<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
What is engineering? What is an engineer?? Although it is a very old activity or trade, engineering is a relatively young academic discipline or profession. Only in recent years has it reached a stage of maturity where some of its defining details and differentiating characteristics can be articulated.


What is engineering? What is an engineer?? Although it is a very old activity or trade, engineering is arelatively young academic discipline or profession. Only in recent years has it reached a stage of maturity where some of its definingdetails and differentiating characteristics can be articulated. Engineering is the endeavor that creates, maintains, develops, andapplies technology for societies' needs and desires. Its origins go back to the very beginning of human civilization where tools werefirst created and developed. Indeed, a good case can be made for the defining of humans as those animals that create, develop, andunderstand the significance of technology.

Over time, the part of technology that acts as an extension of human capabilities became the purview ofengineering. One can view bicycles, cars, and trains as extensions of walking and running. Airplanes are an extension and applicationof a bird's ability to fly transferred to humans. The telegraph, telephone, radio, television, and the internet are extensions oftalking, hearing, and seeing. The microscope, telescope, and medical x-ray are also extensions of human sight and vision.Writing, books, libraries and computer data-bases are extensions of human memory and the computer itself is an extension of the human'sbrain in doing arithmetic and carrying out logical arguments and procedures. Indeed, looking around your environment in almost anysetting, will illustrate just how pervasive technology is. In almost any home or office, there is very little that is truly"natural"; i.e., little that is not created or manipulated by technology. The food that you eat, the utensils that you eat with,the table that you eat off of, the house that you are in, the clothes that you wear, the book that you read, the television thatyou watch, the telephone that you communicate with, the car that you travel in -- these are all technologies created by humancleverness to satisfy human needs. This process of creation is engineering and those who do the creating are practicingengineering, whether they call themselves engineers or not.

Not only is much of the inanimate world created by engineering, part of the living world is also. Almostall crops and agriculturally produced food stuff are "engineered" through selective breeding. The same is true of domestic animalssuch as pets and animals raised for food or sport. Certainly the dogs, cats, and cattle have not "naturally" evolved to theircurrent state. They have been “created” or “designed” to satisfy human desires or needs. The slow and less exact methods ofcontrolled breeding are being replaced by genetic engineering, tissue engineering, and applications of nanotechnology. We humanshave the cleverness to do that. It is the development of the tools, theories, and methods and the understanding of the appropriatesciences and mathematics for that process that is engineering. It is a central part of the history of humanity.

Questions & Answers

I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Engineering -- a modern creative discipline (incomplete). OpenStax CNX. Jan 01, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10362/1.3
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Engineering -- a modern creative discipline (incomplete)' conversation and receive update notifications?