Since most papers and reports written for engineering include some amount of mathematics, and usually many figures, I recommend my graduate students learn how to use LaTeX. It is a typesetting language that is adept at taking the agony out of writing equations, placing figures and generally getting complex documents completed on time with a minimum of fuss. Word is getting better at this, and so I do not insist on the use of LaTeX, but strongly recommend it. Most journal publishers also make LaTeX templates available for use in preparing manuscripts, and Queen’s University has a template for theses. This reduces the task of manuscript preparation to simply entering text – LaTeX takes care of all formatting – which is a considerable time-saver considering most theses are written under some form of time-crunch.
Here, I list some useful LaTeX resources: