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Last edited by Bryan Tyson
November 11, 2014 | History

The essential engineer: why science alone will not solve our global problems 1 edition

Cover of: The essential engineer | Henry Petroski

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About the Book

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. - Publisher.

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The essential engineer
why science alone will not solve our global problems
1st ed.
by Henry Petroski.

Published 2010 by Alfred A. Knopf in New York .
Written in English.

Table of Contents

Ubiquitous risk
Engineering is rocket science
Doctors and Dilberts
Which comes first?
Einstein the inventor
Speed bumps
Research and development
Development and research
Alternative energies
Complex systems
Two cultures
Uncertain science and engineering
Great achievements and grand challenges
Prizing engineering

Edition Notes

"A Borzoi book."

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Popular works


Dewey Decimal Class
Library of Congress
T173.8 .P467 2010

The Physical Object

x, 274 p.
25 x x centimeters

ID Numbers

Open Library
LC Control Number
Library Thing


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November 11, 2014 Edited by Bryan Tyson Added new cover
November 11, 2014 Edited by Bryan Tyson Edited without comment.
July 23, 2010 Created by WorkBot work found