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Jack Gelm 1.

1. What is engineering? Based on your current perception, in a few sentences
define the term engineering.
Engineering- Using science and technology to make life better.

2. Describe the four major disciplines of engineering and identify problems or

projects that an engineer in each discipline might encounter.
Chemical engineering
Using chemical processes to find ways to produce goods.
Example- Flu shots
Civil engineering
Oversees construction projects, such as bridges, buildings, etc.

Electrical engineering
Develops electrical components, new products, and new technologies.
Example- computer hardware
Mechanical engineering
Designs products based on mechanical processes.
Example- Aircraft engines
3. Choose a discipline of engineering (other than chemical, civil, electrical and
mechanical) that is of interest to you. Describe this engineering field and explain
how it is an extension of, specialization within, or combination of one or more of
the four major engineering disciplines. (Optional create a PowerPoint slide to
describe your chosen engineering discipline.)
(On PPT slide)

4. Describe your selected achievement in a few sentences.

The airplane was invented in the early 20 th century. Over the course of about 100
years, aircraft evolved into machines that could transport people, cargo, etc.
hundreds of thousands of miles. Thousands of variations have been created,
each for a different purpose.

2012 Project Lead The Way, Inc.

Introduction to Engineering Design Activity 1.6 Discover Engineering Page 1

5. Which major discipline of engineering do you think was most involved in the
development of this achievement? Justify your answer.
In earlier years, mechanical engineering was the primary discipline used. Aircraft
relied primarily on control surfaces being manipulated manually. Today, electrical
engineering is very important. Most aircraft have fly-by-wire systems, in which
computers control most of the flight systems.

6. If you were an engineer within the discipline that you chose in number 3, which
engineering grand challenge would you like to work on?
I would like to work on wing design.
7. Describe your selected grand challenge.
Today, wing designs arent as efficient as they could be. I would work to develop new
methods of creating lift, while wasting as little energy as possible.
8. Why is a solution to this challenge important to the world?
Creating efficient wings would decrease the price of air travel, allowing more people
to access the industry.

9. How could you, as an engineer in your chosen discipline, contribute to a solution

to this challenge?
Follow the design process. First, come up with a bunch of ideas, then narrow them
down, test them, build a prototype, etc.

3 What is it about engineering that is common to all disciplines of engineering?
That is, what makes an engineer an engineer regardless of the work one
All engineers use technology to solve problems.

4 Why do you think engineering has been called the stealth profession? (Hint:
there are many internet resources that address this question.)
Usually, no one notices engineers working. People usually dont wonder why
something does a certain thing, they just take it for granted.
2012 Project Lead The Way, Inc.
Introduction to Engineering Design Activity 1.6 Discover Engineering Page 2

5 How is an engineer different from a scientist?

A scientist creates new technology, while an engineer put the technology to use.

6 What interpersonal characteristics do you think are important to the success of

an engineer of any discipline?
Creative, but reasonable. The person needs to have a lot of ideas, but know
which ones can be accomplished.

2012 Project Lead The Way, Inc.

Introduction to Engineering Design Activity 1.6 Discover Engineering Page 3