Breaking Par in Public Engineering Practice

by Herbert A. Goetsch,

Serial Information: Journal of the Professional Activities, 1966, Vol. 92, Issue 2, Pg. 19-22

Document Type: Journal Paper


Engineers in public practice are faced with the challenge of examining the influence of engineering activity on the general public in the light of narrowing specialization and important responsibilities going to other professionals, city planners, and urban development experts by default. It is not enough to be an engineer, content with an average performance, but rather extra effort must be exerted to break par. Breaking par involves not only consideration of function, safety, and economy, but, in addition, planning of projects to include political, social, ecological, and aesthetic considerations which will increase the value of the project to mankind. Engineers in public practice are not completely free to act on the basis of technical knowledge alone. The engineer must recognize the existance and importance of other talents and disciplines and be prepared to adopt the interdisciplinary approach to planning. Planning is inherent in engineering but the civil engineer today must broaden his point of view. He has the background, technical training, and an awareness of the public welfare. If he can achieve a broad viewpoint and recognize the importance of other disciplines, he will achieve success in the planning aspect of his profession.

Subject Headings: Engineering profession | Urban areas | Safety | Social factors | Ecosystems | Aesthetics | Value engineering | Training

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