Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference between technology and engineering

Technology vs Engineering

Engineering and technology are two terms that are closely related and are often mistakenly used in place of one another. Engineering can be defined as “the profession in which a knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences gained by study, experience, and practice is applied with judgment to develop ways to utilize economically the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of mankind” (1). Technology however can be defined as “the 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” (2). These definitions may seem like a mouthful but the key thing to know is that engineering is basically the mind and effort that goes into making a new product say for example a cell phone. Technology is the result of application of this effort. Thus making a cell phone can be said to engineer a cell phone. The product cell phone can be said to be a new technology.

Both technology and engineering have existed since long. From the making of tools to light fire (technology) to the invention of a wheel (engineering), both these fields have been of immense importance. The main thing that both offer is to do certain tasks in a more efficient manner both economically and in terms of time.

Engineering constitutes of anything from medicine to mechanical. Technology too is used in every field. While engineering is specific to a certain task, technology can be inferred to be something that is applicable to large areas. For example, genetic engineering is specific to certain person. As the predicted disease of a baby has to be taken into account, conversely, the same technology such as that of MRI can be used on all individuals.

Another way to look at engineering and technology is that engineering can be taken as a question or a problem. For example, how do we build a security system of a house? Technology can be looked as a solution to this question. Like in this case, the use of burglar alarms. Once this technology has been engineered it can be used repeatedly.

Often already available tools of technology are used to engineer a new form of technology.

Another difference is that engineering is new, it has not been tested. A technology has been in time since long and has been applied to various areas and hence has been thoroughly tested. This makes existing technology more reliable than engineering something new.

The line between technology and engineering is thin. The key thing to remember is that technology is something that has existed for a while and can be used to do general tasks. Engineering however is more goal oriented and task specific.

Summary:

Engineering is the mind and effort into making something; technology is the result of application of this mind and effort.
Engineering is more specific than technology.
Engineering is a problem whereas technology is the solution.
Same technology can be used over and over again.
Available technology is used to engineer more advanced technology.
technology is more reliable than engineering something new.


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