"A research literature review is a systematic, explicit, and reproducible method for identifying, evaluating, and synthesizing the existing body of completed and recorded work produced by researchers, scholars, and practitioners." From Conducting Research Literature Reviews, 3rd Edition, by Arlene Fink, 2009.
a useful book
Engineering Project: literature review
Does the chapter include a summary description of prior work done by others on the subject of your project, together with references to the technical literature?
As part of your Engineering Project, you will conduct a research literature review of scholarly articles and other material relevant to your topic.
This guide will walk you through the research phase of the literature review process.
University of Texas Mechanical Engineering Grad Student on the Literature Review
Once you have a well defined topic, choose a scientific literature database for an overview of what's out there: Engineering Village and Science Direct are good places to start. A Google Scholar search is also a good bet.