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Engineering Standards

A guide to finding design and construction/manufacturing standards for engineering students.

About Engineering Standards

Rowan University Libraries offers online access to collections of engineering standards for most engineering disciplines. Choose the appropriate box on this page to learn about online standards databases for that discipline.

Use of engineering standards improves safety, quality, efficiency, and profitability.  For engineering students, ABET’s 2020-21 Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) criteria Criterion 5: Curriculum says “the curriculum must include… d) a culminating major engineering design experience that 1) incorporates appropriate engineering standards.”

If you don't know what standard applies to your topic, begin by searching in the library's Compendex database (described below) to identify the standard you need. 

Finding Standards Using Compendex

In 2018, indexing of engineering standards was added to Elsevier's Compendex database. You can search for standards in Compendex  by selecting the Document Type of Standard after running a search. 

Image of bicycle helmet standards in Compendex.


The standard itself will not be available in Compendex. To read the standard, select the Full Text button (circled in the screenshot below). You will be redirected to another database (such as ASTM Compass, SAE Mobilus, or IEEE) where the complete text of the standard is available. Or if payment is requested for the standard, click on the 'Get it Full Text' Rowan button to order the standard through interlibrary loan. 

Full-text access to standards in Engineering Village

Electrical Engineering Standards

IEEE, the professional organization for electrical and electronic engineers, plays a major role in setting standards for the industry. Rowan University Libraries subscribes to IEEE XPlore, which includes IEEE standards. 

Mechanical Engineering Standards

Rowan University Libraries subscribes to two databases containing standards relevant to mechanical engineers: 

- ASTM Compass has standards for the design and manufacturing of consumer products.

- SAE MOBILUS has standards related to vehicles of all kinds (cars, airplanes, boats, drones, etc.). 

Civil Engineering Standards

Some standards related to civil engineering can be found in the ASCE Library and the Access Engineering database.

The National Fire Code is the most frequently asked-for standard by civil engineers.

Standards used in Biomedical Engineering

The International Standards Organization (ISO) sets standards for products and services that are bought and sold globally. An example of an ISO standard applicable to Biomedical Engineering is ISO 13485: Medical Devices. 

To obtain the full text standard, note the citation information from the ISO site, then request the document by interlibrary loan through Rowan University Libraries.

Military Engineering Standards

For some engineering projects, DoD (US Department of Defense) standards will be applicable. Use this search engine to search military standards by number or keywords.