cover of book

Engineering—An Endless Frontier
by Sunny Y. AUYANG
Harvard University Press, 2004
eISBN: 978-0-674-02032-0 | Paper: 978-0-674-01978-2 | Cloth: 978-0-674-01332-2
Library of Congress Classification TA157.A96 2004
Dewey Decimal Classification 620


Genetic engineering, nanotechnology, astrophysics, particle physics: We live in an engineered world, one where the distinctions between science and engineering, technology and research, are fast disappearing. This book shows how, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, the goals of natural scientists--to discover what was not known--and that of engineers--to create what did not exist--are undergoing an unprecedented convergence.

Sunny Y. Auyang ranges widely in demonstrating that engineering today is not only a collaborator with science but its equal. In concise accounts of the emergence of industrial laboratories and chemical and electrical engineering, and in whirlwind histories of the machine tools and automobile industries and the rise of nuclear energy and information technology, her book presents a broad picture of modern engineering: its history, structure, technological achievements, and social responsibilities; its relation to natural science, business administration, and public policies. Auyang uses case studies such as the development of the F-117A Nighthawk and Boeing 777 aircraft, as well as the experiences of engineer-scientists such as Oliver Heaviside, engineer-entrepreneurs such as Henry Ford and Bill Gates, and engineer-managers such as Alfred Sloan and Jack Welch to give readers a clear sense of engineering's essential role in the future of scientific research.

Table of Contents:


1. Introduction

2 . Technology Takes Off
2.1 From Practical Art to Technology
2.2 Construction Becomes Mathematical
2.3 Experimenting with Machines
2.4 Science and Chemical Industries
2.5 Power and Communication

3. Engineering for Information
3.1 From Microelectronics to Nanotechnology
3.2 Computer Hardware and Software
3.3 Wireless, Satellites, and the Internet

4. Engineering in Society
4.1 Social Ascent and Images of Engineers
4.2 Partnership in Research and Development
4.3 Contributions to Sectors of the Economy

5. Innovation by Design
5.1 Inventive Thinking in Negative Feedback
5.2 Design Processes in Systems Engineering
5.3 “Working Together� in Aircraft Development
5.4 From Onboard Computers to Door Hinges

6. Sciences of Useful Systems
6.1 Mathematics in Engineering and Science
6.2 Information and Control Theories
6.3 Wind Tunnels and Internet Simulation
6.4 Integrative Materials Engineering
6.5 Biological Engineering Frontiers

7. Leaders Who Are Engineers
7.1 Business Leaders in the Car Industry
7.2 Public Policies and Nuclear Power
7.3 Managing Technological Risks

Appendix A. Statistical Profiles of Engineers
Appendix B. U.S. Research and Development

I am impressed by the scope of Engineering - An Endless Frontier, and fascinated by Sunny Auyang's comprehensive knowledge of the subject. This is just the kind of book the National Academy of Engineering has been encouraging to promote the importance of engineering to the public. It will have a long shelf-life in that it pulls together material that is not readily accessible, and will serve as a reference for anyone interested in engineering as a profession. Engineering needs this book!
--John Hutchinson, Harvard University

Engineering - An Endless Frontier is extraordinary in scope. Sunny Auyang describes the different kinds of contemporary engineering practices and productions, attempts to provide historical background, explains the scientific basis for engineering innovation in different fields, and addresses the broad, systems level managerial, entrepreneurial, and design activities of professionals. It's rare to find a single author who can grasp and explain the essential features of modern technologies across such an array of industrial sectors and engineering disciplines and explain how they work, why they work they way they do, and what is required for their innovation, development and, yes, even maintenance.
--Louis L. Bucciarelli, Professor Emeritus of Engineering and Technology Studies, MIT

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