Everyday Engineering


Everyday Engineering renewed my love of studying self-directedly via online courses after I discovered it in September of 2021 and became completely obsessed.

For a little over a year, I spent scheduled time each week watching these engineering lectures, taking careful notes, and eventually converting my notes into spaced repetition flashcards with Anki. These flashcards are available here:

The course walks the viewer through the construction of houses; the civil engineering involved in stormwater, wastewater, and freshwater; the mining and power generation of coaI, natural gas, uranium, solar, and wind power; the inner workings of an electrical power grid; telecommunications, satellites, and cell service; internal combustion engines; bridges and dams; trash disposal; sustainability design and permaculture.

Dr. Stephen Ressler, emeritus professor at West Point, has a genius for clever yet simple explanations, and his lectures often come with an accompanying model or experiment. During home construction, it was foot-tall plywood houses subjected to the forces of wind and frost heave. During thermodynamics it was detailed 3D models of HVAC systems. He even built a differential for a car made out of wooden gears.

Though not an especially handy person growing up, this course has made me confident I have the requisite background knowledge to grok the things handy people talk about. The confidence this has given me in accomplishing projects in the time since cannot be overstated. I wish young people in school could spend a similar amount of time with this course and gain an appreciation for the way the structures that support their life are formed. It would serve them well, not least of which as a great argument for continued learning.