Engineering Design

  • The more precisely a design task's criteria and constraints can be defined, the more likely it is that the designed solution will succeed.

  • Specifications of constraints includes consideration of scientific principles and other relevant knowledge that is likely to limit possible solutions.

  • A solution needs to be tested and then modified on the basis of the test result in order to improve it.

  • There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet criteria and constraints of a problem.

  • It is important to be able to communicate and explain those solutions to others.

  • Sometimes parts of different solutions can be combined to create a solution that is better than any of its predecessors

  • Models of all kinds are important for testing solutions, and computers are a valuable tool for simulating systems.

  • Simulations are useful for prediction what would happen if various parameters of the model were changed as well as for making improvements to the model based on peer and leader feedback.

  • Comparing different designs could involve running them through the same kinds of tests and systematically recording the results to determine which design performs best.

  • Although one design may not perform the best across all tests, identifying the characteristics of the design that performed the best in each test can provide useful information for the redesign process, utilizing some of the successful characteristics into the new design.

  • This iterative process of testing the most promising solutions and modifying what is proposed on the basis of the test results leads to greater refinement and ultimately to an optimal solution.

  • Once a suitable solution is determined, it is important to describe that solution, explain how it was developed, and describe the feature that makes it successful.

Links Among Engineering, Technology, Science & Society

  • Engineering advances have led to important discoveries in virutally every field of science and scientific discoveries have led to the development of entire industries and engineered systems.

  • In order to designe better technologies, new science may need to be explored.

  • Technologies in turn extend the measurement, exploration, modeling, and computational capacity of scientific investigations.

  • All human activity draws on natural resources and has both short-term and long-term consequences, positive as well as negative for the health of both people and the natural environment.

  • The use of technology and any limitations on their use are driven by individual or societal needs, desires, and values; by the findings of scientific research; and by differences in such factors as climate, natural resources, and economic conditions.

  • Thus technology use varies from region to region and over over time.

  • Technologies that are beneficial for a certain purpose may later be seen to have impacts that were not forseen. In such cases, new regulations on use or new technologies may be required.

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