Thursday, January 19, 2012

The changing language of engineering

A great column by Charles M.West, President of the National Academy of Engineering, in the Winter 2011 issue of The Bridge (Engineers: The Next Generation.  Do We Need More?  Who Will They Be?  What Will They Do?).  West highlights the language of engineering - - past and present.  Words that will always be embedded in the vocaluary of engineering include the following:
  • Force
  • Size
  • Modulus
  • Temperature
  • Speed
  • Tolerance
  • Voltage
  • Precision
West also points out the new words he is hearing in the context of engineering.  Words that make up the language of engineering systems.  Words that help to define our interconnected and interactive world.  Words that help to integrate what engineers know and can do with what social scientists, management experts, policy makers, citizen groups, lawyers, and politicians know and can do.  The words that will define our future - -
  • Scale
  • State
  • Integration
  • Resilience
  • Affordability
  • Scope
  • Complexity
  • Architecture
  • Evolution
  • Social Context

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