Saturday, 14 March 2015

Sorting Out Engineering

"I am not alone in believing strongly that Engineering is not Science, or (as is often suggested) a subset of Science, although the converse might be argued by some. Whilst Science is about understanding the world – producing and evaluating models of observed behaviour which are then used to predict other behaviours (the ‘Scientific Method’), Engineering is about creating things, and thus subject to a quite different discipline, embracing design, creativity, and innovation. Engineers will make use of Science where appropriate and advantageous (for example using the findings of semiconductor physicists in the manufacture of integrated circuits), but not always (there was, for example, no science of thermodynamics before the first steam engines were built)! No one would dream of suggesting that Engineering is a branch of Mathematics, even though the mathematics used in the signal processing to be found in mobile phone communication systems, or the matrix transformations used in computer game images, is of the highest complexity. No, Science and Mathematics are enabling, facilitating disciplines used by Engineers – to create things."