Engineering is a Human Endeavor

By Justin M.

This semester has challenged me in many ways, but I am glad I signed up to take this class as it reminded me of how engineering is a human endeavor, and not just a technical field, substantially filled with solving complex math problems and making machines do specific tasks.  Most people I know always see engineers as people who are good at making machines and

Before I took this class, I viewed engineers as people who who make our society function; they’re the ones who make tomorrow exciting, and at the same time make tomorrow happen.  I liked how engineers can change how we live our lives.  I always knew that a lot of the world’s problems environmental problems, which of course effect other problems such as social, economic, and so on, were caused by humans but this class increased my awareness as to how much it is related to engineers and what we do; this knowledge will cause me to think more about the work I am involved with in the future.

Having the opportunity to listen to my professors talk about problems that have relevance in their life, and how it can affect mine has influenced me to conduct my own research, and learn more about each problem.  Some lecturers presented information that I had never known of before, such as big data and how organizations and governments can use that data to control populations.  This information is very useful and amazing to think about, especially in the large scope of how far our civilization has come, and in which direction it could be heading in the future.

Our group project was a great way for me to learn how non-profits find funding, manage a budget, solve problems, and help communities.  I did not know much about them before taking this class, or why anyone would want to work for one exactly; having the experiences to think about problems both regionally and globally, and why they exist will definitely help me be a better engineer as I will now have a better mindset of where these problems came from, and why they have not been corrected.

All these different moments throughout the class, from lecturers informing us about their fields and the problems associated with them, to the actual problems we encountered with our non-profit organizations, has benefited me such that I am more aware of the problems and situations people are put into with regards to engineering and the ethical practices associated with our planet.  As I see other engineers in careers and working for large and small companies, I think about how they function and operate.  I think that having classes where engineers are able to talk about the problems they see and what they want to do to fix them is of great value, and this class provided this opportunity to me.

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