Engineering, science and society
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As a background to the theme of this lecture, the nature of Universities is described and also the development of industry within Rhodesia over the last decade is outlined. It is upon the acknowledgement by the University of a concern in the human activity termed industry that the Faculty of Engineering within the University of Rhodesia is built, and also upon the acceptance that there exists a distinct and substantial corpus of knowledge called Engineering. The work is essentially written around the idea that Mechani cal Engineering is concerned with the social and technological aspects of the harvesting, transportation, conversion and ultilisation of information, materials and energy. An outline comparative analysis is given of the Rhodesian industrial sector (both agricultural and non-agricultural) which forms part of the basis of studies in the Engineering Faculty of the University. Conclusions are drawn on four points: 1- Employment rate 2. Employment distribution 3. Efficiency of employment 4. Distribution of outputs. The implications for the University are also noted. Looking forward, new data from official sources are pre sented relating to skilled labour estimates for the 1975-1983 period. They show that the existing dominant position of Mechanical Engineering is expected to be maintained over at least the next decade. A discussion is given which seeks to shed light on the relation ship between science and technology. Mechanical Engineering is shown to be particularly concerned with construction and function ing of systems which are not necessarily of a mechanical or thermal nature; some of the technology may be applicable to community 1 development and the transfer of technology, also to the control aspects of these processes. The subject of energy is treated in rather more detail than the related subject of materials. The global resources of various forms of energy are discussed and the requirements spanning the next century outlined. It is shown that there is little hope of spreading a uniformly high material living standard throughout the world in future, due to the energy required. Modem concepts of energy budgeting are outlined.
Additional Citation InformationHarris, J. (1975). Engineering, science and society. An inaugural lecture given in the University of Rhodesia . Salisbury: University of Rhodesia.
University of Rhodesia
An inaugural lecture delivered on 7th August 1975 in the Llewellin Lecture Theatre
- Inaugural Lectures