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David Perrings

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  • Comment on: Add your own idea of what constitutes the 'Essence of Engineering'

    David Perrings's comment 1 July, 2011 8:11 pm

    xI think it is always worthwhile to take some time to reflect on what it means to be an engineer even if the answer is always a little ethereal.

    Robert Myers comment below on ‘elegant efficiency’—

    “In all cases the best engineering demonstrates what Robert Myers called an ‘elegant efficiency’. It should appear an effortless and obvious result of the materials and the need that it addresses. The engineer must devise ways of solving problems with clarity and ease, always thinking of the practical reality of how things will be made.”

    Reminds me of something Dr. Leonard Shlain said in his book Art and Physics:

    “The craft (in Dr. Shlain’s case a surgeon) demands a finely honed sense of aesthetics: A maxim of the profession is if an operation does not “look” beautiful it most likely will not function beautifully.”

    One definition of engineering is: “Engineering is the application of scientific and artistic knowledge to bring about functional form.” We are human beings first and engineers second and it takes a whole person to make successful contributions to society.

    the follow illustrates this point:

    The Engineer

    I stopped
    searching for
    my father
    in my employer.

    I stopped trying
    to discover
    all the mysteries
    of the universe
    in a project.

    I came to know
    as a man
    rather than
    as my

    Now my
    is over.

    David Perrings, PE