Engineer in Society

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  • Topic: Engineering, Environmental engineering, Safety engineering
  • Pages : 12 (4356 words )
  • Download(s) : 909
  • Published : April 4, 2010
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Engineers work to develop economic and safe solutions to practical problems, by applying mathematics, scientific knowledge and ingenuity while considering technical constraints. The term is derived from the Latin root "ingenium," meaning "cleverness". The industrial revolution and continuing technological developments of the last few centuries have changed the connotation of the term slightly, resulting in the perception of engineers as applied scientists. The work of engineers is the link between perceived needs of society and commercial applications. As for engineering definition it is a discipline, art and profession of acquiring and applying technical, scientific, and mathematical knowledge to design and implement materials, structures, machines, devices, systems, and processes that safely realize a desired objective or invention. The broad discipline of engineering encompasses a range of more specialized sub disciplines, each with a more specific emphasis on certain fields of application and particular areas of technology. The concept of engineering has existed since ancient times as humans devised fundamental inventions such as the pulley, lever, and wheel. Each of these inventions is consistent with the modern definition of engineering, exploiting basic mechanical principles to develop useful tools and objects. The term engineering itself has a much more recent etymology, deriving from the word engineer, which itself dates back to 1325, when an engine’er (literally, one who operates an engine) originally referred to “a constructor of military engines.” In this context, now obsolete, an “engine” referred to a military machine, i. e., a mechanical contraption used in war (for example, a catapult). The word “engine” itself is of even older origin, ultimately deriving from the Latin ingenium (c. 1250), and meaning “innate quality, especially mental power, hence a clever invention.” Later, as the design of civilian structures such as bridges and buildings matured as a technical discipline, the term civil engineering entered the lexicon as a way to distinguish between those specializing in the construction of such non-military projects and those involved in the older discipline of military engineering (the original meaning of the word “engineering,” now largely obsolete, with notable exceptions that have survived to the present day such as military engineering corps, e.g., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Engineering, much like other science, is a broad discipline which is often broken down into several sub-disciplines. With the rapid advancement of technology many new fields are gaining prominence and new branches are developing such as materials engineering, computer engineering, software engineering, nanotechnology, tribology, molecular engineering, mechatronics, etc. These new specialties sometimes combine with the traditional fields and form new branches such as mechanical engineering and mechatronics and electrical and computer engineering. A new or emerging area of application will commonly be defined temporarily as a permutation or subset of existing disciplines; there is often gray area as to when a given sub-field becomes large and/or prominent enough to warrant classification as a new "branch." One key indicator of such emergence is when major universities start establishing departments and programs in the new field. For each of these fields there exists considerable overlap, especially in the areas of the application of sciences to their disciplines such as physics, chemistry and mathematics. Engineering is a subject that ranges from large collaborations to small individual projects. Almost all engineering projects are beholden to some sort of financing agency: a company, a set of investors, or a government. The few types of engineering that are minimally constrained by such issues are pro bono engineering and open design engineering. By its very nature engineering is bound up with society and human behaviour....
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