Reading engineering magazines is a great way to keep up with industry developments, or provide a window into the engineering world if you’re an enthusiast.
Right now, the engineering writing landscape is particularly diverse, with magazines written for general audiences, working engineers and professionals in just about every engineering sub-niche there is.
No matter your particular interests, there is a magazine for someone. These are the 20 of the best engineering magazines that you can read right now.
Coolest Engineering Magazines You Need to Read
The IEEE is an electrical engineering group, but Spectrum — as the name suggests — covers a wide spectrum of engineering topics, including AI, internet infrastructure, waste management, space physics and more.
Spectrum’s writing is often very accessible, meaning that both engineers and enthusiasts can get a lot of the magazine’s articles. Most articles provide necessary background information and won’t assume that you know all the details about a topic before diving in.
Who Is Spectrum For?: General audiences, engineers, electrical engineers, anyone interested in in-depth science or engineering writing
Read This Article From Spectrum: “It’s Totally Fine for Humanoid Robots to Fall Down” by Evan Ackerman. This article covers the comedic controversy of advanced humanoid robots going viral for falling down. It includes commentary from famed industry leader Boston Dynamics, who’s walking humanoid and canine robots frequently make headlines.
Spectrum also has a fascinating special report on the growth and risks of AI. This report includes long-form articles on a collection of topics surrounding the state of AI today. It covers everything from robots to expert commentary on the future of AI.
These two articles give a sense of what Spectrum is about — a mix of reporting on new and emerging engineering developments and writing on engineering projects from real engineers.
Some readers may want to read engineering magazines that are written for a popular audience, rather than professional engineers.
Popular Mechanics fills this niche, offering articles that are highly accessible to enthusiasts and those without engineering experience. Topics include industry news, reporting, retrospectives and product reviews.
Who Is Popular Mechanics For?: General audiences as well as industry professionals
Read This Article From Popular Mechanics: “Why Future Exploration of Our Solar System Will Require Robots” by Paul M. Sutter. This article covers a favorite topic of many engineers: space exploration. Paul Sutter discusses the many reasons why robots are vital for space exploration and how they will contribute to the future of the industry.
Like Popular Mechanics, Popular Science provides highly accessible science writing for an audience that may not have a technical background. Topics include news, reviews and DIY projects.
Who Is Popular Science For?: General audiences, science enthusiasts and engineers of all kinds
Read This Article From Popular Science: “The history—and future—of hitting the road” by Jake Bittle. This long-form read covers the history and future of America’s roads, including the exciting new technologies changing the surfaces we drive on. Bittle discusses some fascinating innovations like robot road repair and pavement made of recycled plastic.
4. PE Magazine
The “flagship publication of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE),” PE magazine is one of the best ways to stay on top of engineering industry developments. The magazine includes articles by NPSE members on a variety of industry topics.
Who Is PE Magazine For?: Professional engineers, NPSE members and anyone interested in the industry.
Read This Article From PE Magazine: “How Unregulated Engineering and Construction Put My Country at Risk” by Rifat Bin Ahmed. NPSE member and Bangladeshi structural design engineer Rifat Bin Ahmed describes how a lack of building and engineering regulations in Bangladesh has put everyday people at risk.
Published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), this magazine provides updates and information on the field of mechanical engineering.
Who Is Mechanical Engineering For?: Mechanical engineers, ASME members and mechanical engineering enthusiasts.
Read This Article From Mechanical Engineering: “Space Station Could Bring Weight to the Weightless” by Lina Zeldovich. This fascinating industry news article covers a new development in aerospace engineering involving a fresh approach to an old idea for space station design. Zeldovich covers the challenges of life in zero-g and the innovative new space station in development at Orbital Assembly.
For professionals interested in industrial lasers and in need of a more challenging, more in-depth publication, Laser Focus World is there. If you’re fascinated by photonics technology, this is one of the best engineering magazines you can read.
