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David Perrings

David Perrings

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

    David Perrings's comment 1-Jul-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 myself as a man rather than as my profession. Now my apprenticeship is over. David Perrings, PE

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