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Introduction to Engineering. Learning Objectives. To understand the following: What is an engineer Scientists and Engineers The history of engineering Engineering as a Profession. Engineering Education and ABET Accreditation. Challenges for the 21 st Century Engineer.

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Introduction to Engineering

Introduction to The Engineer

learning objectives
Learning Objectives

To understand the following:

What is an engineer

Scientists and Engineers

The history of engineering

Engineering as a Profession.

Engineering Education and ABET Accreditation.

Challenges for the 21st Century Engineer

Introduction to The Engineer

what is engineering
What is Engineering?

Engineering is:

  • "the profession in which a knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences gained by study, experience, and practice is applied with judgment to develop ways to use economically the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of mankind."
    • ABET – Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology

Introduction to The Engineer

scientists engineers
Scientists & Engineers

Introduction to The Engineer

differences between the engineer and scientist
Differences between the engineer and scientist
  • Engineers look for new information for application
  • Scientists look for new information
  • Engineering is the application of science and math for solving problems
  • Science is the quest for knowledge for the sake of knowledge

Introduction to The Engineer

history of engineering
History of Engineering

The history of engineering can be roughly divided into four overlapping phases, each marked by a revolution:

  • Pre-scientific revolution: The prehistory of modern engineering features ancient master builders and Renaissance engineers such as Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Industrial revolution: From the eighteenth through early nineteenth century, civil and mechanical engineers changed from practical artists to scientific professionals.
  • Second industrial revolution: In the century before World War II, chemical, electrical, and other science-based engineering branches developed electricity, telecommunications, cars, airplanes, and mass production.
  • Information revolution: As engineering science matured after the war, microelectronics, computers, and telecommunications jointly produced information technology.


Introduction to The Engineer

engineering before the scientific revolution
Engineering before the Scientific Revolution
  • The forerunners of engineers, practical artists and craftsmen, proceeded mainly by trial and error.
  • Yet tinkering combined with imagination produced many marvelous devices.
  • Many ancient monuments cannot fail to incite admiration.  The admiration is embodied in the name “engineer” itself.  It originated in the eleventh century from the Latin ingeniator, meaning one with ingenium, the ingenious one. 

Great Pyramid of Giza

Dimensions:Base: 230.33 metresHeight: 146.59 metresVolume: 2 583 283 cubic metresSlope: 51 deg 50′ 40″

Introduction to The Engineer


engineering before the scientific revolution1
Engineering before the Scientific Revolution
  • ingenious fortifications or makers of ingenious devices, old meaning of “engine” steam engines  
  • Leonardo da Vinci bore the official title of IngegnereGenerale.  His notebooks reveal that some Renaissance engineers began to ask systematically what works and why.

Introduction to The Engineer


engineering the industrial revolution
Engineering the Industrial Revolution
  • Galileo’s Two New Sciences, which seeks systematic explanations and adopts a scientific approach to practical problems, is a landmark regarded by many engineer historians as the beginning of structural analysis, the mathematical representation and design of building structures. 
  • This phase of engineering lasted through the First Industrial Revolution, when machines, increasingly powered by steam engines, started to replace muscles in most production.  While pulling off the revolution, traditional artisans transformed themselves to modern professionals. 


Introduction to The Engineer

engineering the industrial revolution1
Engineering the Industrial Revolution
  • The French, more rationalistic oriented, spearheaded civil engineering with emphasis on mathematics and developed university engineering education under the sponsorship of their government.  Circa 1750
  • The British, more empirically oriented, pioneered mechanical engineering and autonomous professional societies under the laissez-faire attitude of their government. 
  • Gradually, practical thinking became scientific in addition to intuitive, as engineers developed mathematical analysis and controlled experiments. 
  • Technical training shifted from apprenticeship to university education.  Information flowed more quickly in organized meetings and journal publications as professional societies emerged.


