Engineering can be defined as the application of mathematics, sciences, and other disciplines to innovate, design, build, and maintain products and services. There are many different types of engineers who specialize in various fields including mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, chemical engineering, and more. Engineers often get a bad rap for being overly technical or nerdy but they actually do much more than just crunch numbers and develop complex algorithms. In fact, there are many important skills and activities they perform that often go unnoticed or underappreciated.
Here are four underrated things engineers do that you may not know about.
Inventing New Food
Did you know that engineers have a hand in the development of some of your favorite snacks and meals? Food engineering is an important subfield within chemical engineering where professionals create, develop, and test new food products. This can range from creating healthier food products with fewer preservatives to inventing entirely new flavors or textures.
For example, engineers have been instrumental in the development of low-calorie snacks. They also develop coatings and packaging materials that preserve food longer and keep it safe from contamination.
Designing Special Effects for Movies
If there’s one thing engineers are great at, it’s problem-solving. And special effects in movies definitely require some creative thinking and problem-solving. Engineers work with directors to come up with the most realistic special effects possible.
For example, engineers can create virtual sets using computers that look just like a real-life environment, without having to spend money on a real-life set. They can also design creatures and robots that look so realistic it’s hard to tell they’re not real. Engineers are often responsible for designing some of the most iconic special effects in movies such as the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.
Engineers have a knack for making the mundane more fun, and that includes toys. It’s hard to imagine a world without toys like Nerf guns; engineers have helped create some of the most popular toys in history.
For example, engineers are responsible for designing robot toys like Furby which can provide hours of entertainment for children. Engineers have even designed educational toys such as robotic building sets that can teach kids about coding and robotics in a fun and engaging way.
Creating Artificial Body Parts
Unfortunately, things like accidents happen that pose health problems. Engineers have made significant advances in bioengineering, which is the application of engineering principles to biology, to create artificial body parts such as prosthetic limbs and organs that particularly benefit people like residents of senior living facilities, people with disabilities, and those who need a transplant.
For example, engineers have developed 3D-printed prosthetic arms that look and feel like real ones. They can be adjusted and tailored to the user so that they provide better mobility and comfort. Engineers are also working on artificial organs such as hearts, lungs, livers, and kidneys to save lives.
These four activities demonstrate that engineers have a wide range of skills and talents to offer society. From inventing new food products to creating special effects for movies and designing toys to creating artificial body parts, engineers are at the forefront of innovation. They deserve more recognition for the important role they play.