Technological Innovation and Hydraulic Engineering

by George Bugliarello, Dean; Coll. of Engrg., Univ. of Illinois at Chicago Circle, Chicago, IL,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 5, Pg. 751-764

Document Type: Journal Paper


Technology is faced with an expanding universe of demands, in a situation in which capital, facilities, and manpower are limited, and can be expected to be increasingly so in the future. Under these conditions, it becomes imperative for the field of hydraulic engineering—as for any field of engineering in general—to acquire a clear view of the factors affecting technological innovation in that field. Some of the principal sociotechnological factors affecting innovation are reviewed, with particular emphasis on paradigms for assessing the nature of the innovative process, indices of innovation, the need for input-output matrices, the implications of such matrices for the research, educational and professional processes in hydraulic engineering, the sociology of the field, and the need for a science policy and for enhanced individual creativity. Since hydraulic engineering is a mature technology, achievement of a given rate of growth of technological capabilities is likely to require a much higher rate of technical knowledge. This may represent a major bottleneck to future innovations in the field.

Subject Headings: Hydraulic engineering | Innovation | Social factors | Matrix (mathematics) | Assets | Facility expansion | Engineering education

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