was attempted in 1793, but it did not stick.
(ěn'jə-nîr'ĭng) The application of science to practical uses such as the design of structures, machines, and systems. Engineering has many specialities such as civil engineering, chemical engineering, and mechanical engineering.