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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 practical purposes. (4) 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.


Engineering is 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.


Engineers 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.


Engineers have 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.


Engineering 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 problems.


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, voltage, temperature).

3 Experimental design : The use of physical models and tests to compensate for both qualitative and quantitative uncertainty."


  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 example):

1. Imperfect understanding of important physical/chemical/biological/ issues (limited time and money to find this understanding)

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 (synthesis)”


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. Most 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:

1 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.

2 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.]

3 Goals.

What the scientist wants

What the Engineer


Control experiment

Close enough
Traceability, Verification
Baseline design, Prototype
Boundary conditions