“Engineering”, which would provide the essence and the conceptual infrastructurecommon to different engineering activities and disciplines. This essential definition willbe used to also define Meta-Engineering with an analytical perspective which mightpromote further research on this issue.
Usefulness: Necessary condition.
From the literature associated with the nature of Engineering, it can easily be distilledthat a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for an engineering activity is to produce
, to generate
. The most representative engineering councils,academies or professional associations, and most knowledgeable authors, include thisessential aspect in their definitions of engineering. Let us see some typical examples.Malpas (2000), for example, in a report prepared by a joint Royal Academy of Engineering/Engineering Council Working Group, affirms clearly that “[t]he engineeringprocess converts scientific, engineering and other knowledge and experience intosomething
(p. 11; emphasis added)The Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology defines Engineering as “Theprofession in which a knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences gained bystudy, experience, and practice is applied with judgment to develop ways to
,economically, the materials and forces of nature for the
of mankind” (Davis,1998; pp 205; emphasis added)The Canadian Engineering Qualification Board (Canadian Council of ProfessionalEngineers) states that “The ‘practice of professional engineering’ means any act of planning, designing, composing, evaluating, advising, reporting, directing or supervising,or managing any of the foregoing, that requires the application of engineering principles,and that concerns the
safeguarding of life, health, property, economic interests, thepublic welfare or the environment (
Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, 1993;emphasis added)
Aleksander (2006), when enumerating common conceptions of engineering, says thatEngineering is characterized by “Creating something
using maths and science.’ (p.6; emphasis added) He affirms that engineers “try to make sure that their frameworks of thought turn out to be something that is of
.” (p. 4; emphasis added)
(1991) asserts that “Engineering is the application of science for human
.” (Emphasis added)
Hawley (2006) confirms that “engineering is the process that converts science intotechnology and then into
products.” (p.6; emphasis ours)These differing definitions of Engineering coincide in making it explicit that engineeringactivities produce useful products and/or human benefit.