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What is Engineering Design?

written by: Haresh Khemani • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 10/6/2008

There are various branches of engineering like Mechanical, Automobile, Civil, Electrical, Chemical, Electronics, Telecommunications, Computer, IT, Petroleum etc. At the heart of all the applications of various branches of engineering is Engineering Design. Let us see what is engineering design.

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    Importance of Engineering

    Engineering is one of the most important fields discovered by the human beings. Almost all the applications being used by the human beings have engineering background in some or the other way. There are various branches of engineering like Mechanical, Automobile, Civil, Electrical, Chemical, Electronics, Telecommunications, Computer, IT, Petroleum and many others.

    Some branches of engineering are core branches like Mechanical, Civil, Electrical etc for without them the progress of the humankind is unthinkable. Then there are some branches like Electronics, Telecommunications, Computer etc that are applications intensive and they increase the productivity and efficiency of the human brain.

    Different branches of engineering have different applications. For instance the applications of mechanical engineering are automobiles, refrigerators and air-conditioners, various types of machines like milling, drilling, lathe etc, various types of appliances and much more. Some applications of electrical engineering are power supply systems in the big industries, domestic power supply systems, transformers etc. Some applications of chemical engineering are various chemicals like caustic, HCL acid, fertilizers, etc. Some applications of electronics engineering are various appliances like television, lights, washing machines, dishwashers etc.

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    What is Engineering Design?

    At the heart of all the applications of various branches of engineering is Engineering Design. To understand its importance let us for example consider a car. If the new car is to be manufactured, the manufacturing engineer just cannot manufacture the car haphazardly on his or her own. It’s not like say last night the manufacturing engineer dreamt of the car and next day the production started. The most important part before manufacturing the car is designing the car. The car has to be designed to give it particular shape considering the aesthetics, ergonomics, costs, safety, security etc. It cannot be designed all at once rather various iterations are carried out that means if one option is not suitable the other is considered. The iterative design and calculations will keep on going unless the beautiful looking car with all the modern facilities that can be made available at affordable costs to the potential customers has been designed. Manufacturing the car will be the last step.

    Thus designing is the most crucial part of any branch of engineering. Engineering Design can be defined as the iterative decision making process which creates the plans to convert resources optimally into systems, processes or devices so as to perform the desired functions and meet the needs of the humans. In brief, in engineering design we first consider various resources available and then make plans to convert these resources into suitable systems, processes or devices to meet certain functional and human needs by making the best use of the resources at the lowest possible cost.

    The main aim of the engineering design course is to help the students apply knowledge that they have gained from their studies in science, engineering, social studies, and humanities to the solution of the practical engineering problems. The object of Engineering Design course is not to teach the new engineering course, rather it is to help the students utilize purposefully and effectively whatever they have they have already learnt.

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    Reference

    Book: Machine Design by Dr. P. C. Sharma and D. K. Aggarwal

Machine Design or Mechanical Design

This is the series of articles on Machine Design or Mechanical Design. Machine design and drawing are very important subjects of mechanical engineering. No produce can be manufactured without designing it. Here some basic concepts of machine design or mechanical design have been covered.
  1. What is Engineering Design?
  2. What is Mechanical Design or Machine Design?
  3. What is a Machine?
  4. What are Machine Elements?
  5. Factors to be considered during Machine Design: Part-1
  6. Factors to be considered during Machine Design: Part-2
  7. Machine Design Procedure
  8. Skills a Good Machine Designer should possess