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Importance of Economics in Engineering

Ages ago, the most significant barriers to engineers were technological. The things that
engineers wanted to do, they simply did not yet know how to do, or hadn't yet
developed the tools to do. There are certainly many more challenges like this which
face present-day engineers. However, we have reached the point in engineering where
it is no longer possible, in most cases, simply to design and build things for the
sake simply of designing and building them. Natural resources from which we
must build things! are becoming more scarce and more expensive. We are much m o r e
aware of negative side-effects of engineering innovations such as air
p o l l u t i o n f r o m automobiles than ever before.
For these reasons, engineers are tasked more and more to place their project
ideas within the larger framework of the environment within a specific planet, country,
or region. engineers must a s k t h e m s e l v e s i f a p a r t i c u l a r p r o j e c t w i l l o f f e r
s o m e n e t b e n e f i t t o t h e p e o p l e w h o w i l l b e affected by the project, after
considering its inherent benefits, plus any negative side-effects (externalities),
plus the cost of consuming natural resources, both in the price that must be paid f o r
them and the realization that once they are used for that project,
t h e y w i l l n o l o n g e r b e available for any other projects.
Simply put, engineers must decide if the benefits of a project exceed its
costs, and must make this comparison in a unified framework. The framework within
which to make this comparison is the field of engineering economics, which strives to
answer exactly these questions, and perhaps more. The Accreditation Board for
Engineering and Technology(ABET) states that engineering is the profession in
which a knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences gained by
study, experience and practice is applied with judgment to develop ways to
utilize, economically, the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of
Engineers seek solutions to problems, and the economic viability of each
potential solution is normally considered along with the technical aspects.
Engineering Economics is important to the engineers for planning, designing,
cost-benefit of the product & Time value of money. These are all take into the
mind before manufacturing. Without a prior layout and planned idea, you're
basically winging your design and most likely messing up your final product.
So drawing is one of the most important steps of planning and IT IS in fact
extremely important in engineering. Economics is a social science and it is
important in our social life, political life, economic life and daily life. it is
based on the pillar of a country that who a country is progressing in the
economic field. Who its people is growing in the economic field. Engineering
economics is the application of economic techniques to the evaluation of
design and engineering alternatives. The role of engineering economics is to
assess the appropriateness of a given project, estimate its value, and justify
it from an engineering standpoint. Economics is the theory of how to best
divide resources up between agents to maximize their utility. Engineering

economics would be the theory of how to design a product in the most costefficient and reliable way. Civil engineering focuses on providing basic
amenities to the public. Without considering economics, there are very few
limits on the scale of what could be undertaken (a 10-bedroom mansion vs. a
1-bedroom cottage). Taking economic restrictions into account, it is the duty
of Civil Engineers to balance the opposing forces of cost and product.
Beyond this, as in any industry, if your competitor can provide more for less,
assuming comparable quality, they will get the work. All the machines are
related with electrical energy as well as mechanical energy. Generator
converts mechanical energy in to electrical energy and motor converts
electrical energy into mechanical.. so this two fields are related with each
thereof one have good knowledge of mechanical energy as well as electrical
energy.. efficiency of the machines can be improved. highway engineering is
the backbone of civil helps you in understanding road
phenomena's like shoulder, carriageway, road designs, different road failures
etc. Simply you can learn much more thing regarding road from highway
engineering geology is backbone of civil engineering .and engineering
geologist is man role in civil engineering .that he provide the information for
the civil engineering and his works such as construction of building road
structure and so on and provide the bearing capacity of earth. To acquire
knowledge on the operations of various processes involved in manufacturing
and production. Some uses of viruses. Nuclear polyhedrosis viruses used as
an pesticide in fields for the improvement of crops. 2.Bacteriophage T4 and
LAMADA used to sell by companies of biology for performing experiments in
E-commerce and community economic development: is also considered by a
second paper presented by Prof. Thorstein. He argues that virtual commerce
interacts with geographically bound communities, creating new opportunities
for economic development. After an overview of e-commerce potentials and
requirements, the paper proposes a business model for community
development where e-commerce can serve information exchange
(billboards), raise traffic through portals or value-added services (such as
emails and web hosting), create communities of consumers, or facilitate the
brokering of transactions and auctions, and serve as virtual currency (emoney).
What is the value to an engineering student, a future engineer, of economics effectively
taught? It will tend to broaden his views by showing engineering in its proper relation to
other activities. It will help to develop the very valuable habit of thinking in terms of
groups rather than of individuals, especially in matters of service. It will help the
engineering student to see the real ultimate purposes of engineering. It will, for the best
of engineering students, help to bring in the future years of engineering experience that
wider vision which is the inspiration, the spiritual motive power of the great engineer.
Economics and engineering are closely related. Economics has been defined as the
social science of earning a living. With the same appropriateness engineering may be
defined to be physical science applied to helping groups of men to make a better living.

