This volume aims to provide the reader with a broad cross-section of empirical research being carried out into engineers at work. The chapters provide pointers to other relevant studies over recent decades – an important aspect, we believe, because this area has only recently begun to coalesce as a field of study and up to now relevant empirical research has tended to be published across a range of academic disciplines. This lack of readily available literature might explain why contemporary notions of engineering have drifted far from the realities of practice and are in urgent need of revision.
The principal focus is on what empirical studies tell us about the social and technical aspects of engineering practice and the mutual interaction between the two.
After a foreword by Gary Lee Downey, the research presented by the various chapter authors is based on empirical data from studies of engineers working in a variety of global settings that include Australia, Ireland, Portugal, South Asia, Switzerland, the UK and the US
The following groups of readers are addressed:
•researchers and students with an interest in engineering practice,
•professional engineers, particularly those interested in research on engineering practice,
•people who employ, recruit or work with engineers.
Providing a much clearer picture of engineering practice and its variations than has been available until now, the book is of interest to engineers and those who work with them. At the same time it provides invaluable resource material for educators who are aiming for more authentic learning experiences in their classrooms.
Further information, visit the website Engineering Practice in a Global Context Online: http://epr.ist.utl.pt/EPGC/
On the historical nature of engineering practice
Antonio Dias de Figueiredo
Towards a theoretical framework for engineering practice
The practical confrontation of engineers with a new design endeavour: The case of digital humanities
Frédéric Kaplan and Dominique Vinck
Engineering design teams: Considering the forests and the trees
Jim Borgford-Parnell, Katherine Deibel, and Cynthia J. Atman
Working together across disciplines
Robin S. Adams and Tiago Forin
Engineering problem-solving in social contexts: ‘Collective wisdom’ and ‘ba’
Rachel Itabashi-Campbell and Julia Gluesing
Finding workable solutions: Portuguese engineering experience
Bill Williams and José Figueiredo
Going back to heterogeneous engineering: The case of micro and nanotechnologies
Matthieu Hubert and Dominique Vinck
Professional lock-in: Structural engineers, architects and the disconnect between discourse and practice
Andrew Chilvers and Sarah Bell
Observations of South Asian engineering practice
Mathematics in engineering practice: Tacit trumps tangible
Eileen Goold and Frank Devitt
Engineers’ professional learning: Through the lens of practice
Donna Rooney, Keith Willey, Anne Gardner, David Boud, Ann Reich, and Terry Fitzgerald