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Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)

Engineering, or main engineering (called reactor pit in Klingonese), is the location from which the ship's main power systems are controlled. Engineering is the primary assignment of engineers and chief engineers.

In the late 20th century, nuclear vessels of the United States Navy designated their engine room as the main machine room, or m.m.r. A ship, like the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise, had at least four main machine rooms. Each of these rooms had a nuclear fission reactor. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Overview Edit

Engineering's primary purpose is to be the central point for control of all engineering systems aboard a starship, especially those related to propulsion and power generation. The matter/antimatter reaction chamber (also known as the warp core) is located in engineering.

Engineering can also be used as a command and control center, overriding primary centers such as the bridge or auxiliary control.

22nd century design Edit

NX Main Engineering

Engineering aboard an NX-class starship

NX-class starships of the 22nd century were the first Human vehicles to carry a warp reactor capable of speeds up to warp 5. (ENT: "Broken Bow") Aboard an NX-class ship, a section of engineering was situated on E Deck. (ENT: "Zero Hour")

Drawing inspiration from the engine of the Constitution-class USS Enterprise in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, production designer Herman Zimmerman suggested that the NX-class engine be of a horizontal configuration, an idea that was quickly approved by series co-creators and executive producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 135, p. 64) However, much of the particulars of the set were made the purview of Star Trek: Enterprise set decorator James Mees, who consequently once cited engineering as the set he found "most challenging" of all the sets featured in the series' pilot episode, "Broken Bow". He went on to state, "All the detail work was left to me – the blinking things, all the pipes – and there's not an inch that doesn't have something that does something!" (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 3, p. 86)
A schematic of the NX-class vessel shows the upper portion of engineering on D-Deck while its lower section was a part of E-Deck. The latter corresponds with a canon reference in "Zero Hour", although Daniels says in "Cold Front" that Engineering is on C-Deck. Engineering on Enterprise appears to have an unseen lower level as, in "The Crossing", we see Trip taking the lift up from beneath the deck. In addition, Herman Zimmerman once characterized this lift as "a four-story elevator." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 135, p. 64) The "fourth story" is apparently used in "Daedalus" when near the end of the episode, T'Pol is climbing the stairs to the upper level to find Trip while at the same time the elevator is descending from above the upper level ceiling, down past the upper level, and out of the scene to the lower level.
Among the set dressings for the NX-class engineering was a junction wall panel which was, in reality, a radio sound mixer echo board. This piece was sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. [1]

23rd century design Edit

Constitution original engineering2

Original configuration of main engineering on a pre-refit Constitution-class starship

On the original Constitution-class starships, engineering was a two-deck-tall room that housed the main dilithium reactor and the engineering core as well as a large transparent grill that overlooked power conduits. The room was extensively refitted on Constitution-class starships in the late 2260s to include additional computers, offices, and rooms around the main area. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", "The Naked Time", "The Conscience of the King", "The Ultimate Computer", "Mirror, Mirror", "Day of the Dove")

Towards the end of the 23rd century, the engineering department on refit Constitution-class starships was drastically changed, spanning multiple decks. The uppermost level served as the structural support strong back of the ship, and was the anchoring framework for the connecting dorsal and the warp nacelle pylons.

On the forward end of this level was the engineering computer monitoring room, which encircled the intermix shaft and opened, to the rear, into the engineering computer bay. The rear bulkhead of the computer bay contained an emergency section door which lowered to the deck below, and separated the warp engine room from the extended horizontal intermix area; the door dropped automatically in the event of a radiation leak or pressure loss.

Constitution Engineering

The upper level of main engineering aboard a refit Constitution-class starship

Constitution class refit engineering

The lower level of engineering aboard a refit Constitution-class starship

On the Constitution-class ship, a narrow corridor bypassed the computer bay on the port side and led aft, down the center of the level. On either side of this passageway were mounted the four maneuvering thrusters which rested beneath the upper hull of the secondary hull strong back.

These thrusters were used for vessel course control when within close proximity of drydock facilities.

The lower engineering deck typically housed the engineering department. Located in the center of the room, and extending for many levels both above and below the deck, was the vertical linear intermix chamber.

This complex, a radically new design in intermix technology, provided operational power for the impulse drive system and furnished enough additional energy to power all other shipboard systems. Both matter and antimatter for this chamber were contained in a series of magnetic bottles, which were normally housed in pods at the base of the intermix shaft.

These pods could be ejected from the ship in case of an extreme emergency via two large blow-away panels in the outer hull. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Alternate realityEdit

Engineering aboard the alternate reality's USS Enterprise lacked the streamlined innovations of the prime reality starship. (Star Trek)

The alternate engineering rooms were not built as a set, but were filmed at a Budweiser brewery due to budgetary limitations. (Star Trek - The Art of the Film) Some concept art of the originally envisioned engineering rooms were shown on the DVD:

24th century design Edit

24th century starships featured a more modern approach to the engineering facility. Aboard the Galaxy-class starship, engineering was an open-plan facility, directly accessible from the corridor. Consisting of two primary levels, it housed the starship's warp core and primary engineering support systems.

Galaxy engineering1

Engineering aboard a Galaxy-class starship

Enterprise-D MSD

Refurbished Enterprise-D status display

The corridor bulkhead housed the master systems display. Inside the main section, the master systems display was the operational focus of the room.

Beyond this, heading towards the warp core, the chief engineer's office and several support consoles were located on the left, and the assistant chief engineer's console on the right. These formed part of the bulkhead protecting the main part of engineering from the warp core.

Access to the upper level, a circular area surrounding the warp core, could be found by a ladder on the left of the core or an elevator on the right. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")

The Galaxy-class engineering set was on Paramount Stage 9 and was reused from several of the Star Trek films, though many of its components were repainted and its spaces were enlarged. One addition to the set was the table used as the central console which, during production of The Next Generation, was affectionately known as the "pool table." It was previously used as a console in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in Starfleet Command, San Francisco. Similarly, the back wall of the chief engineer's office had previously served as an office wall in sickbay aboard the movie USS Enterprise. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 3rd ed., pp. 9-10)
The wall-size okudagram in engineering of the USS Enterprise-D reveals such secrets as the location of the ship's giant mouse, the giant duck, and what might be Gene Roddenberry's World War II bomber.
In TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", engineering consisted of three levels instead of only two. Crew members were shown working on levels both above and below the reaction chamber during the first shot of the ship's interior.

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