Engineers take principles from the fields of mathematics and science and use those principles to create solutions to a variety of problems. Although many people associate engineering principles to matters of construction, these principles can, in fact, be applied within workplaces such as testing services. In one example, an engineer used principles to solve problems related to an over-abundance of indirect expenses and another problem related to the inefficient use of space. By rearranging the way that operations were completed in the workspace, the professional solved both problems. In essence, the professional applied broad engineering principles to develop an economical solution for two concrete, technical problems.
Three Areas of Engineering Design
Engineering design draws upon broad concepts of mathematical principles and science to achieve specific client objectives through systems, components, or processes. This type of design is broken into three different levels of complexity: adaptive, development, and new.
- Adaptive design refers to taking designs that are already in use and adapting them to more efficiently accomplish their goal. One example of this is the elevator. The basic principles behind this concept have remained pretty much the same over the years. Another similar example is the washing machine. Changes in dimension and power specification have been made to improve performance, but the basic principles remain the same.
- Development design refers to the use of existing designs in completely new applications. A good example of this is found when the design used for a manual gearbox in an automobile is converted into an automatic design. Television technology has changed from the use of tubes to newer modern plasma and LCD platforms.
- New design is the most difficult level because it involves coming up with a brand new concept to solve problems. Examples of this would be the very first lightbulb, the first flush toilet, and the first airplane. Today, engineering design is used in the development of robots, which is then used in toys, computers, and power plants.
Each Professional Focuses on Their Own Area of Expertise
Many of the companies and organizations looking for engineers today aren’t sure which type of engineering design they need. They know that they have a problem and are looking for new or better solutions. Engineering professionals draw links between progressive scientific findings and commercial applications. When companies and engineers work together, the company professionals can direct their focus to the areas of their own expertise while engineers focus on creating the solutions needed to make improvements within the company. At this point, engineers determine whether an existing principle can be adapted or further developed for a solution or they might determine that it is necessary to design a new component or system to provide the answer.
Beyond Engineering Design
In addition to design, engineers work on the testing, production, and maintenance components of products and systems. In this way, the engineering professionals are involved in overseeing the production rates at factories, investigating the causes of machinery failure, and assessing the products manufactured by a company in order to ensure quality.
The Use of Modern Technology in Engineering
Modern day engineers spend much of their time working with computers and advanced software. These programs are used in the creation and analysis of designs, to run operation simulations and assessments, the generation of parts, and the ongoing analysis of product quality and process efficiency.
A Specialized Focus
Through the use of ongoing training and workplace experiences, engineers are exposed to large amounts of theoretical material. The task of filtering through all of that information to identify the logical solution for a specific goal is often complicated and difficult. To this end, engineering professionals turn their focus to areas of specialization. For example, one engineering professional might focus on motor vehicles while another focuses on structural analysis. Still others might focus on metallurgy or semiconductor materials. Within each of these areas of focus, the engineers draw upon a strong background in mathematics and scientific principles, condensing many broad concepts into highly focused, detailed, concrete solutions.
The Importance of Engineers on the Team
Today, engineers and engineering firms are hired by companies in many different industries. These professionals are valued for their ability to draw from extensive sources of information to adapt, develop, or create new solutions. In a fast-paced business world where innovative solutions are required in order to remain competitive, including an engineer on the team or working with a quality engineering firm is a fundamental step toward success. If you have any questions about engineering services and how an engineer could benefit your company please contact us.