Engineering Discipline

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An Engineering Discipline is a technical discipline that ...



  1. definition of “engineering” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University




  • (Shaw, 1990) ⇒ Mary Shaw. (1990). “Prospects for an Engineering Discipline of Software.” In: IEEE Software, 7(6).
    • QUOTE: Software engineering is a label applied to a set of current practices for software development. Using the word engineering to describe this activity takes considerable liberty with the common use of that term. In contrast, the more customary usage refers to the disciplined application of scientific knowledge to resolve conflicting constraints and requirements for problems of immediate, practical significance.

      Definitions of engineering have been written for well over a hundred years. Here is a sampling of typical definitions: ...

      1. In 1828 Thomas Tredgold wrote, "Engineering is the art of directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and convenience of man; being that practical application of the most important principles of natural philosophy which has, in a considerable degree, realized the anticipations of Bacon, and changed the aspect and state of affairs in the whole world" [Armytage 61, p.123].
      2. "Engineering is ’the art or science of making practical applications of the knowledge of pure sciences.’ In other words, although engineers are not scientists, they study the sciences and use them to solve problems of practical interest, most typically by the process that we call creative design" [Florman 76, p.x].
      3. "Engineering is often defined as the use of scientific knowledge and principles for practical purposes .... usually by designing useful products" [Parnas 90, p.17].
      4. Arthur Wellington, the late 19th century scholar of railroad economics, defined an engineer as "a man who can do that well with one dollar which any bungler can do with two after a fashion" [Finch 51, p.102].
    • Although these and other definitions differ in detail, they share a common set of clauses:
      • Creating cost-effective solutions... Engineering is not just about solving problems; it is about solving problems with economical use of all resources, including money.
      • practical problems... Engineering deals with practical problems whose solutions matter to people outside the engineering domain N the customers.
      • applying scientific knowledge ... Engineering solves problems in a particular way: by applying science, mathematics, and design analysis.
      • ...building things ... Engin.eering emphasizes the solutions, which are usually tangible artifacts.
      • the service of mankind Engineering not only serves the immediate customer, but also develops technology and expertise that will support the society.
    • Engineering relies on codifying scientific knowledge about a technological problem domain in a form that is directly useful, to the practitioner, thereby providing answers for questions that commonly occur in practice. Engineers of ordinary talent can then apply this knowledge to solve problems, far faster than they otherwise could. In this way, engineering shares prior solutions rather than relying always on virtuoso problem solving.