Who Is Laser Focus World For?: Technical professionals interested in lasers and photonics
Read This Article From Laser Focus World: “Acousto-optic beam-steering chip unleashes LiDAR in tiny footprint” by Sally Cole Johnson. In this industry news feature, Johnson covers an exciting development that will make LiDAR technology more versatile and adaptable. Lasers are a core part of LiDAR, which is a core part of many autonomous vehicle designs. This new chip allows LiDAR systems to use sound waves to direct lasers.
Mechanical engineers and enthusiasts looking for an accessible mechanical engineering magazine should look to Machine Design. The publication offers highly readable articles on topics like automation, IIoT and robotics.
Who Is Machine Design For?: Anyone interested in mechanical engineering and machine design
Read This Article From Machine Design: “A History of Design for Manufacturing and Assembly” by Bradford Goldense. This article offers a retrospective on the emergence and the growing importance of DfMA.
NASA’s charter requires the agency to report on new, commercially significant technologies developed as a result of the agency’s R&D operations. Since the 1960s, NASA has done this with Tech Briefs — a monthly publication including articles and briefs on these new technologies.
Who Is This Magazine For?: Spaceflight enthusiasts, aerospace and aeronautic engineers, physicists and astronomers.
Read This Article From Tech Briefs: “Clean, Sustainable Fuels Made from ‘Thin Air’ and Plastic Waste” by Andrew Corselli. In this article from NASA Tech Brief, Andrew Corselli explains the science behind an exciting new reactor that can turn CO2 and plastic waste into clean fuel. If you like fascinating science features like this, it’s definitely worth following NASA Tech Briefs.
Gear design, manufacturing, assembly and more — PTE magazine provides in-depth writing for power transmission engineers.
Who Is PTE Magazine For?: Primarily engineering, design and manufacturing professionals
Read This Article From PTE: “Reducing Plant Downtime” by Greg Jackson, CEO of Win-911. Downtime remains one of the most serious challenges for manufacturers, especially amid supply chain disruptions and growing demand. Jackson discusses strategies for managing plant downtime through design.
This magazine is essential reading for chemical processing industry professionals and chemical engineers. Articles in Chemical Engineering cover a range of industry topics, including water treatment, chemical processing and handling, automation and compliance.
Who Is Chemical Engineering For?: Primarily CPI industry professionals, though anyone interested in chemical engineering may find the magazine valuable
Read This Article From Chemical Engineering: “If Data Is the New Gold, Where to Start Digging?” by Edwin Elmendorp, Kinsmen Group. Among manufacturers, the conventional wisdom right now is that data has become more valuable than ever.
Identifying, collecting and analyzing the right data can be a challenging task, however. In this article, Elmendorp discusses current strategies on information gathering and analysis in CPI.
Professionals and enthusiasts interested in civil engineering should investigate Civil Engineering magazine, which offers articles on a range of industry topics.
Who Is Civil Engineering For?: Industry professionals and anyone interested in the field
Read This Article From Civil Engineering: “Solar-responsive, ‘breathing’ tower opens in Shenzhen, China” Catherine A. Cardno, Ph.D. A new tower in Shenzhen uses responsive solar shading and natural ventilation openings to manage interior heat.
12. Make Magazine
For the do-it-yourselfers of the world, Make Magazine offers articles on DIY projects, as well as writing on hacking, tweaking and customizing the products you own.
Who Is Make For?: DIYers and engineers interested in working on consumer products
Read This Article From Make Magazine:“These 3D Printed Extensions Make Xbox Controllers More Accessible” by Caleb Kraft. With a 3D printer, it’s possible to transform and extend the function of many electronics. Kraft shows how simple 3D-printed objects can make a video game controller easier to use.
Engineering design software and virtual tools are more important than ever. Digital Engineering (formerly Desktop Engineering) is an industry magazine that provides detailed and technical writing on design, simulation and testing.
