The Joy of Engineering:Reflections on Bacon, Chandler & Dilbert<br />David E. Goldberg<br />Illinois Foundry for Innovatio...
The Joy of Engineering<br /><ul><li>Some may find use of terms “joy” and “engineering” together unusual.
I am an unapologetic engineering chauvinist.
Engineering is a great education & profession:
License to think about almost anything.
License to do and change the world.
License to organize and be organized.
Briefly explore the joy of engineering through Dilbert, Bacon, & Chandler.</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
Liberal Arts for the 21st Century<br /><ul><li>Liberal arts majors view engineering education as narrow.
Centroid of knowledge has changed.
Can 21st century educated person avoid
Science?
Mathematics?
Computers?
Engineering builds on broad base across spectrum of human endeavor.
Particularly true for engineers equipped with the “missing basics.”</li></ul>Dilbert (b. 1989)<br />© David E. Goldberg 20...
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Joy of engineering_professional_goldberg

  1. 1. The Joy of Engineering:Reflections on Bacon, Chandler & Dilbert<br />David E. Goldberg<br />Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education<br />University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbana, Illinois 61801<br />deg@illinois.edu<br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  2. 2. The Joy of Engineering<br /><ul><li>Some may find use of terms “joy” and “engineering” together unusual.
  3. 3. I am an unapologetic engineering chauvinist.
  4. 4. Engineering is a great education & profession:
  5. 5. License to think about almost anything.
  6. 6. License to do and change the world.
  7. 7. License to organize and be organized.
  8. 8. Briefly explore the joy of engineering through Dilbert, Bacon, & Chandler.</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  9. 9. Liberal Arts for the 21st Century<br /><ul><li>Liberal arts majors view engineering education as narrow.
  10. 10. Centroid of knowledge has changed.
  11. 11. Can 21st century educated person avoid
  12. 12. Science?
  13. 13. Mathematics?
  14. 14. Computers?
  15. 15. Engineering builds on broad base across spectrum of human endeavor.
  16. 16. Particularly true for engineers equipped with the “missing basics.”</li></ul>Dilbert (b. 1989)<br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  17. 17. Closer to the Truth<br />Without tech in 21st century, not even qualified to be criminal.<br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  18. 18. Engineering Pride<br />Engineering is marvelous education and profession.<br />Yet, engineers get wedged between science and business.<br />Scientists: Engineering is merely applied science.<br />Businessman: Engineers just technicians to do bidding of capitalists.<br />Both views historically inaccurate.<br />Start with Sir Francis Bacon, “the father of science.”<br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  19. 19. Bacon: Science’s Little Secret<br /> Observe also, that if sciences of this kind had any life in them, that could never have come to pass which has been the case now for many ages—that they stand almost at a stay…<br />Francis Bacon<br />1561-1626<br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  20. 20. Engineering to the Rescue<br />Still more Bacon: <br /> In the mechanical arts we do not find it so: they, on the contrary, as having in them some breath of life, are continually growing and becoming more perfect. As originally invented they are commonly rude, clumsy, and shapeless; afterwards they acquire new powers and more commodious arrangements and constructions;… Philosophy and the intellectual sciences, on the contrary, stand like statues.<br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  21. 21. Oops! Science from Engineering<br /><ul><li>We’ve got it backwards.
  22. 22. Father of science, Bacon: Science must learn from mechanical arts.
  23. 23. Engineering is not just applied science.
  24. 24. More accurate & equally haughty: Science is merely engineering applied to the invention of concepts.
  25. 25. Over the years, there has been historical inversion.
  26. 26. Continue with one of great historians of business, Alfred Chandler.</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  27. 27. Who Invented Business?<br />A. D. Chandler (1977): Of the new forms of transportation the railroads were the most numerous, their activities the most complex, and their influence the most pervasive. They were the pioneers in the management of modern business enterprise.<br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  28. 28. Who Were These Pioneers?<br />The men who managed these enterprises became the first group of modern business administrators in the United States… The men who face these challenges were a new type of businessman.… The pioneers of modern management…were all trained civil engineers with experience in railroad construction and bridge building before they took over the management of the roads.<br />A. D. Chandler (1918-2007)<br />
  29. 29. Business from Engineers, too!<br />Another historical inversion.<br />Modern business is an engineering invention.<br />Engineering is not just a capitalist tool.<br />More accurate: Business is just application of engineering principlesto commerce.<br />With proper history, can take bilateral pride in engineering…<br />But are we passionate about it? <br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  30. 30. From Pride to Passion<br />Engineer as the rational person.<br />Ideal engineer as emotionless like Mr. Spock of Star Trek?<br />Really smart guy.<br />Could reason like a charm and play 3-D chess.<br />What was his weakness?<br />Captain Kirk the better strategist (& Scotty the better problem solver).<br />Spock’s emotionlessness left him unable to judge.<br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  31. 31. Emotion & Judgment Interlaced<br />Emotions once ignored, but now subject of intense scrutiny by biologists, philosophers, and psychologists.<br />Emotions are the source of ability to choose.<br />Wellspring of values.<br />They are interlaced with the reflective mind.<br />Don’t want emotions run amok, but don’t deny their importance.<br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  32. 32. Passions in Practice<br /><ul><li>Make career choices for things you enjoy passionately.
  33. 33. The Test: Time flies when you are having fun.
  34. 34. What things make time fly for you?
  35. 35. Match time flyers to your career choices.
  36. 36. Create vocational impedance match.
  37. 37. Research says you’ll be more successful and happier, too.
  38. 38. Take signature strength’s test.</li></ul>http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/questionnaires.aspx<br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  39. 39. Bottom Line<br />Engineering a balanced education and creative profession.<br />Take pride in engineering’s forgotten role in creation of science and business.<br />Happy & successful if we follow our passions in vocational impedance match.<br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  40. 40. The Joy of Engineering:Reflections on Bacon, Chandler & Dilbert<br />David E. Goldberg<br />Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education<br />University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbana, Illinois 61801<br />deg@illinois.edu<br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />

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