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INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING. FEG 300 Douglas Daley SUNY ESF. The scientist seeks to understand what is. The Engineer seeks to CREATE what never was. -Theodore von Karman. What is Engineering? 1. The creative process of applying: Scientific and mathematic principles Experience

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introduction to engineering


FEG 300

Douglas Daley


The scientist seeks to understand what is. The Engineer seeks to CREATE what never was.-Theodore von Karman

what is engineering 1
What is Engineering?1
  • The creative process of applying:
    • Scientific and mathematic principles
    • Experience
    • Judgement / Common sense
  • To address a need (problem)
  • That results in a new product, process or system
what is an engineer4

Licensed/registered professional

Problem Solver/Designer addresses society’s needs

Creative Individual (intuitive)

Applies science

Uses design process

Team member/leader

Decides and recommends

Draws and specifies

Has technical expertise and experience

Evaluates alternative solutions based on reliability, cost, manufacturability, ergonomics and marketability

What is an Engineer?
engineer vs technologist 1
Engineer vs. Technologist1
  • Technologist:
    • Shares theoretical background with engineer
    • Practical experience in application, implementation, sales of engineer’s design
  • Engineer:
    • Develops conceptual design
    • Research and application of scientific concepts
    • Design of new products and systems
engineering a profession 6
Engineering: a Profession6
  • What is a Profession?
    • Education: high academic standards
    • Regulated/Licensed
    • Code of Conduct
    • Public Service, Public Benefit, Public Trust
      • Continuing Education and Experience
      • Personal Responsibility, Judgement, Discretion
      • Intellectual, Competent, Confident
engineering education formalized
Engineering Education - Formalized
  • United States Military Academy (founded 1802). Superintendent Sylvanus Thayer made civil engineering the foundation of the curriculum between 1817 and 1833. “The first civil engineering program in the U.S.”
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (founded 1824) “for the purpose of instructing persons, who may choose to apply themselves, in the application of science to the common purposes of life."
education abet program criteria 5
Education: ABET Program Criteria5
  • Engineering programs must demonstrate that their graduates have:
  • (a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • (b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  • (c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs
  • (d) an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams
  • (e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
abet program criteria cont d
ABET Program Criteria (cont’d)
  • (f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  • (g) an ability to communicate effectively
  • (h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global
  • and societal context
  • (i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  • (j) a knowledge of contemporary issues
  • (k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
professional registration
Professional Registration
  • Required in fields involving public safety
  • State evaluates education and experience and administers standard examinations
    • Graduate from a 4 year EAC (ABET) accredited engineering program
    • Pass Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
    • Gain 4 years of professional experience
    • Pass Principles and Practice of Engineering exam
nspe code of ethics for engineers engineers creed
NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers: Engineers' Creed

As a Professional Engineer, I dedicate my professional knowledge and skill to the advancement and betterment of human welfare. I pledge:

To give the utmost of performance;

To participate in none but honest enterprise;

To live and work according to the laws of man and the highest standards of professional conduct;

To place service before profit, the honor and standing of the profession before personal advantage, and the public welfare above all other considerations.

In humility and with need for Divine Guidance, I make this pledge.

Adopted by National Society of Professional Engineers, June 1954

Accessed at August 2002

application of engineering experience
Application of Engineering Experience
  • Historically, engineering was largely empirical, using experience to create new advances & technology (a.k.a. trial and error or tinkering)
  • Engineering allowed cultural and societal advances to occur
    • Water Supply (Hydraulics): Egyptian irrigation, Roman aqueducts, Dutch windmills, canals
    • Commerce (Navigation): English Longitude Act 1714
      • overcome economic losses due to lost ships foundering
      • technological limitations in material science
      • John Harrison awarded prize for chronometer (development and trials 1715 - 1764)
cultural advancement ancient 3 4
Cultural Advancement: Ancient3,4
  • Society needed water for industry and growth
  • Civil/Structural Engineering
  • Clockwise from top left:
    • Pont du Gard - Nimes (Fr)
    • Segovia (Spain)
    • Moselle (Fr)
    • Merida (Spain)
engineering and the public health
Sewage Disposal/Treatment (Paris, London - 1860s, Blue Plains 2002 - 370 MGD)

