Books to Read


Hello all,

I’m here to ask for book recommendations about ME. Anything that you think would be a good read to learn more about engineering, particularly design and physics, but also about machining/production too. Really just looking for any good read that’s information dense that I can apply to improving my engineer/frc skills. Any recommendations appreciated!



I don’t have any recommendations for technical books, but I would recommend The New Cool written by Neal Bascomb which told the story of several FRC teams throughout an FRC season and mainly focused on now-retired FRC Team 1717.



Skunk Works, by Ben Rich. Must read for any ME/Aero major, or anyone obsessed with planes.

Lots of incredible stories from an incredible engineering team.

Edit: fit this book in under the “professional development” category as I think that’s where it’s most valuable lessons lay, however it is still dense with technical details on aerospace, design, and manufacturing.



Shigley’s Mechanical Engineering Design and Machinery’s Handbook are two of my favorite. Use them pretty frequently

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Seconding Machinery’s Handbook, I’ve found it very useful for figuring out how to design parts for machinability.

I’m also a fan of Mechanisms And Mechanical Devices Sourcebook by Nicholas Chironis, it’s kinda dense but a very cool compendium of mechanisms and what they’re each good for. You can open up to pretty much any page and find something clever and interesting.



I’m sorry, I don’t know many book about ME…

You can try “One Morning in Maine” by Robert McCloskey




“Prepare to Win” by Carrol Smith. It is a basic primer on nuts, bolts, rivets, ETC written by an engineer for technically minded lay person. Actual his whole series XX to win is worth reading. It is written from the preparing competitive race cars perspective. Excellent read of the mindset and the drive for perfection it takes to be competitive.



Picking up on the FIRST trend, there’s a short series called “Behind the Design”–2006, 2007, and 2015, as I recall, made it into book form. It’s how teams designed and built their robots and won awards.

Might be tough to find a copy anymore but worth the read if you can.



Outside of FIRST sphere, but a book I’ve personally been enjoying lately, has been “Legged Robots that Balance” by Marc Raibert. It’s written in 1986 but it’s a very intensive and fun read about the evolution of the first modern legged robots as they took their very first steps (or to be honest, hops)! As one would expect, it has a good amount of both mechanical design and dynamic control theory.



Race Car Vehicle Dynamics, by Milliken/Milliken. Dense, technical SAE publication on vehicle dynamics, but very useful to understand how to model tires, a chassis, suspension, etc. Very applicable to robotics, but likely outside of the math skill set of most high school students.



The Design of Design by Fred Brooks is a pretty good read if you want to delve deeper into effective design process and associated aspects.