Engineering -- an endless frontier
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Engineering design and development
While engineering scientists investigate the general principles covering wide classes of useful systems, design engineers create particular systems such as the space shuttle.  Relying on their experience, intuition, and scientific training, they draw on relevant systematic knowledge, integrate them, and bring them to bear on the particular requirements at hand.  As much an art as a science, design processes have few principles but many heuristics and case illustrations.  Interestingly, their heuristics are similar to that of scientific research.  For to discover what was not known and to create what did not exist demand similar human ingenuity.
The process of designing a technological system The development of a technological system roughly involves two major phases: conception and detailed design.  In the conception phase, engineers work closely with their clients to clarify objectives, weigh relevant factors, explore options, and spell out a set of achievable requirements for the intended system.  They then work out a detailed conceptual definition of the system whose performance can be verified to satisfy the requirements.
Modulariztion and integration in engineering design process In the detailed design phase, the system definition is fleshed out  in the systems approach.  Engineers functionally modularize the system into many subsystems, which are in turned modularized into smaller subsystems, until they arrive at manageable parts that are specified to the last detail.  The separately manufactured parts are then assembled into the final product, such as the Boeing 777 transport.

Heuristics and approaches

Maier, M. W. and Rechtin, E. 2000.  The Art of Systems Architecting.  Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. (Collects hundreds of heuristics from aerospace, electronics, and software industries and their applications to systems engineering).

Pólya, G. 1954.  Mathematics and Plausible Reasoning.  Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Pólya, G. 1957.  How to Solve It.  Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Rechtin, E. 1997.  The synthesis of complex systems.  IEEE Spectrum, 34(7): 51-5.

Shannon, C. E. 1952.  Creative thinking.  In Claude Elwood Shannon: Miscellaneous Writings, eds. N. J. A. Sloane and A. D. Wyner, New York: IEEE Press (1993), # 72.

Simon, H. 1996.  The Sciences of the Artificial, 3rd ed.  Cambridge: MIT Press.

Willemain, T. P. 1994.  Insight on modeling from a dozen experts.  Operations Research, 42: 213-22.

Cases and histories

More references are found under specific branches of engineering.

Adams, J. L. 1991.  Flying Buttress, Entropy, and O-Rings: The World of an Engineer.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Berkan, R. C., et al. 1991.  Advanced automation concepts for large-scale systems.  IEEE Control Systems, 11(5): 4-10.

Billington, D. P. 1983.  The Tower and the Bridge: The New Art of Structural Engineering.  Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Dasgupta, S. 1996.  Technology and Creativity.  New York: Oxford University Press.

Feugerson, E. S. 1992.  Engineering and the Mind’s Eye. Cambridge, MIT Press.

Iansiti, M. 1995.  Technology development and integration: an empirical study of the interaction between applied science and product development.  IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 42: 259-70.

Kappel, T. A. and Rubenstein, A. H. 1999.  Creativity in design: the contribution of information technology.  IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 46: 132-43.

Norris, G. 1995.  Boeing’s seventh wonder.  IEEE Spectrum, 32(10): 20-3.

Petroski, H. 1996.  Design Paradigms: Case Histories of Errors and Judgment in Engineering.  New York: Cambridge University Press.

Petroski, H. 1996.  Invention by Design: How Engineers Get from Thought to Thing.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Steiner, J. E. 1978.  Case Study in Aircraft Design: The Boeing 727.  Reston, VA: AIAA.

Vincenti, W. G. 1990.  What Engineers Know and How They Know It: Analytical Studies from Aeronautical History.  Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press.