Engineering (Encyclopedia of Science)
Engineering is the art of applying science, mathematics, and creativity to solve technological problems. The accomplishments of engineering can be seen in nearly every aspect of our daily lives, from transportation to communications to entertainment to health care. Engineering follows a three-step process: analyzing a problem, designing a solution for that problem, and transforming that design solution into physical reality.
Analyzing a problem
Defining the problem is the first and most critical step of the problem analysis. To best find a solution, the problem must be well understood and the guidelines or design considerations for the project must be clear. For example, in the creation of a new automobile, the engineers must know if they should design for fuel economy or for brute power. Many questions like this arise in every engineering project, and they must all be answered at the very beginning of the project.
When these issues are resolved, the problem must be thoroughly researched. This involves searching technical journals and closely examining solutions of similar engineering problems. The purpose of this step is twofold. First, it allows the engineer to make use of a tremendous body of work done by other engineers. Second, it ensures the engineer that the problem has not already been solved.
(The entire section is 568 words.)
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