It’s more than application of maths and science skills

Industrial Design (Image by Patrick Murphy
Industrial Design (Image by Patrick Murphy

I have been reflecting on the point made in section 1.4 about engineering being more than the application of science and maths skills. It would be interesting to make the comparison with courses in industrial design or product design, which are both subjects concerned with how an objective can be realised and delivered, but which don’t at all start with maths and science at all. They seem to be much more centred on solving problems and making things, both of which are things I think we long for in engineering education.

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3 All Responses to “It’s more than application of maths and science skills”

  1. adammontgomery2013

    I am studying an Open University course in Design Thinking at the moment (part of the Engineering and Technology pathway) and it is completely focused on creativity, problem-solving etc. Great fun and fascinating. A lot of inspiration from IDEO in USA

  2. Oliver Broadbent

    That is great to hear. I will try to check the course out to find out more. There will be subject matter related to IDEO posted to this blog in future so keep an eye out.

  3. Matthew Harrison

    Engineering is so much more than the application of maths and science – although I like the description of engineering thinking as ‘making rational decisions using maths and science’ so I’m not dismissing the centrality of these two.
    Creativity is important – the Royal Academy of Engineering are hosting the writing of a new A level in engineering and in workshops with practitioners, creativity comes out as the most desired attribute for engineers.
    But I would put a vote in for ‘judgement’ too. So much of what we learn as practicing engineers we learn tacitly from others (Michael Eraut) or through our experiences (David Guile, Seymour Papert). Often we make engineering judgements placing emphasis on factors other than maths and science – the famous ‘if it looks right then it probably is right’ being an example of judgement in action.


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