Engineers and Computers — Interaction or Reaction

by Richard L. Bland, (A.M.ASCE), Computer Applications Engr.; Black & Veatch, Consulting Engrs., Kansas City, Mo.,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 2, Pg. 79-91

Document Type: Journal Paper


A philosophy of operation on the nontechnical aspects of computer application in an engineering environment is presented. The objectives for engineering use of computers are reviewed and ranked in a suggested order of importance. After objectives are clearly defined, criteria are established which must be satisfied if the objectives are to be met. The concepts, situations, and basic philosophies presented are nondisciplinary. The principal theme is a cooperative effort between engineers and computer personnel. The criteria developed correspond to engineering requirements and become specifications for data processing activities. Concrete examples drawn from the civil-structural disciplines illustrate the basic ideas presented. Procedural guidelines are proposed separately for program development and application to engineering problems. Some inadequacies in present undergraduate engineering curricula are pointed out along with a call for reevaluation of computer related courses.

Subject Headings: Computing in civil engineering | Computer software | Engineering education | Professional practice | Environmental engineering | Team building | Concrete | Undergraduate study

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