Engineering is the creative application of science, mathematical methods, and empirical evidence to the innovation, design, construction, operation and maintenance of structures, machines, materials, devices, systems, processes, and organizations. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specialized fields of engineering, each with a more specific emphasis on particular areas of applied mathematics, applied science, and types of application. See glossary of engineering.
The interdisciplinary field of materials science, also commonly termed materials science and engineering is the design and discovery of new materials, particularly solids. The intellectual origins of materials science stem from the Enlightenment, when researchers began to use analytical thinking from chemistry, physics, and engineering to understand ancient, phenomenological observations in metallurgy and mineralogy. Materials science still incorporates elements of physics, chemistry, and engineering. As such, the field was long considered by academic institutions as a sub-field of these related fields. Beginning in the 1940s, materials science began to be more widely recognized as a specific and distinct field of science and engineering, and major technical universities around the world created dedicated schools of the study, within either the Science or Engineering schools, hence the naming.
Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.
Technology ("science of craft", from Greek τέχνη, techne, "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and -λογία, -logia) is first robustly defined by Jacob Bigelow in 1829 as: "...principles, processes, and nomenclatures of the more conspicuous arts, particularly those which involve applications of science, and which may be considered useful, by promoting the benefit of society, together with the emolument [compensation ] of those who pursue them" .
A key characteristic of the engineering culture is that the individual engineer’s commitment is to technical challenge rather than to a given company. There is no intrinsic loyalty to an employer as such. An employer is good only for providing the sandbox in which to play. If there is no challenge or if resources fail to be provided, the engineer will seek employment elsewhere. In the engineering culture, people, organization, and bureaucracy are constraints to be overcome. In the ideal organization everything is automated so that people cannot screw it up. There is a joke that says it all. A plant is being managed by one man and one dog. It is the job of the man to feed the dog, and it is the job of the dog to keep the man from touching the equipment. Or, as two Boeing engineers were overheard to say during a landing at Seattle, “What a waste it is to have those people in the cockpit when the plane could land itself perfectly well.” Just as there is no loyalty to an employer, there is no loyalty to the customer. As we will see later, if trade-offs had to be made between building the next generation of “fun” computers and meeting the needs of “dumb” customers who wanted turnkey products, the engineers at DEC always opted for technological advancement and paid attention only to those customers who provided a technical challenge.
Edgar H. Schein (2010). Dec Is Dead, Long Live Dec: The Lasting Legacy of Digital Equiment Corporation. p. 60
Engineering or Technology is the making of things that did not previously exist, whereas science is the discovering of things that have long existed.
David Billington, The Tower and the Bridge: The New Art of Structural Engineering (1983), 9.
It is the constant attempt in this country [Canada] to make fundamental science responsive to the marketplace. Because technology needs science, it is tempting to require that scientific projects be justified in terms of the worth of the technology they can be expected to generate. The effect of applying this criterion is, however, to restrict science to developed fields where the links to technology are most evident. By continually looking for a short-term payoff we disqualify the sort of science that … attempts to answer fundamental questions, and, having answered them, suggests fundamentally new approaches in the realm of applications.
John C. Polanyi, A Scientist and the World He Lives In, Speech to the Empire Club of Canada (27 Nov 1986) in C. Frank Turner and Tim Dickson (eds.), The Empire Club of Canada Speeches 1986-1987 (1987), 149-161.