Technology is the purposeful application of information in the design, production, and utilization of goods and services, and in the organization of human activities. It is a branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.
Engineering is an act of skilled managing or the practical application of science and math skills to everyday life. It is the application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems.
There are many technological and engineering inventions that has changed the world both for good and bad. The National Academy of Engineering (NAE), in 2003, published A Century of Innovation: Twenty Engineering Achievements that transformed our Lives, which showcased the greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century. As per the NAE, these are;
- Water Supply and Distribution
- Radio and Television
- Agricultural Mechanization
- Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
- Imaging – For medical uses
- Household Appliances
- Health Technologies
- Petroleum and Petrochemical Technologies
- Laser and Fiber Optics – Communications and Medical
- Nuclear Technologies – Generation of Electricity
- High-performance Materials – lighter, stronger, and more adaptable
All these are self-explanatory engineering achievements that affect day to day life of a human being. With the positivity in mind during their inventions, all positive feats are not always achieved all the time. In some cases, there have been adverse negative impacts.
It is very difficult to predict the future of engineering. Engineers try to determine what people will want and need—both now and in the future—and then they design things to fulfill those wants and needs. Among the issues that engineers are trying to address for future benefits are;
- Natural catastrophes – Predicting, Preventing, and Responding
- Health – Reducing Mortality rates
- Energy – Renewable, safety, and Mass production
- Nanotechnology – Lighter and Stronger Materials and self-aware products
- Biotechnology – Human, Animal, and Plant life modification for better output
Engineering has both intended and unintended consequences. Sometimes the unintended consequences of new technologies can be negative and hazardous. The main factor is that engineering is required as much as any other discipline is required for improvement of human life.