Dissertation: Elites in Engineering

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Elites in Engineering

In the contemporary world, it has increasingly become significant for active engineers to be uniformly skilled in technical and management comprehension. This is in the view of the fact numerous graduates find themselves in significant leadership positions. To assist engineering professionals improve their leadership aptitudes within their profession through a course in Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Innovation and Technology in Engineering (ELITE) is paramount. ELITE courses help engineering graduates who are seeking to enhance their profession through supplementary education. The courses also help engineers who are seeking to promote their technical knowledge and leadership abilities in their present role. In this regard, this paper assesses the leaders in British engineering and their characteristics. The paper will evaluate how the qualities of these leaders in engineering have changed overtime, the upshots of the changes and how the changes have affected the way British Engineering has expanded to address contemporary challenges like climate change and sustainability. The paper also identifies the professional elites in British Engineering to detect how the make-up of networks of these elites developed in the contemporary world. This function will help in discovering how and why modern engineering in Britain has grown besides providing possible predictions regarding the prospect of British engineering.

Elites in Engineering

Introduction

Harold Perkin gives a wonderfully provocative and stimulating record of the growth of the contemporary world in the last fifty years (Perkin 1989, p.6). His book analyzes what he considers crucial turning points in the history of human kind. The Rise of Professional Society and the Origins of Modern English Society-1780-1880 evaluates Industrial Revolution and its impacts on the English Society as well as the evolution of human organizations characterized through the increment of professional classes. It is in his 3rd volume that Perkin Harold expands his tale to the present time and extends it to assess the growth of professional elites in the post-industrial world; in United States, France, Germany, Japan, Soviet Russia and more importantly, Britain. According to Perkin, a professional refers to any skill-based expert who offers special services (Perkin 1989, p.6). Private and public sector bureaucrats and managers form part of the professional elites.

According to Taylor (2008, p.6), engineering in all its forms is a crucial employment source. Engineers work for, manage and control organizations in both the private and public sectors, which differ in size from global organizations to small and local companies (Saccol 2011, p.78). An engineer is a specialized practitioner of engineering who is keen in applying mathematics, ingenuity and scientific knowledge to create solutions to technical issues. Engineers design structures, systems and materials while putting into consideration the restraints imposed through regulation, cost, safety and practicality.

Engineers are rooted in applied sciences with their function in development and research differing from the basic research hub of scientists. The functions of engineers create the connection amid scientific detections and the applications to life quality and human needs. The engineering industry offers income for its employees, profit for the employers and tax revenue for the government (Gospel 2010, p.30). As a result, engineering is wealth creating and it enables the infrastructure and social services of civilized society to be offered.

A Brief History of Engineering

The history of engineering is an account of social evolution of humankind, and therefore, of the development of civilization. The urban life, to which all rural and nomadic life developed in the past and continues in the emerging nations today, has its roots, five thousand years ago in Rivers Tigris, Euphrates, Indus and Nile valley where the cradles of civilization started (Erickson 1960, p.50). Water engineering to enhance irrigation made life more viable in the Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia great cities. The cities were swiftly followed by the remaining counties within the Mediterranean Sea.

Communal production of food released a taskforce for digging irrigation canals, artisans to create tools, and the expansion of trade amid adjacent communities. The survival of these communities depended on a leader, often military or religious who gathered support from the people. In return, they upheld power through guaranteeing that their followers achieved employment, food and shelter, hence a better quality of life (Rahman 2008, p.17). Contemporary engineering has its foundations in the industrial revolution that started in Britain in the 17th Century and achieved its peak one hundred and fifty years later. Engineering was a major aspect in the growth of countries that instigated the creation of the British Commonwealth and the associated rapid development of the world trade (Taylor 2011, p.6).

The first clients were perhaps such leaders who acknowledged the worth of the more developed artisans with special technical experience and knowledge to form a visible illustration of their wealth and power. The advancement of ocean-going and the discovery of bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, instigated trade routes opening up for metal workers. The early engineers became the channel for international trade and colonization through which the 15th and 16th centuries spread social evolution in the entire world. The legacy of the Romans in Britain is the most apparent in the landscape formed through their cities and towns linked through a grid of surfaced roads (Erickson 1960, p.50). Their position was selected for a good supply of water, surrounding fertile land and good communications. The Roman developers exploited the masonry arch that was made possible through their discovery of cement allowing the building of aqueducts that provided fresh water supply.

The industrial Revolution started in the English Midlands and prompted a period of great technological and social change. It released from starvation a huge proportion of persons who operated in agriculture, notwithstanding working in conditions that would not acceptable in the modern world, but the general enhancement in health prompted a rapid increase in population. It began in the late 17th century and went through the eighteenth century and into the 19th centuries (Erickson 1960, p.52). The driving force was steam power, fuelled primarily through coal, which hastily overtook wind and waterpower, and ox and horsepower. It spread throughout Britain and continental Europe subsequently the British Empire, reaching the northern part of the United States by early 19th century.

Engineering is an important component in the realization of the goals and objectives of the modern and future planets. This is because of the role of engineering in improving the living conditions of the individuals in relation to implementation of technology and mission in addressing the modern challenges or problems with reference to the current population. Governments note the importance of the institution of engineering in the achievement of economic growth and development especially in the context of the United Kingdom. Engineering system in the United Kingdom is considered as one of the pioneers of engineering at the global level. This relates to the important role in relation to the concept of industrial revolution. The view of the traditional engineering system in the United Kingdom did not focus on the conservation of the environment.

This indicates lack of critical attention to the social, economic, ethical, and political influences on the planet. The traditional view of the engineering system in the United Kingdom is one of the essential contributors of current challenges or obstacles facing the planet. One of the main contributions of this perspective is rapid increase in the planet's population to stand at more than six billion. The increase in the world's population has led to other challenges such as global warming, climate change, overcrowding, and lack of sufficient water and sanitation in addressing the current and future needs and preferences.

In order to address these issues or planet challenges, the United Kingdom saw the need to transform the engineering system with the aim of achieving various objectives. One of the essential needs or objectives for the implementation of new mindset in relation to the British engineering system is the need to achieve sustainable development. Sustainable development relates to the empowerment of the economy with the aim of satisfying the needs and preferences of the current population without compromising the needs or wants of the future generation. This is an indication of great influence in the preservation of the environment to address issues of the current and future generations. Sustainable development indicates that the economy should be able to provide basic needs to its citizens. Another critical objective of the transformation of the engineering system of the United Kingdom is the need to address essence of climate change or global warming. It is essential to note that human activities are the main contributors of increase in the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This is one of the main facilitators of increase in the average global temperatures thus global warming.

Global warming is the main problem affecting modern engineers. The duty of the engineers should focus on the minimization of the influence of the global warming affecting the forms of life. It is also the duty of the engineers to minimize pollution to the environment, water, and air. This is through neutralization of the concepts and aspects of pollution.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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