Since very ancient old times to recent advance technological era, contribution of engineering knowledge have been significant in all ways of life. Involvement and participation of engineers are making big impacts in almost all aspects of human being life. In the eyes of public, an engineer is a professional man who is of expertise. The critical roles of engineers in bringing changes and solutions to challenges facing our societies worldwide are widely recognized. Such large-scale challenges include access to affordable health care; tackling the coupled issues of energy, transportation and climate change, providing more access to information for our populations; clean drinking water; natural and man-made disaster , environmental protection and natural resource management and so on.
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Engineers think very logically. A lot of engineers approach problems in life more methodologically because of their training in logic and design. As an engineer, we should always thinking on matters like how could we make this better or more efficient, how would we design this differently. As a engineer, we recognize more things all around us that were probably designed and built by an engineer, because only an engineer would think that way.
The major impact of engineering was done in points of transportation and electricity. For those who does not own a transport, they will have to depend on other for transportation, especially senior citizens. The development of transportation engineering saw humans effort to overcome distances and time. In order to facilitate various mobilization of human and goods, transportation facilities have been developed tremendously and innovatively to provide network links, while managing traffic congestion and pollution. In the mean time, public sector organizations seek solutions through various ways, including improve highway infrastructure, financing, reducing pulltion and solving congestion problems.
For students like us, public transport seems to be the main transportation for every day. We cannot imagine the world without transportation systems. However, we have seen many problems associated with transportation, which some of them are not new. The role of traffic engineers may be described as to protect the public on the road. They analyses accident statistics, speed data, examine roadway conditions, conduct research and studies. Traffic engineers promote safer traffic operation by providing roadway conditions that contribute to smooth and efficient traffic flow. Experience has shown that safety goes hand-in-hand with smooth traffic operation. Distrupting the smooth traffic flow increases the probability of accidents. Traffic engineers keeping excessive traffic controls away, too many unnecessary traffic controls will result in roadway hazards. Engineering study accept the principle of speed limit to set as near as practicable to the speed below which 85% of the vehicles are travelling on the highway. The principle is called 86th percentile of speed limit, where experience has shown that approximately 85% of the motorists drive at a speed that is reasonable.
Another concern as human being is about the environmental issue. We are living in a planet where its climate is getting warmer and unpredictable. Climate change and global warming issues are getting more attention from people and needed more urgency from various parties, including engineers.Besides urging everyone to go green in everday life, we have to look into the matter with more concern. The rapid developing of manufacturing and automotive industries means metals and plastics consumption will most likely increase. The resources are drying up as fast as the gas, oil and ozone. Environmental engineers are making various efforts to tackle the global problem, like managing waste removal, producing enough fresh water to meet needs.
Safe water is essential for health. Clean and plentiful water provides the foundation for prosperous communities. We rely on clean water to survive, yet right now we are heading towards a water crisis. Changing climate patterns are threatening lakes and rivers, and key sources that we tap for drinking water are being overdrawn or tainted with pollution. Dirty water is the worlds biggest health risk, and continues to threaten both quality of life and public health. Envoronmental engineers work to ensure that everyone has access to clean and affordable drinking water, from cleaning dangerous toxins like pesticides, chromium, to rusty stain in pipeline out of our drinking water to replacing deteriorating pipes that run underneath our roads. They are also working to address the impacts of global warming on drinking water and improve access to safe water supplies. Other efforts done by engineers include promoting water efficiency strategies to help decrease the amount of water wasted, protecting our water from pollution, and also helping prepare cities, counties and states for water-related challenges they will face as a result of climate change.
Engineering relates to everybody and everything we do every single day of our lives. This includes everything from the toothpaste we use in the morning, to iPhones, facebook apps, medical devices, energy, defence, buildings and every thing in our homes, schools, hospitals, the list is endless. Engineers, by the very nature of their work, have a responsibility to society. In this role, they have extensive professional responsibilities & they have to address ethical dimensions of engineering problems, designs,& interactions. We as students of engineering should graduate with experience in working in teams, have strong written & oral communications skills, & be well versed in the economic, social, environmental, & international context of engineering professional activities.
1. Prof. Dr. Michael Havbro Faber, ETH Zurich, ???Risk and Safety In Civil Engineering??? , Institute of Structural Engineering
2. National Academy of Enginnering, ???The Engineer of 2020, Visions of Engineering in New Century??? , 2004
3. Tschangho John Kim, ???Transportation Engineering and Planning???, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois, USA,
4. Traffic Engineering, www.asdot.gov
5. Environment and Health, Natural Resource Defe