Schools Training

Appreciating Engineering Technology in the Office

26 DEC 2012
Career Path : Engineering Technology

Nearly everything in a modern office can be traced back to engineering technology. From the fixtures to the management methods, to the networks and software programs, an engineer was involved.


Physical Objects

You probably don’t think of engineers when you pick up the stapler or settle into your office chair at your desk, but the design role of the engineer is on display in pretty much every physical object. For example, the comfortable padding and adjustable seat height were all designed by one or several engineers working as a team. Plastic and metal objects owe their origins to engineering blueprints, and more elaborate objects were birthed in advanced visualization software called Computer Aided Design (CAD) programs. Everything, from pens to the receiver on your phone, was previously modeled by the designer in 3D, tested and assembled with engineering methods that made the best of materials.


The Air You Breathe

Okay, engineers don’t make the oxygen, but if you’ve ever experienced a stuffy or too cold office you know firsthand why heating, ventilation and air conditioning matter. Engineering technology protects employees from serious problems like sick building syndrome. As the name suggests, it’s more than proper maintenance on heating and cooling devices, but part of the holistic design of the entire structure.



A modern business would be lost without programs for word-processing, spreadsheets, email, bookkeeping and all the other normal functions of an office. You probably learned how to use them in your accounting and marketing courses, but did you know that many of the standard business utilities owe their existence to computer engineers?  The fusion of electrical engineering and computer science, the engineer’s hands have been as busy writing code as designing the computers that run the programs.


Office Procedures

Believe it or not, many modern management practices owe their origin to the field of scientific management. Two centuries ago, as engineers looked to refine industrial processes for more efficiency, one engineer, by the name of Taylor, looked for the best practices in labour as well as the machines that are the normal focus of engineering. Not only did he examine the best range of motion to complete tasks quickly and with few mistakes, but he also looked into ways to hire the best worker for the job and to reduce worker fatigue. He argued for compensation that linked performance to pay, and advocated regular breaks. According to Taylor, these ideas were even applicably to administrators as well as to the factory line. His ideas worked and took the field of management by storm, so these days they’re a regular part of the curriculum at a school of business. You can thank the engineer, Taylor, at your coffee break and your performance bonus.



Visit Mohawk College for more information on engineering technology.