to develop solutions for technical, societal and commercial problems.
Engineers design materials, structures, and systems while considering
the limitations imposed by pr
Engineers develop new technological solutions. During the engineering design process,
the responsibilities of the engineer may include defining problems,
conducting and narrowing research, analyzing criteria, finding and
analyzing solutions, and making decisions. Much of an engineer's time is
Indeed, research suggests engineers spend 56% of their time engaged in
various information behaviours, including 14% actively searching for
Engineers must weigh different design choices on their merits and
choose the solution that best matches the requirements. Their crucial
and unique task is to identify, understand, and interpret the
constraints on a design in order to produce a successful result.
Engineers apply techniques of engineering analysis
in testing, production, or maintenance. Analytical engineers may
supervise production in factories and elsewhere, determine the causes of
a process failure, and test output to maintain quality. They also
estimate the time and cost required to complete projects.
Supervisory engineers are responsible for major components or entire
projects. Engineering analysis involves the application of scientific
analytic principles and processes to reveal the properties and state of
the system, device or mechanism under study. Engineering analysis
proceeds by separating the engineering design into the mechanisms of
operation or failure, analyzing or estimating each component of the
operation or failure mechanism in isolation, and re-combining the
Many engineers use computers to produce and analyze designs, to
simulate and test how a machine, structure, or system operates, to
generate specifications for parts, to monitor the quality of products,
and to control the efficiency of processesacticality, regulation, safety, and cos
Numerous specialties are recognized by professional societies, and each
of the major branches of engineering has numerous subdivisions. Civil
engineering, for example, includes structural and transportation
engineering, and materials engineering includes ceramic, metallurgical,
and polymer engineering. Engineers also may specialize in one industry,
such as motor vehicles, or in one type of technology, such as turbines
or semiconductor materials.
Several recent studies have investigated how engineers spend their
time; that is, the work tasks they perform and how their time is
suggests that there are several key themes present in engineers? work:
(1) technical work (i.e., the application of science to product
development); (2) social work (i.e., interactive communication between
people); (3) computer-based work; (4) information behaviours. Amongst
found that engineers spend 62.92% of their time engaged in technical
work, 40.37% in social work, and 49.66% in computer-based work.
Furthermore, there was considerable overlap between these different
types of work, with engineers spending 24.96% of their time engaged in
technical and social work, 37.97% in technical and non-social, 15.42% in
non-technical and social, and 21.66% in non-technical and non-social.
Engineering is also an information intensive field, with research
finding that engineers spend 55.8% of their time engaged in various
The time engineers spend engaged in such activities is also reflected in the competencies
required in engineering roles. In addition to engineers? core technical
competence, research has also demonstrated the critical nature of their
personal attributes, project management skills, and cognitive abilities
to success in the role.