Introduction to The Engineer

engineering the second industrial revolution
Engineering the Second Industrial Revolution
  • The second industrial revolution, symbolized by the advent of electricity and mass production, was driven by many branches of engineering. 
  • Chemical and electrical engineering developed in close collaboration with chemistry and physics and played vital roles in the rise of chemical, electrical, and telecommunication industries. 
  • Marine engineers tamed the peril of ocean exploration. 
  • Aeronautic engineers turned the ancient dream of flight into a travel convenience for ordinary people. 


Introduction to The Engineer

engineering the second industrial revolution1
Engineering the Second Industrial Revolution
  • Control engineers accelerated the pace of automation. 
  • Industrial engineers designed and managed mass production and distribution systems. 
  • College engineering curricula were well established and graduate schools appeared. 
  • Workshops turned into to laboratories, tinkering became industrial research, and individual inventions were organized into systematic innovations.


Introduction to The Engineer

engineering the information age
Engineering the Information Age
  • Research and development boomed after World War II, partly because of the Cold War and the Sputnik effect. 
  • New technologies, notably aerospace, microelectronics, computers, novel means of telecommunications from the Internet to cell phones.  Turbojet and rocket engines propelled aeronautic engineering into unprecedented height and spawned astronautic engineering. 
  • Nuclear engineering. 
  • Advanced materials

Introduction to The Engineer

engineering the information age1
Engineering the Information Age
  • Above all, microelectronics, telecommunications, and computer engineering joined force to precipitate the information revolution in which intellectual chores are increasingly alleviated by machines.
  • Systematic knowledge: the engineering sciences and systems theories in information, computer, control, and communications. 
  • Maturation of graduate engineering education and the rise of large-scale research and development organized on the national level.
  • So far the physical sciences – physics and chemistry – have contributed most to technology. 
    • nanotechnology. 
    • Biotechnology  
  • The cooperation and convergence of traditional intellectual disciplines in the development of new technology is the trend of the future.

Introduction to The Engineer

  • Science and technology have been responsible for half of the growth of the American economy since WWII.

Holtzapple & Reece – Concepts in Engineering

future challenges
Future Challenges

National Academy of Engineering

Holtzapple & Reece – Concepts in Engineering

what engineers do
What Engineers Do
  • Solve Problems
    • Fix issues
    • Improve
  • Analyze (Evaluate Systems)
    • Resolving into basic elements
    • Determining characteristics of those elements
    • Strength, flow, output, etc.
    • Single answer
  • Synthesize (Design Systems)
    • Combine elements into the whole
    • Multiple combinations


Introduction to The Engineer

the engineering process
The Engineering Process

Problem Symptom or

Expression of Need

Problem Definition,

Including Statement

Of Desired Outcome


(Perhaps Including


Synthesis of



Decision (Selection

Of One Alternative)

Solution, System,

Or Method

Introduction to The Engineer

a profession
A Profession
  • Significant body of special knowledge
  • Internship-like training following formal education
  • Standards such as a code of ethics
  • Members recognize responsibilities to society
  • Examples:
    • Medicine, Teaching, Architecture, Law, Ministry, Engineering

Introduction to The Engineer

excerpt code of ethics
Excerpt:Code of Ethics

Fundamental CanonsEngineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall:

  • Hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public.
  • Perform services only in areas of their competence.
  • Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
  • Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.
  • Avoid deceptive acts.
  • Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation and usefulness of the profession.

Introduction to The Engineer

engineering education
Engineering Education
  • Preparatory – High School math and science
  • University – formal engineering curriculum
  • Continuing – lifelong learning
  • ABET – Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
    • Assures public and employers that certain minimum standards have been met
  • 2 ½ years of math, science, engineering
  • ½ year of humanities and social sciences

Introduction to The Engineer

abet program outcomes
ABET Program Outcomes

Engineering programs must demonstrate that their students attain the following outcomes:

(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 within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability

(d) an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams

(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems

(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, economic, environmental, 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.

Introduction to The Engineer