Thursday, September 24, 2009

Moving into thinking about "engineering"

Our readings for the next week are some classic and contemporary works on how some engineers have written about the nature of engineering. Some questions for you to think about:
  1. What does each argue about the nature of engineering (what would be their answer to the question ‘what is engineering?’ what do engineers know and how do they come to know it?’)?
  2. How do they build their arguments (what evidence to convince their readers)? What was persuasive (or not) about their arguments? Why?
  3. Where are the similarities and differences between these three readings?
Enjoy the readings!


Bethany Fralick said...

I was reading Vaughn Koen with regards to what is engineering. I found his views very interesting. I was surprised by his view that engineering is defined by a method. I never looked at engineering that way and had an ah-ha moment. When he refers to change however, I challenge that engineers cause change. I believe that they indeed do cause change, but I feel more often they engineer as a reaction to change. For example, a new company opens in a city and hires thousands of employees. The company is in a remote location and the increased traffic from the employees results in an engineering problem. I think the engineer would react to this change in the community, solve the problem, and thus create change.