Why Engineering is the solution to the Economies of the world.
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10-12-2013, 04:51 AM (This post was last modified: 10-12-2013 05:12 AM by PursuingTruth.)
Why Engineering is the solution to the Economies of the world.
All industries can be broken down into certain sectors, most of which are significantly effected by Engineering in some way;
Oil and Gas - Is quite literally Engineer driven, run and designed
Chemical - Again, driven, run and designed by engineers
Construction - Design of the buildings/projects, design of the tools
Industrial goods and services - designed by engineers, made on machines designed by engineers
Automobile - See above
Food and Beverage - Harvested by machines, transported by machines, processed by machines,
Personal and household goods - see industrial goods and services
Health Care - Engineers design and build all of the equipment for your health care, Engineers typically have more impact on your health than Doctors do.
Retail - (fair enough no engineering here worth that much)
Media - who do you think designed your TV? or the TV camera?
Travel and Leisure - that cruise ship you are on, the plane you fly in?
Telecoms - Engineering provides this
Utilities - see above
Financial (I know I merged the group, but lets face it no engineering goes in to this apart from making things easier for them)
Technology - Engineering in essence

What does engineering do?
Manufacturing is the process of turning resource A into final product B

Engineering makes this possible, practical, efficient and economical. It designs the equipment for the harvest of the resource, It designs the product, It designs the process for turning A into B. It makes sure its done safely, efficiently and economically.

Why am i writing this?
The most valuable companies in the world are typically engineering or heavily engineering involved companies (technology).

The people earning the most in the world are not engineers, in fact most don't even work for companies that are anywhere near the forefront of engineering.

I did a fair bit of research, and found (with a few exceptions), that the people who could easily be described as 'running' the economy actually have no involvement or understanding of what the major driver of the economy is.

I find that Engineering is the one common factor amongst pretty much all of the economy, it has been engineering in countries that has driven economic growth almost exclusively. Yet the ones entrusted with the economy come from one sector of the industry (finance) where they add no value but SHOULD enable the rest of the economy to flourish.. This is why when the financial sector took a hit, the Global economy took a hit, because these numpties are the ones we trust do do a job that they dont understand.

Britian was great due to its engineering, the US was built upon solid engineering, now china and india are flourishing with engineering. And it is leaving us here in the west due to the lack of investment, understanding and drive to develop and promote engineering in our industries.

Bring back the factories, bring back the jobs, bring back the money.
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10-12-2013, 06:08 AM
RE: Why Engineering is the solution to the Economies of the world.
I think you're confusing engineering with innovation.
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10-12-2013, 06:10 AM
RE: Why Engineering is the solution to the Economies of the world.
Engineers don't always make the best political and economic decisions, case in point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Fielding

I think Engineering is a bit like science in that engineers working outside of their field are often not significantly more competent than other intelligent individuals. To some extent you do need "political" engineers and "economic" engineers to carry on their particular professions.. but it would be good to see a greater basic systems engineering practice informing other disciplines.

I work in software-intensive distributed control systems. What's your field?

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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10-12-2013, 07:19 AM
RE: Why Engineering is the solution to the Economies of the world.
This is entirely too simplistic a view. Engineering, and really innovation, doesn't exist in a vacuum. And, the idea that financial services don't add any value is demonstrably false. Helping raise capital for innovation to advance is absolutely a value. The amount of power and control a handful of banks have over the global economy is a major issue (and one that no government is really dealing with) but that is a different issue than whether or not banks actually do add value to the economy. They do.

Btw, you're wrong about financil services firms not using engineering. They employ a lot of engineers. Thousands of them. Network engineers, software engineers, etc. You would be shocked at how many people who work at a bank are not traditional "bankers" but are on the technology side. The banks are huge consumers of technology, so much so that they save money by employing their own people. And, it's not just saving money. They have to employ these people to function.