Who Is DE For?: Engineers that rely on digital design solutions
Read This Article From DE: “Sustainable Product Development Gains Momentum” by Beth Stackpole. The pivot towards sustainable design is picking up steam. Stackpole discusses how companies are investing in sustainable design and the growth of sustainable product engineering.
Auto enthusiasts, racecar fans, auto engineers and anyone interested in motorsport technology will find something to like in Racecar Engineering.
Who Is Racecar Engineering For?: Motorsport engineers and enthusiasts
Read This Article From Racecar Engineering: “Developing NASCAR’s Gen 7 Aerodynamics” by Dr. Eric Jacuzzi. The NASCAR Next Generation racecars come with some significant aerodynamic innovations. Dr. Jacuzzi discusses these new developments and where they came from.
For professionals interested in industry news and reporting, the Engineering News-Record (ENR) is an invaluable resource. Industry observers and those interested in the field may also find useful information in this magazine.
Who Is the ENR For?: Primarily professional engineers, construction contractors, infrastructure professionals
Read This Article From the ERN: “East Coast Evaluates Damage After Fast-Moving ‘Bomb Cyclone’” by Scott Van Voorhis. Following the bomb cyclone that resulted in record-low temperatures, heavy snowfall and flooding, professionals on the East Coast are investigating the damage the cyclone caused. Van Voorhis discusses the process and repair efforts.
The growing importance of renewables makes clean energy writing more valuable than ever. North American Clean Energy offers articles on developments in the renewables industry and green energy technology — whether you’re an expert or just want to know more about the state of renewable energy in North America.
Who Is North American Clean Energy For?: Energy professionals and engineers, as well as general audiences
Read This Article From North American Clean Energy: “The Future is Bright for Solar Plus Storage” by Ke Bi. In this industry news article, reporter Ke Bi discusses the optimistic state of solar power and renewable energy storage today. Bi also delves into the future of the market and signs of further growth for renewables.
17. ASHRAE Journal
The flagship publication of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, the ASHRAE Journal provides updates and deep-dives on topics relevant to HVAC engineers. You will need an ASHRAE membership for full access.
Who Is ASHRAE Journal For?: ASHRAE members, engineers or anyone interested in air, ventilation and climate control systems.
Read This Article From ASHRAE Journal: “Transporting and Storing COVID-19 Vaccines (excerpt)” by Yunho Hwang, Ph.D., Fellow ASHRAE, et al. Transport companies need to carefully hold the COVID-19 vaccines at very low temperatures while they are en route to vaccination centers. Hwang, along with seven other ASHRAE members, discusses the challenges of transporting and storing COVID-19 vaccines.
For electromagnetic interference engineers wanting articles on EMI and EMC, Interference Technology is a valuable resource. Magazine topics include interference as well as electronics design and testing.
Who Is Interference Technology For?: EMI/EMC engineers and electronics designers
Read This Article From Interference Technology: “Thermoplastic Faraday Cage: Specialty Polymers for Inherent EMI Shielding of Medical Devices” by Interference Technology. New medical devices need protection from EMI. Conductive thermoplastics may be the perfect material.
This magazine offers a resource for every electronics engineer who needs to design and test compliant devices,
Who Is IC Magazine For?: Engineers in industries where compliance is key and anyone interested in electronics regulations
Read This Article From IC Magazine: “The Synergy of Filtering and Shielding” by In Compliance. The In Compliance team offers a breakdown of the filtering and shielding concept, its origins and current applications.
For enthusiasts of aerospace technology and aerospace engineers, AWST is one of the best magazines available. The publication covers a variety of topics including the airline industry, defense and spaceflight technology.
Who Is AWST For?: Anyone who needs information on the engineering side of the aerospace and defense industries
Read This Article From AWST: “How to Regulate Commercial Human Spaceflight” – podcast episode with Jen DiMascio, Irene Klotz and guest George Nield. One cool feature of AWST is that they have a podcast in addition to written content. If you want some industry news to listen to at lunch or on your commute, check out this podcast episode on the future of commercial spaceflight.