Engineering predates Science

We were designing and building things long before we had a “scientific” methods and mathematical solution techniques – and we still do today.  We can actually do engineering without science (Pantheon is an example), but science does indeed help and is absolutely necessary today.  A calculator helps too.  Did we need to wait for mathematical understanding of a hanging chain before we could build catenaries?  Of course not.   We didn't need to wait for Galileo and Bernoulli to create architecture.   We didn't need Euler to design columns.  This “pre-science” type of engineering is design and it is still 90% of what we do today.  Have you witnessed the architect August Perret's Church of Notre Dame du Raincy?   Were the methods of proportion used in the past flawed?   Sure.   Did they work?   Sure, sometimes.  Are current state-of-the- art methods that are good at mimicking nature still flawed?    Absolutely, less so, yes, but certainly flawed.  We as structural engineers should recognize that while science and math are critically important to what we do, they do not define us - and history tells us, they never did.  How can we be defined as applied scientists when engineering predates science?

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