3Project Management and Product Development

A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.

Steve Jobs

3.1 Introduction

Transdisciplinarity is a method of acquiring new knowledge through the rethinking of current methods and processes, rearranging our fundamental science, and engineering knowledge to create innovative technological products and services to confront society's complex issues.

For example, steam engines powered all early locomotives (see Figure 3.1), steamboats and factories, and acted as the foundation of the industrial revolution. During the industrial revolution, steam engines became the main source of power, remaining so until the technological advances in the design of internal combustion engine. An early reciprocating steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid. Steam engines are external combustion engines where the working fluid is separate from the combustion engine. The ideal thermodynamic cycle used to analyze this process is called the Rankine cycle. In the cycle, water is heated in a boiler and produces high-pressure steam which is then expanded in the piston cylinder to create mechanical power. The reduced-pressure steam is then condensed and pumped back into the boiler.

Figure 3.1 Locomotive powered by steam ...

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