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Engineering: The nature of problems
Engineering: The nature of problems

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7.4 The impact of technology on society

Engineering is apparently driven by the needs of society. The technology that results, in turn, drives other changes in our everyday lives. One of the basic needs identified in Section 2 was for shelter. There are many fine examples of long-surviving structures such as pyramids, aqueducts, bridges, walls, functional buildings, and so on. Remarkably these constructions were completed without the depth of analysis and understanding that is available today (though we don't necessarily know much of the failures). The challenge to be more efficient in terms of space, materials, cost of ownership, etc. gets harder every year. Understanding the properties of static structures is important in creating tomorrow's solutions.