About Engineering

by jalal mjadli

From the Oxford dictionary we find:

  1. The branch of science and technology concerned with the design, building, and use of engines,  machines, and structures. a field of study or activity concerned with modification or development in a particular area: software engineering
  2. the action of working artfully to bring something about: if not for his shrewd engineering, the election would have been lost

But if we look for its sens in an other dictionary, Cambridge for example, we find :

[..] The work of an engineer, or the study of this work

Two literary definitions that stay very large, and not precise.

According to The American Engineers’ Council for Professional Development (ECPD) , we find a very pertinent definition of our word, Engineering is :

…The creative application of scientific principles to design or develop structures, machines,
apparatus, or manufacturing processes, or works utilizing them singly or in combination;
or to construct or operate the same with full cognizance of their design; or to forecast their
behavior under specific operating conditions; all as respects an intended function, economics of operation and safety to life and property…

I find this as a pleasing definition. And I can say Engineering is a set of arts, knowledges, practices based on the Scientific results to resolve a problem, or respond to a need with the most possible small coast, and this  in any field that a Human Being can work in or exercise any activity. It is not limited, it can’t be related just to industries, manufactures and constructions, it can touch Medicine, Biology, Media, Formation… and more.

In my opinion, it is very attached to us, and unconsciously every one of us.. is an Engineer. When you leave your home to go to your office or your school or any other place, you use your experience to achieve your target, if you have a car, you look for the short and fast way,  if you don’t have a car you take a taxi or a bus, sometimes you prefer to take taxi if you are in company of a friend and you have to make a short way… taxi seems more economic,you do this because you want to save time and money.

You do this bu using the (scientific principles) of Maths to compare between ways and choices, to decide the short and the fast way (Method), to just go to your office (Goal) !

In other words you exploit your knowledges to achieve your goal in the very cheap way possible, by using your own method. That tell you some thing? Yes, this is the implementation of the ECPD Engineering definition in a special case. You do this in the most activities every day, in cooking, working, shopping,  studying… Evey one of us “has an engineer in”… who has to find him.

I think, I “vulgarize” the “respectful” word, I assure you it is not my aim in this first article in my blog, I trying to simplify the concept, to make it accessible to everyone especially the young people, to present it to them in other form.

I like this relation between scientific results and goal, assured by what we call Methodologies, or the set of practices join  the science to engineering. The Methodology can have an abstract model that can be materialized in different models depend to the discipline and their requirements. (For more information on Methodology, please click here)

I don’t want to make this article too technical, but I prefer to make it very simple as a light introduction to this beautiful word “Engineering”.

As a software engineer, I will be focused on the Software Engineering. I hope that it will be useful to engineers students, and the future engineers students. I hope to write more articles concerning other fields.

In the next article, I will try to introduce the methodology of work allows to make a road map to produce a product or resolve a problem.

Read the next article : Introduction to Methodology.


© All rights are reserved to the author. Any use of this article is permitted in the context of teaching and non-profit activity.

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