The Existential Pleasures of Engineering

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Author: Samuel C. Florman

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0312141041

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 662

Describes how engineers think and feel about their work, and argues that engineering is a response to creative impulses

The Existential Pleasures of Engineering

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Author: Samuel Florman

Publisher: Souvenir Press

ISBN: 0285642502

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 300

View: 1599

Humans have always sought to change their environment--building houses, monuments, temples, and roads. In the process, they have remade the fabric of the world into newly functional objects that are also works of art to be admired. Samuel Florman explores how engineers think and feel about their profession. A deeply insightful and refreshingly unique text, this book corrects the myth that engineering is cold and passionless. Indeed, Florman celebrates engineering not only crucial and fundamental but also vital and alive; he views it as a response to some of our deepest impulses, an endeavour rich in spiritual and sensual rewards. Opposing the "anti-technology" stance, Florman gives readers a practical, creative, and even amusing philosophy of engineering that boasts of pride in his craft. Why, asks Samuel Florman, has engineering sunk into such disfavour? Can engineers be blamed for pollution, the desecration of the landscape, a lack of taste? Samuel Florman is himself a distinguished and erudite engineer and he sets out to dispel the myth that has darkened the image of his profession, celebrating it as a vital, living force that is an essential part of human nature, rich in spiritual and sensual rewards. We are all dependent on engineers and the benefits they can provide, in opposing the fashionable 'anti-technology' stance, Florman emerges triumphantly with a creative, practical and fun philosophy of engineering that will boost his profession. Stimulating and illuminating, this book opens our eyes to the inner need to build, invent and manipulate, which only engineering can satisfy. This is essential reading for all who seek to understand their primal instincts. An eloquent, witty and perceptive celebration of our deepest creative impulses, an informative account of the modern-day engineer's experience of his/her profession.

The Existential Pleasures of Engineering

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Author: Samuel C. Florman

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9780312141042

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 9517

Describes how engineers think and feel about their work, and argues that engineering is a response to creative impulses

Good Guys, Wiseguys, and Putting Up Buildings

A Life in Construction

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Author: Samuel C. Florman

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1429941081

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 352

View: 4566

Good Guys, Wiseguys, and Putting Up Buildings is an engaging memoir about one man's career in construction--rising to the top of an industry renowned for crime, corruption, violence, physical danger, and the chronic risk of financial catastrophe. Starting in the Navy Seabees at the end of WWII, Samuel C. Florman made his way as a general contractor in New York City through the period of explosive development, private exuberance and the historic growth of publicly supported housing--all amidst the rise of the notorious Mafia families, and evolution of the Civil Rights Movement. His storied career brought him into contact with a variety of personalities: politicians and civil servants, developers and technocrats, saintly do-gooders and corrupt rapscallions. Along with the rousing adventures there were satisfactions of a different sort: the enchantment of seeing architecture made real; the pride of creating housing, hospitals, schools, places of worship--shelter for the body and nourishment for the spirit.

The Essential Engineer

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Author: Henry Petroski

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307593207

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 9924

From the acclaimed author of The Pencil and To Engineer Is Human, The Essential Engineer is an eye-opening exploration of the ways in which science and engineering must work together to address our world’s most pressing issues, from dealing with climate change and the prevention of natural disasters to the development of efficient automobiles and the search for renewable energy sources. While the scientist may identify problems, it falls to the engineer to solve them. It is the inherent practicality of engineering, which takes into account structural, economic, environmental, and other factors that science often does not consider, that makes engineering vital to answering our most urgent concerns. Henry Petroski takes us inside the research, development, and debates surrounding the most critical challenges of our time, exploring the feasibility of biofuels, the progress of battery-operated cars, and the question of nuclear power. He gives us an in-depth investigation of the various options for renewable energy—among them solar, wind, tidal, and ethanol—explaining the benefits and risks of each. Will windmills soon populate our landscape the way they did in previous centuries? Will synthetic trees, said to be more efficient at absorbing harmful carbon dioxide than real trees, soon dot our prairies? Will we construct a “sunshade” in outer space to protect ourselves from dangerous rays? In many cases, the technology already exists. What’s needed is not so much invention as engineering. Just as the great achievements of centuries past—the steamship, the airplane, the moon landing—once seemed beyond reach, the solutions to the twenty-first century’s problems await only a similar coordination of science and engineering. Eloquently reasoned and written, The Essential Engineer identifies and illuminates these problems—and, above all, sets out a course for putting ideas into action. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Invention by Design

