I was actually rereading my Shigley’s book (Mechanical Design Book) for an internship. This came up and I found it interesting.
“Engineers use science to solve their problems if the science is available. But available or not, the problem must be solved, and whatever form the solution takes under these conditions is called engineering.”
(Budynas−Nisbett: Shigley’s Mechanical Engineering Design, Eighth Edition II. Failure Prevention 6. Fatigue Failure Resulting from Variable Loading © The McGraw−Hill pg267 Companies, 2008)
Unless engineering is a stepping stone to something else, and even despite of this, I believe it is most important that you spend hours understanding the basics and applying them as oppose to cramping theories and standard solutions for an exam. I urge the excellent teaching force we encounter and students to remember the true meaning of education and not get bug down with solely completing a syllabus or passing an exam. I am experiencing the “joy of engineering” by applying the tools I have gathered throughout my engineering studies and from a lifetime or breaking and “fixing” things.
To me, engineering education is only a means to pass on proven results and applicable mathematical and scientific patterns/formulas and to capture new knowledge acquired through research and job experience. However, the core idea of systematically experimenting and solving “real” engineering problems, should remain a critical emphasis in all learning or imparting of knowledge.
I hope this was a good read and feel free to share your comments.