Great Plague (summer 1665) killed over 60,000 London residents

Engineering and the Public Health
  • Water Closet, promoted by T. Crapper
  • Water Supply (Croton Aqueduct - 1842 - 35 MGD - New York - Current 1512 MGD)
  • Waste Disposal (11,000 TPD - Fresh Kills Landfill)
interstate and defense highway system
Interstate and Defense Highway System

dams water supply power flood control
Dams: Water Supply, Power, Flood Control

Glen Canyon Dam

Grand Coulee Dam

Hoover Dam

20th century s greatest engineering achievements 2
High Performance Materials

Nuclear Technologies

Laser and Fiber Optics

Petroleum and Petrochemical Technologies

Health Technologies

Household Appliances

Imaging Technologies


Space Exploration

Interstate Highways

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration



Agricultural Mechanization

Radio and Television


Safe and Abundant Water




20th Century’s Greatest Engineering Achievements2
breakthrough technologies
Breakthrough Technologies
  • Biotechnology
  • Nanotechnology
  • Materials Science and Photonics
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Logistics

NAE. The Engineer of 2020. National Academy of Sciences. 2004.

continuing challenges
Continuing Challenges
  • Physical Urban Infrastructure
    • Highways, bridges, tunnels, power
  • Information and Communication
  • Environment
    • Sustainable development, Green Engineering, energy, clean water
  • Aging population
failure design construction operation or maintenance
Failure – Design, Construction, Operation, or Maintenance?

space shuttle challenger design failure
Space Shuttle Challenger – Design Failure

hyatt regency walkway collapse design construction process failure
Hyatt Regency Walkway Collapse – Design/Construction Process Failure

professional context for engineers in the future
Professional Context for Engineers in the Future
  • Systems perspective
    • Integrate components
  • Multidisciplinary teams work on complex projects
    • Flexibility, receptive to change, mutual respect, global markets
  • Complexity
    • Integrate social elements into systems analysis
  • Customerization
  • Public policy
    • Business, military, health
  • Public understanding of engineering and technology
    • Potential or unintended dangers
attributes of the engineer in 2020
Attributes of the Engineer in 2020
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Practical ingenuity
  • Creative
  • Effective communication
  • Business and management skills
  • High ethical standards
  • Dynamic, resilient, flexible, agile
  • Lifelong learner
characteristics of a good engineering design
Characteristics of a “Good” Engineering Design
  • Works all the time (reliable)
  • Meets technical requirements
  • Meets cost requirements
  • Requires little or no maintenance
  • Is safe
  • Creates no ethical dilemma (moral/public/environmental health issue)
application of engineering science dynamics kinetics
Application of Engineering Science: Dynamics & Kinetics
  • Isaac Newton (1642- 1727)
    • First Law of Motion: A particle will remain at rest or in motion at a constant velocity unless an unbalanced external force acts on it (conservation of momentum).
    • Acceleration of a particle is directly proportional to the force acting on it and inversely proportional to the particle mass (F=ma)
    • 1 Newton (force) = (1 kg)(1 m/s2)
application of engineering science
Application of Engineering Science
  • Fluid Mechanics
    • Hydraulic Systems (dams, jets, food)
      • Newtonian Fluids
        • Conservation of Matter and Energy
  • Thermodynamics
    • Heat force produces work
    • Power system analysis and design
      • Analysis by Newton relationships
        • First Law: the work done by or on a system depends only on the end states
engineering education forest engineering at esf
Engineering Education: Forest Engineering at ESF
  • Botany, Physics, Chemistry, Calculus
  • Writing, Graphics, History, Fine Arts
  • Economics, Probability and Statistics, Management, Decision Analysis
  • Fluid Mechanics, Statics, Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Ecology, Dendrology
  • Hydrology and Hydraulics, Mechanics of Materials, Structures, Soil Mechanics
  • Surveying, Remote Sensing, Photogrammetry
  • Transportation Systems, Water Pollution, Design Elective
  • 1. American Society of Engineering Education. Engineering: Your Future. Web site accessed August 14, 2002 at
  • 2. National Academy of Engineering. Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century.
  • 3. Roman Aqueducts
  • 4. UNSECO, Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct)
  • 5. Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc., Engineering Accreditation Commission, CRITERIA FOR ACCREDITING ENGINEERING PROGRAMS, 2002-2003,, August 2002
  • 6. Cottingham, J. Richard. Should all engineers be licensed? National Society of Professional Engineers. August 2001
citations cont d
Citations (cont’d)
  • 7. New York City Department of Sanitation, About Fresh Kills Landfill, August 16, 2002
  • 8. DC Water and Sewer Authority. Blue Plains AWTP. Washington, D.C., August 16, 2002
  • The Croton Aqueduct.
  • New York City Department of Environmental Protection. New York City's Water Supply System - History.
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. History. August 16, 2002