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A Bridge Between Science and Practical Engineering

[+] Author Affiliations
S. Yedidiah

Consultant, West Orange, NJ

Paper No. HT-FED2004-56011, pp. 921-928; 8 pages
doi:10.1115/HT-FED2004-56011
From:
  • ASME 2004 Heat Transfer/Fluids Engineering Summer Conference
  • Volume 1
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, July 11–15, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division and Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4690-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3740-8
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME

abstract

This paper discusses the causes and effects of the ever-growing gap between academia and the practicing engineer. Also, it suggest a possible means which might be capable to bring both approaches closer together. Recent advances in science have opened up new horizons before the practicing engineers. However, these new developments require to make use of so much information, that it makes it impossible for a single person to master simultaneously both: The scientific and the practical aspects of a given problem. It is very difficult for scientists to follow and to become intimately familiar with all the innovations which are continuously occurring in their own field. The less can a scientist afford to be distracted by attempts to master all the intricacies of the practical aspects of problems, which a practicing engineer has to take care of. The same is also true in relation to the possibility, that an engineer will master all the new developments which are occurring in science. To alleviate this problem, the academic community in Japan has recently adopted new criteria for the accreditation of institutions which are teaching engineering [4]. To become accredited, an engineering educational institution has to include, into its curriculum, also courses of a practical nature. The steps adopted in Japan will undoubtedly bring some relief to the problem. However, their effectiveness could be significantly enhanced by introducing a course which would teach how to translate a mathematical expression into its physical meaning. The capability to execute such a translation could bring science much closer to practical engineering. This paper presents a case history which illustrates the negative effects of the existing gap [1,2,3]. Also, it illustrates, how the existing gap between academia and the practicing engineer could be narrowed: By a course which would teach, how to translate a mathematical equation into its relevant physical meaning. Finally, it presents a case-history, which demonstrates the enormous potentials of a proper translation of a mathematical equation into its relevant physical meaning.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME

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