What is the Engineer and Engineering
◙ Engineering is
: (1) Applied science, applied with moral behaviour. (2) Designing and building
things that meet customer requirements. (3) Using scientific information for
Applying technology toward human needs. (5) The art of applying science to the
optimum conversion of natural resources to the benefit of humankind. (6) The
bridge between science and art.
the art of applying scientific and mathematical principles, experience,
judgment, and common sense to make things that benefit people. In other words,
engineering is the process of producing a technical product or system to meet a
specific need. Engineering is the endeavor that creates, maintains, develops,
and applies technology for societies' needs and desires.
understand how to use techniques of engineering analysis to design and synthesis
of working devices and processes even though they have an imperfect
understanding of important physical, chemical or biological issues. Furthermore
engineers operate under constraints caused by a need to produce a product or
service that is timely, competitive, reliable, and consistent with the
philosophy and within the financial means. Engineers are result driven and the
detail of an engineering solution for a needed product, process or service is
always determined by balancing competing effects to attain an answer that is
optimal subject to the imposed constraints.
To be an
engineer, a student should understand how to bring together knowledge of
previously solved problems and understanding of the current need to
synthesize new solutions. A new solution might be quite
complex but an engineer understands how it is really
comprised of simple, well understood pieces.
an excellent record of success in the business world because they “think like
engineers” in the solution of (at least some) business problems. Engineers have
many different types of jobs to choose from, including research, design,
analysis, development, testing, and sales positions.
technology is the profession in which a knowledge of mathematics and natural
sciences gained by higher education, experience, and practice is devoted
primarily to the implementation and extension of existing technology for the
benefit of humanity. Engineering technology education focuses primarily on the
applied aspects of science and engineering aimed at preparing graduates for
practice to product improvement, manufacturing, construction, and engineering
operational functions. Thus engineering technology is the application of
engineering principles and modern technology to help solve or prevent technical
The ability to compute separates the
engineer from the technician. An education in engineering mathematics generates
an insight into the generation of new QUALITATIVE ideas which will work.
1 Qualitative Design : The generation
of ideas, structures, concepts, combinations, configurations and patterns. The
results are expressed in sketches, layouts, schematics and diagrams.
2 Quantitative design: The
computation of the magnitude of the elements in a qualitative design. The
results are expressed in numbers, usually with physical units (e.g. length,
3 Experimental design : The use of
physical models and tests to compensate for both qualitative and quantitative
The work of engineers is the link between perceived social needs and commercial
applications. Engineers consider many factors when developing a new product. For
example, in developing an industrial robot, engineers precisely specify the
functional requirements; design and test the robot’s components; integrate the
components to produce the final design; and evaluate the design’s overall
effectiveness, cost, reliability, and safety. This process applies to the
development of many different products, such as chemicals, computers, engines,
aircraft, and toys.
In addition to design and development, many engineers work in testing,
production, or maintenance. These engineers supervise production in factories,
determine the causes of component failure, and test manufactured products to
maintain quality. They also estimate the time and cost to complete projects.
Some move into engineering management or into sales. In sales, an
engineering background enables them to discuss technical aspects and assist in
product planning, installation, and use. Supervisory engineers are
responsible for major components or entire projects.
Engineers use computers extensively to produce and analyze designs; to simulate
and test how a machine, structure, or system operates; and to generate
specifications for parts. Many engineers also use computers to monitor product
quality and control process efficiency.
◙ Engineering is
result driven and the primary goal is always the same: Find the Optimal solution
to a problem. Optimal is usually modified or defined in the context of (for
1. Imperfect understanding of important
physical/chemical/biological/ issues (limited time and money to find this
2. Financial - based on not necessarily well-defined
markets or other social issues
3. Ability to actually produce the item or service as
needed and promised.
4. Consistent with the philosophy and practice of the
client or company.
Topics that if appropriately linked together demonstrate
how engineers think:
“Building up complex problems from simple pieces
Science and Engineering
Engineers use creativity, technology, and scientific knowledge to solve
practical problems. Engineers and scientists are often confused in the minds of
the general public. While scientists explore nature in order to discover general
principles, engineers apply established principles drawn from mathematics and
science in order to develop economical solutions to technical problems.
◙ Science is the study of “natural”
phenomena. It is the collection of theories, models, laws, and facts about the
physical world and the methods used to create this collection. Physics,
chemistry, biology, geology, etc. try to understand, describe, and explain the
physical world that would exist even if there were no humans.
◙ Engineering is the creation,
maintenance, and development of things that have not existed in the natural
world and that satisfy some human desire or need. A television set does not grow
on a tree. It is the creation of human ingenuity that first fulfilled a fantasy
of a human need and then went on to change the society that created it. Science
is the study of what is and engineering is the creation of can be. Science could
not progress without technology, and engineering certainly could not flourish
without science and mathematics.
scientists (but not all) feel there is some unique objective truth behind the
physical phenomena they are studying. Their goal is to find it and describe and
explain it, and this truth is unique although the approaches and approximations
to it are certainly not. In literature and engineering, the designed entity is
not unique to the situation, but it is a creation of the particular writer or
designer and perhaps unique to the creator.
◙ Clearly engineering is constrained in
what it can create by the laws of science as everything is.
The difference between engineering and science
centers around methodology. This summary is Copyright 1996 by Ron Graham. The
differences between engineers and scientists fall into the following categories:
Purpose. The scientist wants to understand the way the universe (or
some particular part of it) works; the engineer wants to design some mechanism
or system to work according to known laws and applied to specific needs.
Routine. The scientist will develop a theory and test it -- when the
field allows. In some fields the scientist will collect and analyze data and
then develop a theory to describe the results. (This theory may lead to an
equation or some other tool used by the engineer.) [See what happens, then
describe it.] The engineer will instead collect information, draw up a plan,
build and test a prototype, iterate out the twist, and go to production and
marketing. [Build it, then see what happens.]
What the scientist
What the Engineer
Baseline design, Prototype