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Technology

Environmental Constraints in the Use of Technology

“Nature abhors a vacuum” - Francois Rabelais

And so do most engineering design processes. They abhor a vacuum. Instead, engineering designs must always consider where the design will work, operate, and live most of its useful life.
  • How hot does it get?
  • How cold can you make it?
  • How much does it shake?
  • Is it loud?
  • Is it too quiet?
These are questions that are often easy to overlook at the beginning of engineering design. However, the chaos that ensues when these questions are not considered carefully is often anything but easy. How many times has a professional engineer or a graduate student said: "Well, it worked fine in the lab"… when it was a calm placid 72 degrees at low humidity, and then followed up with an unfortunate "Why doesn't it work now?" in the field?

In addition to looking at how the operating environment varies and how such variations influence design performance, this set of educational materials will also look at how the environment is regulated and how regulations, laws, and codes can influence design.
  • How much can the design spew into the air?
  • Leak into the water?
  • Leach into the soil?
  • How much is it allowed to damage the environment?

Know more:
Environmental Constraints in Product Design

Acknowledgements:

This work has been conducted in collaboration with the University of Washington and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation (DUE-1245464).