Engineering--An Endless Frontier

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Overview

Genetic engineering, nanotechnology, astrophysics, particle physics: We live in an engineered world, one where the distinctions between science and engineering, technology and research, are fast disappearing. This book shows how, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, the goals of natural scientists--to discover what was not known--and that of engineers--to create what did not exist--are undergoing an unprecedented convergence.

Sunny Y. Auyang ranges widely in demonstrating that engineering today is not only a collaborator with science but its equal. In concise accounts of the emergence of industrial laboratories and chemical and electrical engineering, and in whirlwind histories of the machine tools and automobile industries and the rise of nuclear energy and information technology, her book presents a broad picture of modern engineering: its history, structure, technological achievements, and social responsibilities; its relation to natural science, business administration, and public policies. Auyang uses case studies such as the development of the F-117A Nighthawk and Boeing 777 aircraft, as well as the experiences of engineer-scientists such as Oliver Heaviside, engineer-entrepreneurs such as Henry Ford and Bill Gates, and engineer-managers such as Alfred Sloan and Jack Welch to give readers a clear sense of engineering's essential role in the future of scientific research.

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Editorial Reviews

Bookwatch
Once natural scientists sought to discover what was not known and engineers tried to create what did not exist: Engineering--An Endless Frontier charts the drawing together of the two disciplines, showing that modem engineering has drawn on par with science in its emerging technologies and achievements.
Physics World

As we wrestle today with the now traditional disparities between disciplines, it is refreshing to read an account that places the natural and engineering sciences as mutually interdependent intellectual peers, which is just as it should be.
— Peter Williams

IEEE Technology and Society

[Auyang's] book is a concise yet comprehensive overview of how modern engineers in various fields have conducted scientific research, designed products, and managed enterprises. Indeed, we can learn a lot from her careful and detailed investigations of engineering practice, which, from my point of view, has been considerably understudied. Nevertheless, the more important value of Auyang's book lies not in the information it provides, but in the questions it raises.
— Chen-Pang Yeang

John Hutchinson
I am impressed by the scope of Engineering - An Endless Frontier, and fascinated by Sunny Auyang's comprehensive knowledge of the subject. This is just the kind of book the National Academy of Engineering has been encouraging to promote the importance of engineering to the public. It will have a long shelf-life in that it pulls together material that is not readily accessible, and will serve as a reference for anyone interested in engineering as a profession. Engineering needs this book!
Louis L. Bucciarelli
Engineering - An Endless Frontier is extraordinary in scope. Sunny Auyang describes the different kinds of contemporary engineering practices and productions, attempts to provide historical background, explains the scientific basis for engineering innovation in different fields, and addresses the broad, systems level managerial, entrepreneurial, and design activities of professionals. It's rare to find a single author who can grasp and explain the essential features of modern technologies across such an array of industrial sectors and engineering disciplines and explain how they work, why they work the way they do, and what is required for their innovation, development and, yes, even maintenance.
Physics World - Peter Williams
As we wrestle today with the now traditional disparities between disciplines, it is refreshing to read an account that places the natural and engineering sciences as mutually interdependent intellectual peers, which is just as it should be.
IEEE Technology and Society - Chen-Pang Yeang
[Auyang's] book is a concise yet comprehensive overview of how modern engineers in various fields have conducted scientific research, designed products, and managed enterprises. Indeed, we can learn a lot from her careful and detailed investigations of engineering practice, which, from my point of view, has been considerably understudied. Nevertheless, the more important value of Auyang's book lies not in the information it provides, but in the questions it raises.
Physics World
As we wrestle today with the now traditional disparities between disciplines, it is refreshing to read an account that places the natural and engineering sciences as mutually interdependent intellectual peers, which is just as it should be.
— Peter Williams
IEEE Technology and Society
[Auyang's] book is a concise yet comprehensive overview of how modern engineers in various fields have conducted scientific research, designed products, and managed enterprises. Indeed, we can learn a lot from her careful and detailed investigations of engineering practice, which, from my point of view, has been considerably understudied. Nevertheless, the more important value of Auyang's book lies not in the information it provides, but in the questions it raises.
— Chen-Pang Yeang
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674019782
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 354
  • Product dimensions: 0.74 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Sunny Y. Auyang, who has worked as a research scientist at Hewlett-Packard and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the author of, most recently, Mind in Everyday Life and Cognitive Science.
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Table of Contents

Preface

1. Introduction

2 . Technology Takes Off

2.1 From Practical Art to Technology

2.2 Construction Becomes Mathematical

2.3 Experimenting with Machines

2.4 Science and Chemical Industries

2.5 Power and Communication

3. Engineering for Information

3.1 From Microelectronics to Nanotechnology

3.2 Computer Hardware and Software

3.3 Wireless, Satellites, and the Internet

4. Engineering in Society

4.1 Social Ascent and Images of Engineers

4.2 Partnership in Research and Development

4.3 Contributions to Sectors of the Economy

5. Innovation by Design

5.1 Inventive Thinking in Negative Feedback

5.2 Design Processes in Systems Engineering

5.3 "Working Together" in Aircraft Development

5.4 From Onboard Computers to Door Hinges

6. Sciences of Useful Systems

6.1 Mathematics in Engineering and Science

6.2 Information and Control Theories

6.3 Wind Tunnels and Internet Simulation

6.4 Integrative Materials Engineering

6.5 Biological Engineering Frontiers

7. Leaders Who Are Engineers

7.1 Business Leaders in the Car Industry

7.2 Public Policies and Nuclear Power

7.3 Managing Technological Risks

Appendix A. Statistical Profiles of Engineers

Appendix B. U.S. Research and Development

Notes

Index

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