This historical analysis of the events that led to the steam engine tells a fascinating story about people and their inventions. A case study as basis for a multidisciplinary PhD dissertation about innovation, it describes the work of many engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs, from Thomas Savery's 1698 water pump, known as The Miner's Friend, to Richard Trevithick's Puffing Devil and Catch Me Who Can high-pressure steam locomotives, which came a century later.
Author and lifelong student of innovation B. J. G. van der Kooij places the inventions in the context of their time and place-eighteenth-century Europe-with its wars and revolutions, as well as its "gentlemen of science" and the engineers who explored the power of heat and fire. He focuses on the people who, with their small and large contributions, their successes and failures, their greed and naivety, built the foundations of the world we live in today. He also examines the larger social effects, both positive and negative, that come with changing technologies.
With The Invention of the Steam Engine, you'll get an intriguing inside look at the mechanisms behind the Industrial Revolution, and gain valuable insight into how the phenomenon of technological innovation shapes societies moving forward.
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About the Author
Born in 1947, B. J. G. van der Kooij earned an MBA at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Holland in 1975, and an MSEE with a focus on microelectronics at Delft University of Technology, Holland in 1977. He began his professional career in upper management at Holec NV, a manufacturer of electrical power systems. From 1982 to 1986, he was a member of the Dutch Parliament, where he used his expertise in the fields of economics, industrial and science policies, technological innovation, and aviation policy. He later became a part-time professor at Eindhoven University of Technology. He went on to launch his own startup company Ashmore Software BV.
The author of three books and a number of articles on innovation, he was accepted as a PhD candidate at at his alma mater, the Delft University of Technology, in 2013, where he aims to develop a multidimensional model explaining innovation.
Van der Kooij is married and spends most of his time working in the South of France.