Engineers within a Local and Global Society

Engineers within a Local and Global Society

Caroline Baillie
ISBN: 9781598291360 | PDF ISBN: 9781598291377
Copyright © 2006 | 76 Pages | Publication Date: 01/01/2006

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Engineers, Technology and Society presents topics intended to aid the practicing engineer in reflecting upon the nature and purpose of their own practice within the engineering profession and how that is related to and implicated in social, economic and political issues. The series will include external relations between engineering, economic systems and social and political practices, as well as power structures and working conditions within the organisation.

In an increasingly competitive and hostile environment in which practicing engineers are forced to spend their lives fighting for higher profit margins, many engineers become despondent and often leave the profession just a few years after graduation. They do not feel they are engineering for those in need in the world but for a small minority who can pay. There are an increasing number of engineers in the workplace who feel dissatisfied with these issues but do not know where to begin to address them. It is hoped that these books will start a conversation in many parts of the world where diverse engineers are working.

This introductory book of the series presents an overview of the key issues at stake. I consider how, as engineers, we might decide what is the right thing to do by exploring rights and notions of freedom and what these might mean in a world where we are, according to some,

Table of Contents

Choices as an Engineer
How Responsible Is Engineering?
Engineering and Society in the Past
The Contemporary Industrial Revolution
Global Economic Issues
Public Understanding of Science and Technology
Alternative Systems
Case Study: Developing Waste Plastic/Agave Fibre Ceiling Panels in Lesotho, Africa

About the Author(s)

Caroline Baillie, Queens University Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Caroline Baillie is a Professor of Engineering Education and Materials Engineering at Queens University, Kingston, Ontario. Her role is to enhance the learning experience of engineering students across the Faculty whilst maintaining her research and teaching interests in materials science and engineering. Her research interests in materials science have developed from a background in composite materials (reinforced plastics) to a focus on natural sustainable composites and biomimicry (learning from nature). She is particularly interested in ways in which science and engineering can help to create solutions for the environment as well as social problems. Her most recent work focuses on 'Engineering for Social Justice' and together with George Catalano of Binghamton University she is developing a growing network of individuals who are concerned to place social justice at the centre of engineering practice, instead of profit. She tries to live through the processes involved in such a transformation, in her own technical work. She has over 100 publications, papers and books in materials science and education. Her most recent books include a Woodhead publication, 'Green Composites,' a Routledge publication 'Effective learning and teaching in engineering' and an edited Campus volume 'Travelling facts: the social construction, distribution and accumulation of knowledge.'

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