Q:

What is the role of an engineer in society?

A:

Engineers have the unique role of solving social problems through the use of machines, devices, systems, materials and processes. Engineering has an inherent impact on society that differentiates it from science.

The University of Texas at Austin states that engineering naturally consists in solving the real-world problems of society, as opposed to science, which is led by curiosity. Thus, the engineer serves an important social role. There are many different and diverse specializations of engineering, but they all create solutions for different areas of human life.

Chemical engineers use physics, chemistry and biology to perform chemical processes for commercial purposes. For instance chemical engineers participate in refining petroleum, producing biomolecules and in fermentation processes.

Civil engineers are involved with the creation of public works. Their work includes the creation of roads, harbors, basins and aqueducts that make transportation and resource allocation possible. Without civil engineers, cities would be disorganized and lack many luxuries.

Electrical engineers work on complex electrical systems. Their work makes it possible for cities to have light and power, which in turn enables the telecommunications systems that form the basis of the modern global information-based economy.

Mechanical engineers are responsible for aircraft products, energy systems and weapons, among others. Their work promotes national defense and connects the nation together.

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