ENGR1110 at Douglas College Course Syllabus




Course Code & Number:ENGR 1100
Transcript Title:Engineering & Tech in Society
Descriptive Title:Engineering And Technology In Society
Institution Unit:Engineering
Credit: 3.0
Description: This course is designed to provide an introduction to the practice of engineering, surveying its history and its current state. The social and political aspects of engineering decisions will be illustrated by a number of case studies.


Learning Format:Lecture
Contact Hours:4.0 hours/week
Semester Length:15 weeks

CorequisitesENGL 1130 or CMNS 1135 must be completed prior to OR at the same time as this course.

EquivalenciesNot Specified
Maximum Class Size:36


Learning OutcomesAfter taking this course, the student will be able to:

  • Analyze major engineering projects in terms of key resources such as cost, labour, and implementation time.
  • Analyze major engineering projects in terms of societal benefits, and detriments.
  • Identify, current and historical, key engineering projects, devices, and inventions.
  • Identify, current and historical, key figures involved with engineering projects, devices, and inventions.
  • Demonstrate how to apply general scientific principles such as the laws of thermodynamics, and conservation of energy to situational and mathematical problems.
  • Apply scientific principles to debunk ‘junk’ science and engineering myths such as perpetual motion.

Course ContentStudents will explore the history and current state of engineering practice by analyzing engineering project case studies such as the Pyramids of Egypt, the Roman Aqueducts, the Great Wall of China, the Panama canal, and the Three Gorges dam.

The afore listed case study analysis will strongly emphasize the ethical, social and political aspects of engineering projects.

As well, students will be expected to analyze present day projects such as the Trans Mountain pipeline, and the BC Hydro Site C dam.

Methods Of Instruction

  • Lectures
  • In class group discussion
  • In class case study analysis
  • Group Projects
  • Poster presentations
  • Possible online Assignments and Discussion

Text Books\MaterialsStudents should consult the Douglas College Bookstore for the latest required textbooks and materials. The exact textbook and course materials will be decided by the course instructor.  They will be similar to:

  • “The Betterment of the Human Condition” by John D. Jones, current edition
  • “The Ancient Engineers” by L. Sprague De Camp, 1995 edition
  • “Engineer’s Toolkit: A First Course in Engineering” by Carl Mitcham, and Shannon Duval, current edition
  • “Engineers withing a Local and Global Society” by Caroline Baillie
  • “To Engineer is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design” by Henry Petroski, current edition

Means Of AssessmentEvaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation will be based on the following:

Research Paper: 30% – 40%

Project with subsequent poster presentation: 20% – 30%

In Class Participation and/or group exercise: 10% – 15%

In Class Quizzes: 15% – 30%

Assessment means could include online quizzes and assignments.


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To the extent possible under law, Jennifer Kirkey has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Engineering and Technology in Society - Canada, except where otherwise noted.

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