Chapter 1: Engineering and Technology

  • New Unit 1: Engineering and Technology from Gateway to Engineering, 2nd Edition, Delmar/Cengage Learning 2013



    Section 1: What is Engineering

    • Who is an Engineer?
    • What is an Engineer?
    • Who is an Engineering Technologist?
    • What is an Engineering Problem?
    • How do I define 'Technology'?
    • How do I define 'Invention'?
    • How do I define 'Innovation'?

    When Did Technology Begin? Technology began when the first humans learned to manipulate the world around them. It is as old as the human race.

    Is Technology Good or Bad? Technology itself is neither good or bad. It is the use of the technology by humans that can have positive or negative consequences.

    Technological developments can have four possible outcomes:

    1. Intended positive uses or consequences
    2. Positive Uses that were not intended by the original inventor.
    3. Negative consequences that the developer expected.
    4. Negative impacts that were not expected.

    Notible inventions:


    Section 2: The Evolution of Technology

    • What do we mean by 'Society's Needs and Wants'?
    • How are 'Technology' and our 'Society' related?



    Section 3: Engineering Careers and Technology Education

    • What are some of the Careers in Technology Education?



    • Engineer: An engineer is a person who designs products, structures, or systems to improve people's lives.
    • Engineering: Engineering is the process of designing solutions.
    • Engineering Technologist: An engineering technologist is a person who works in a field closely related to engineering. The technologist's work is usually more applied or practical, whereas the engineer's work is more theoretical.
    • Technology: Technology is (1) the processes humans use to develop new products to meet their needs and wants, and (2) the products or artifacts actually made.
    • Invention: An invention is a new product, system, or process that has never existed before, created by study and experimentation.
    • Patent: A patent is a unique number assigned to an invention by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that protects the inventor's idea; a contract between the federal government and the inventor thatgives the inventor exclusive rights to make, use, and sell a specific product for a period of 17 years.
    • Innovation: An innovation is an improvement of an existing product, process, or system.
    • Aerospace Engineer: An aerospace enginner designs machines that fly.
    • Civil Engineer: A civil enginner is a person who designs and supervises the construction of public works projects [such as highways, bridges, sanitation facilities, and water treatment plants].
    • Electrical Engineer: An electrical engineer designs electronic systems and projects.
    • Environmental Engineer: An environmental engineer designs solutions to protect and maintain the environment.
    • Mechanical Engineer: A mechanical engineer designs products ranging from simple toys to very large and complex machines.


    Stretch Your Knowledge Activities:

    1. Prepare a class presentation about what you believe was the most important invention or innovation of the past 100 years. Explain your answer by describing some of the direct results from this invention or innovation. How did it affect people or the environment?
    2. Compare and contrast science and technology.
    3. How has technology impacted our society? Describe both positive and negative effects.
    4. How has technology affected our environment? Describe both positive and negative effects.
    5. What is the primary difference between invention and innovation?
    6. What is the purpose of a patent? Why do you think a patent is important to our society?

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