That is but paraphrasing Tredgold's classic definition, " Engineering is the art of
directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and convenience of man." Two
lines of thought so closely related as are economics and engineering necessarily react
upon, and supplement, each other. Each line of thought aids in securing a complete
understanding of the other. Four illustrations of the close relations between economics
and engineering follow. The four illustrations deal with the effect of the development of
the steam engine on economic conditions: the economic waste produced by poorly
designed terminals and by the unnecessary use of terminals in large centers of
population, the economic waste produced by sending freight over that one of two
railways between two cities on which the actual cost of hauling the freight is the higher,
and the advisability of neglecting some waterways. It is immaterial for the present
purpose whether you agree with my conclusions in these four illustrations.
The conclusions are most likely to be reached by combining the closely related points of
view of the engineer and the economist-that engineering and economics are so closely
related that they react upon, and supplement each other. Hence effective teaching of
economics will improve the future engineer. Textbooks on economics find it necessary
to a true understanding of that subject to state the great economic changes that were
brought about by the development of the steam engine. The steam engine applied to
driving machinery, and engineering achievement, brought about the factory system and
other prominent features of our present industrial and commercial organization. Steam
engines now enable coal to do ten times as much work each day as all of the men of
the world could do in that day if they were all at hard physical labor. This immense
increase in the available energy in the world, during the century of development of the
steam engine, has produced great economic changes in the character of the work which
is directly done by men and has immensely increased their total productivity. The
engineer endeavors to reduce the cost of transportation of freight from source to
destination. Without the economist's point of view, he is apt to think of the source and
destination on land as connected completely by the steel rails of a railway and to
endeavor simply to reduce to the greatest possible extent the unit cost of hauling the
freight over the road between terminals. If he takes the economist's habitual point of
view he sees the source beyond one terminal and the destination beyond another. He
sees that it is important, sometimes of paramount importance, to reduce terminal costs.
He sees that the difficulties of keeping terminal costs down are much greater when the
terminal is in the midst of a city of more than one million people than if it is not in a
congested center of population. He sees that an economic waste, of which the ultimate
consumer is the victim, occurs whenever goods are unnecessarily made to go to, or
through, a terminal in New York or Chicago. Thinking in terms of economics serves in
this case to concentrate the engineer's attention on one of the important points in his
engineering problem, on the prime necessity of reducing or avoiding terminal costs in
great cities. A good railroad connects two large cities. An engineer with great care builds
a second railroad between the same two cities which is shorter, with easier curves and
lower grades, and on which the unit cost of hauling freight from city to city is
considerably lower than on the first road. Then the rate makers induce about one-half of

the freight to go over the line on which the actual cost of hauling is the higher. If that
engineer also understands economics he sees that his work has been partly nullified by
the rate makers, that it is an economic waste to the community as a whole to send onehalf the freight by the more costly route. He is apt to be ready to insist, when he has the
opportunity, that freight rates should be based, in part at least, on railway costs. The
decision as to what waterways should be developed for the good of the whole
community, and which ones should be neglected, ought apparently to be made largely
on an engineering basis. The engineer should-and can if he will apply his special
knowledge wisely-reach nearly correct conclusions as to which water- ways afford
possibilities of reducing unit costs of hauling freight from source to destination to the
minimum to which such costs can be reduced by railways alone. Yet many engineers,
some of great ability, have certainly reached erroneous conclusions and have
advocated canals, and improved rivers, on which the actual unit cost of freight haulage
from source to destination cannot be made as low as it already is on railroads now in
existence between said source and destination. A student of economics, the present
secretary of the Western Economic Society, has written the best statement in existence
on the problem of waterways versus rail- ways. He has shown most clearly the
fundamental fallacies of many waterways arguments-fallacies which engineers should
have been first to see. This is a striking example of clear thinking in the economic field
throwing a brilliant light on the engineering field. Engineering is primarily service to the
community, to large groups of men, rather than to individuals. Unfortunately many
engineers fail to see this clearly. The study of economics should help to develop a social
conscience in the student of engineering by forcing him to think in terms of groups of
men. It has been stated that economics effectively taught will help the engineering
student to see the real ultimate purpose of engineering and help in furnishing inspiration
in his later years. An engineer deals largely with material things, but to achieve ultimate
results that are not material in character. He locates and builds a railroad, a mere
material thing. The railroad is to be used by running trains over it-mere material things
again. But the most important ultimate purpose and effect of the railroad is to raise the
standard of civilization of a region. By putting the region into closer contact with the
remainder of the world, by making communication of intelligence more regular and
easier, by facilitating movements of people, visits and migrations, it changes the habits
of action and of thought of a people. By enlarging the market of the region it enables the
population to utilize local advantages, to make their labor more productive. In a region
far from all railroads and water transportation men may secure the bare necessities of
life by hard labor. Within a network of rail- roads the typical man on eight to ten hours of
work per day lives a relatively full life. The inspiration of a great engineer has frequently
come from a vision of the ultimate, not the material, results of his work. The great
builder of irrigation projects saw not merely that the desert would yield great crops. He
saw also the prosperous, steady, and reliable people that would there develop. The
great bridge engineer has seen with enthusiasm that removing barriers improves
peoples by promoting co-operation in larger groups. The great sanitary engineer, doing
his part in improving the water supply of cities, sees back of coagulation tanks, sand

filters, and protected watersheds not simply many lives saved, but also the general
health of whole communities so improved that the standards of thought, of employment,
of morals, are intangibly but certainly raised. Note that in each of these cases the
ultimate result of engineering is expressed in economic terms. The inspiration makes
the difference between the great engineer and the mere engineer.