13
2
Engineering Design
2.1 Engineering Design toward a Product, System, or Service
Engineering design is pervasive around us. There is hardly anything we see
or interact with in real life that is not the result of an engineering endeavor
requiring conscious effort. From the design of a simple stapler to the design
of a wide-body aircraft, all are results of engineering design. Engineering
design has a broader scope than just solving the technical problem of meet-
ing design requirements specied by the customer. It must consider all the
extraneous factors: the motivation behind a design, expected deliverables
from the design and nal attributes of the product, the effect of uncertainty,
safety parameters, environmental impacts, market needs, and legislation,
among others. The outcome of a successful engineering design process is
clear specications on how to create a product, system, or service that will
meet all the deliverables.
Engineering design bridges the gap between science and its successful
use in simplifying our lives. Engineering design creates products, systems,
and services that employ scientic theories in their functioning. There are,
of course, differences in products, systems, and services in the way they are
dened. A product is a well-dened physical artifact that does a set of func-
tions usually under end user control. A system is a differentiated collection
of engineering artifacts that work together to achieve a wider set of require-
ments. A service may or may not include a physical artifact but is usually a
contract to fulll engineering duties in exchange for compensation. There
are differences in the role of engineers in enabling the three, but we will refer
to these as products for the rest of this book.
Central to engineering design are the designers, or human entities
who perform the tasks required to turn a design concept into reality. The
change in perspective of engineering design being considered more from
a designer’s point of view is a relatively recent phenomenon. Engineering
design up to the Second World War era and even shortly afterwards
was still concerned with precisely specifying parameters to manufac-
ture a product. This philosophy changed as engineering systems became
more complex and design became truly interdisciplinary. Customer voice

Get Decision Based Design now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.