With engineering encompassing such a vast range of industries, ranging from aerospace to transportation, our lives are impacted daily by changes within this sector. As a result, research and development (R&D) is an essential element of day-to-day practice for those working in this field.
Producing new or improved products.
Design and develop a product involving some degree of uncertainty, for which the answers were not obvious.
Engineering requires a huge amount of research and development (R&D) to take place. Depending on the discipline, this take the form of identification and solving of potential risks. This could also include the development of computer simulations and modelling. All of this takes place alongside continual testing and refining until a solution is found.
During the process of creating a new product or refining an existing one, engineers will often face technological uncertainties. Whenever working with new and innovative technologies, these are often when deciding whether they will be suitable for the task at hand, or interact with existing components.
Trial and experimentation will often be needed when choosing which materials to use for new products or components. Some materials will be unsuitable for the task at hand; for example, they may need to be waterproof, or be able to support a certain weight. Other times a material will be incompatible for the build because it can directly conflict with other materials that are in use.
Differing global markets will have different rules and regulations that cover a host of areas. It’s these changes in standards that can create a number of uncertainties that will need addressing. Even when these are seemingly simple to implement at the start, these can require a great deal of research and development (R&D) to work. In some cases, these changes can result with the project bearing only a passing resemblance to the original design.
Creating products that work with each other can create some very hard to tackle problems, even when using “off the shelf” components. This is because it’s common for there to be substantial reworking of a product to ensure compatibility. If existing components aren’t available, engineers will need to develop these. Because of this, projects can need substantial experimentation and redesign to work as intended.
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