How Engineers Get from Thought to Thing

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Author: Henry Petroski

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674463684

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 242

View: 4140

Presents case studies of inventions by engineers, explaining how they resolve technical difficulties, and how they make their inventions socially acceptable and economically feasible

Professional Ethics and Social Responsibility

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Author: Daniel E. Wueste

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9780847678167

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 324

View: 6561

Edmund Burke: Modernity, Politics, and Aesthetics examines the philosophy of Burke in view of its contribution to our understanding of modernity. Stephen K. White argues that Burke shows us how modernity engenders an implicit forgetfulness of human finitude. White illustrates this theme by showing how Burke's political thought, his judgment of the modern system of morality and policy, and its taste for a false sublime are structured by his aesthetics.

Design Paradigms

Case Histories of Error and Judgment in Engineering

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Author: Henry Petroski

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521466493

Category: Art

Page: 209

View: 5062

From classical temples to twentieth century towers, engineers have learned more about design from failure than from success. The concept of error, according to the author of Design Paradigms, is central to the design process. As a way of explaining the enduring aspects of engineering design, Henry Petroski relates stories of some of the greatest engineering successes and failures of all time. These case studies, drawn from a wide range of times and places, from Ancient Greece and Rome to modern America, serve as paradigms of error and judgment in engineering design. By showing how errors were introduced in the design process and how they might be avoided, the book suggests how better quality and reliability might be achieved in designed devices, structures, and systems of all kinds. Clearly written, with striking illustrations, the book will appeal to engineering students, practicing engineers, historians of science and technology, and all those interested in learning about the process of design.

The Civilized Engineer

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Author: Samuel C. Florman

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0312025599

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 5175

Discusses how science and technology have virtually become national obsessions, and covers topics as diverse as the shuttle disaster, engineering ethics, and the promise and limits of technology

Remaking the World

Adventures in Engineering

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Author: Henry Petroski

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307773205

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 256

View: 1516

This collection of informative and pleasurable essays by Henry Petroski elucidates the role of engineers in shaping our environment in countless ways, big and small. In Remaking the World Petroski gravitates this time, perhaps, toward the big: the English Channel tunnel, the Panama Canal, Hoover Dam, the QE2, and the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia, now the tallest buildings in the world. He profiles Charles Steinmetz, the genius of the General Electric Company; Henry Martyn Robert, a military engineer who created Robert's Rules of Order; and James Nasmyth, the Scotsman whose machine tools helped shape nineteenth-century ocean and rail transportation. Petroski sifts through the fossils of technology for cautionary tales and remarkable twists of fortune, and reminds us that failure is often a necessary step on the path to new discoveries. He explains soil mechanics by way of a game of "rock, scissors, paper," and clarifies fundamental principles of engineering through the spokes of a Ferris wheel. Most of all, Henry Petroski continues to celebrate the men and women whose scrawls on the backs of envelopes have immeasurably improved our world. From the Hardcover edition.

What Engineers Know and How They Know It

Analytical Studies from Aeronautical History

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Author: Walter G. Vincenti

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

ISBN: 9780801845888

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 8967

To solve their design problems, engineers draw on a vast body of knowledge about how things work. Examining previously unstudied historical cases, this author shows how engineering knowledge is obtained and presents a model to help explain the growth of such knowledge.

To Forgive Design

Understanding Failure

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Author: Henry Petroski

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674065433

Category: Science

Page: 432

View: 2258

Argues that failures in structural engineering are not necessarily due to the physical design of the structures, but instead a misunderstanding of how cultural and socioeconomic constraints would affect the structures.

The Unwritten Laws of Engineering

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Author: W. J. King (professor.)

Publisher: ASME Press

ISBN: 9780791801628

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 69

View: 3860

This fully revised and updated edition of the 1944 classic serves as a crucial compilation of "house rules", or as a professional code. It addresses three areas: what the beginner needs to learn at once; "laws" relating chiefly to engineering executives; and purely personal considerations for engineers. Packed with contemporary examples, this new volume is a must for anyone entering the engineering field or for practicing engineers who are interested in improving their professional effectiveness.

