O'Reilly logo

A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology by Vincent F. Hendricks, Stig Andur Pedersen, Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 10

Engineering Science

LOUIS L. BUCCIARELLI

“Engineering science” refers to either a body of knowledge or the activity which generates that body of knowledge. Engineering science as knowledge is codified in the textbooks used in undergraduate courses in engineering – courses in thermodynamics, solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, aerodynamics, mechanical vibrations, electronics, wave propagation, materials science, control system theory and now biomechanics, computer science and nano-whatever. These domains – and there are others – constitute the “engineering sciences.” Engineering science as an activity is the research engaged by faculty allied with departments of mechanical, electrical, chemical, civil engineering – many of which teach the undergraduate engineering science courses. Industry, too, has its research laboratories where engineers do engineering science. And there is something of a history of the engineering sciences, but we will not say much about that. (See B. Seely, “Research, Engineering, and Science in American Engineering Colleges: 1900–1960,” Technology and Culture, 34 [April 1993]: 344–86.)

The question arises: How is engineering science, as a body of knowledge and/or research activity, distinguished from ordinary science? One claim made is that scientists seek truth, to reveal nature’s secrets, knowledge for knowledge’s sake, etc. Engineers seek to make things work in accord with their designs. They care less about truth. They aim for a robust and reliable ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required