If you basic point is that engineers should have more say in the economy, then I disagree. The market will determine the value of things. The problem we have now is that the market is unfairly and unduley influenced by a few entities, mostly large banks and governments. But, the solution is not to replace them with another group. The solution is to remove them from being able to continue their influence that skews everything in favor of a small minority of people.

I know I was born and I know that I'll die. The in between is mine.
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10-12-2013, 10:15 AM
RE: Why Engineering is the solution to the Economies of the world.
Oh of course I am not saying give engineers control, and no i am not confusing innovation with engineering, innovation will not happen without engineers to put it in practice (although I admit I neglected to outline how innovation was being held back).. Do you think Chemists do the scale up production for medicines? Do you think a software and graphic designers build the iPhone and ensure it works as intended? DO you think Steve Jobs designed and maintained the mass production machinery for the iPad?

My point is not engineers need more say, its that since the world took its eye off the ball, since people with little or no understanding of engineering came into controlling positions, the investment and development of engineering has slumped (in the west). We should have people who understand the benefit of the investments into engineering, who understand the engineering lifecycles. Who 'get' that to make more you need to spend more, rather than pin budgets back, spend the bare minimum to achieve mediocrity. Innovate to generate.

Innovation in the west is fast becoming the exception rather than the rule. Funding for Engineering will deliver innovations and enable innovative developments.

Bankers do not generate value by using technology, this is the difference.. they may build upon it but its not the technology that is important. And if you look at value objectively, X resource at Y value, Engineering changes resource to a new value, Finance tends to just change the value to another value, which imo is not adding value just moving it about.

Something to note, engineers regularly become bankers, bankers rarely become engineers..
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10-12-2013, 05:35 PM
RE: Why Engineering is the solution to the Economies of the world.
Societies and workers of today are more efficient than ever. The amount of wealth generated is mind boggling.

But the wages of workers have stagnated. The wealth is quit literally being reallocated to a few hands, being gambled, or wasted. Not only not providing anything to the economy, but hurting it.

Suppose we innovate and create even more wealth.. what does it matter if the wealth isn't being utilized?
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11-12-2013, 02:56 AM
RE: Why Engineering is the solution to the Economies of the world.
Again thats my point, the wealth is going to hands that don't understand how to invest properly into the economy.

However I feel you confuse wealth with value, a environmentally friendly car is more valuable than one that is not, yet research and investment into the production and infrastructure is woefully insufficient. There are working Hydrogen fuel cell cars on the road now, what is holding it back is the lack of infrastructure.. the innovation has been done, it just needs to be engineered into reality, yet financiers are not enabling this to happen. We have significant ways to reduce the CO2 levels and produce a product in an economical manner (actually fairly highly profitable) yet investment is not forthcoming to roll this out across the world.

There are CEO's out there earning up to 100million dollars a year, (not only would putting a proportion of this to the dividend actually do what their task is (to ensure maximum returns for the shareholders), but they are 2000 times the average salary of their workforce) each year they could build and operate industries to not only make more money, but to have a positive impact on the environment, economy and improve education. just out of their personal finances.. no matter the company's.

Bill Gates does a lot of charity work, he will leave most of his money to charity when he finally leaves this mortal coil, yet he could easily afford to build and run desalination and irrigation plants to improve the land conditions in the poorest areas of the world, to actually solve a large issue for the population there, rather than just keep them hovering on the line between survival and death.

I actually completely disagree with you, Societies now are much less efficient than ever before, the waste of resources is massive. And with machines replacing a lot of workers need to do actual skilled work, workers are becoming lazier and less skilled. Workplaces and tasks are becoming more efficient, meaning the reduction in labour requirements (cost reduction), the drive is typically to replace unskilled workers with skilled workers, this drive no longer produces the skilled workers, so progress is stopped dead. This is not true in the burgeoning super powers of India and China, their workforce has historically been around mass production, the mass labor of unskilled workers producing low quality, high quantity goods. It is now developing the workforce, educating and training them and now have a reputation for much higher quantities, and much higher qualities, all thanks to investment in the education and training of the workforce IN ENGINEERING
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