The Toaster Project

Or A Heroic Attempt to Build a Simple Electric Appliance from Scratch

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Author: Thomas Thwaites

Publisher: Chronicle Books

ISBN: 161689119X

Category: Art

Page: 192

View: 1885

"Hello, my name is Thomas Thwaites, and I have made a toaster." So begins The Toaster Project, the author's nine-month-long journey from his local appliance store to remote mines in the UK to his mother's backyard, where he creates a crude foundry. Along the way, he learns that an ordinary toaster is made up of 404 separate parts, that the best way to smelt metal at home is by using a method found in a fifteenth-century treatise, and that plastic is almost impossible to make from scratch. In the end, Thwaites's homemade toaster—a haunting and strangely beautiful object—cost 250 times more than the toaster he bought at the store and involved close to two thousand miles of travel to some of Britain's remotest locations. The Toaster Project may seem foolish, even insane. Yet, Thwaites's quixotic tale, told with self-deprecating wit, helps us reflect on the costs and perils of our cheap consumer culture, and in so doing reveals much about the organization of the modern world.

How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read

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Author: Pierre Bayard

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1596917148

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 208

View: 7591

In this delightfully witty, provocative book, literature professor and psychoanalyst Pierre Bayard argues that not having read a book need not be an impediment to having an interesting conversation about it. (In fact, he says, in certain situations reading the book is the worst thing you could do.) Using examples from such writers as Graham Greene, Oscar Wilde, Montaigne, and Umberto Eco, he describes the varieties of "non-reading"-from books that you've never heard of to books that you've read and forgotten-and offers advice on how to turn a sticky social situation into an occasion for creative brilliance. Practical, funny, and thought-provoking, How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read-which became a favorite of readers everywhere in the hardcover edition-is in the end a love letter to books, offering a whole new perspective on how we read and absorb them.

GoatMan

How I Took a Holiday from Being Human

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Author: Thomas Thwaites

Publisher: Chronicle Books

ISBN: 1616894938

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 208

View: 3720

The dazzling success of The Toaster Project, including TV appearances and an international book tour, leaves Thomas Thwaites in a slump. His friends increasingly behave like adults, while Thwaites still lives at home, "stuck in a big, dark hole." Luckily, a research grant offers the perfect out: a chance to take a holiday from the complications of being human—by transforming himself into a goat. What ensues is a hilarious and surreal journey through engineering, design, and psychology, as Thwaites interviews neuroscientists, animal behaviorists, prosthetists, goat sanctuary workers, and goatherds. From this, he builds a goat exoskeleton—artificial legs, helmet, chest protector, raincoat from his mum, and a prosthetic goat stomach to digest grass (with help from a pressure cooker and campfire)—before setting off across the Alps on four legs with a herd of his fellow creatures. Will he make it? Do Thwaites and his readers discover what it truly means to be human? GoatMan tells all in Thwaites's inimitable style, which NPR extols as "a laugh-out- loud-funny but thoughtful guide through his own adventures."

Success Through Failure

The Paradox of Design

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Author: Henry Petroski

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691122250

Category: Science

Page: 235

View: 3058

Contends that modeling engineering designs solely on past successes and ignoring past missteps is a path toward eventual failure.

Studying Engineering

A Road Map to a Rewarding Career

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Author: Raymond B. Landis

Publisher: Ingram

ISBN: 9780979348747

Category: Engineering

Page: 310

View: 4335

Blaming Technology

The Irrational Search For Scapegoats

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Author: Samuel C. Florman

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

ISBN: 1466867795

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 256

View: 799

Blaming Technology: The Irrational Search for Scapegoats is Samuel C. Florman's 1981 discussion of the state of technology and engineering in the United States, including the pros and cons, and the public's perceptions and opinions.

The Introspective Engineer

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Author: Samuel C. Florman

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

ISBN: 1466853263

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 8345

The profession of engineering is rarely the topic of serious public discussion. Multimedia, virtual reality, information superhighway-these are the buzzwords of the day. But real engineers, the people who conceive of computers and oversee their manufacture, the people who design and build information systems, cars, bridges, and airplanes, labor in obscurity. There are no engineering heroes, and we as a society are poorer for this. Like Florman's landmark book, The Existential Pleasures of Engineering, The Introspective Engineer is a clarion call to society. We must awaken to the reality that the quality of human life depends on increasingly creative technological solutions to the problems we face. We need cleaner, more economical engines, faster computers, more power, and a healthier planet if we are to survive. It is engineers who will lead us to this future.