CEEEP Director Frank Felder Quoted in Engineering Systems: Meeting Human Needs in a Complex Technological World
CEEEP’s Director, Dr. Frank Felder, has been quoted in the recently released book “Engineering Systems: Meeting Human Needs in a Complex Technological World”. The authors, Olivier L. de Weck, Daniel Roos, and Christopher L. Magee, discuss engineers changing role, the impacts on engineering education, and the future challenges of meeting human needs through the technologically enabled systems of today and tomorrow.
On the changing role of the energy engineer, Dr. Felder explains “In the past, as demand grew for electricity, the engineer in the United States had a straightforward task: Build larger power plants, and then a larger one again, and build more and larger transmission lines.” But after the energy crisis of the 1970’s and nuclear power plant accidents, “Suddenly, you could no longer ignore safety, emissions and the environment, and issues of energy security.”
On electricity deregulation, and cost-of-service regulation giving way to electricity markets, Felder notes “Today’s electrical engineer, working in an engineering system, needs to know about business and economics. How do market actors behave? What makes investors interested? How do they make their decisions? What are the conditions under which competitors bid into a market?”
On how traditional engineering education has changed focus, Felder explains “We’ve had some engineering students who are really thinking ahead and are taking urban planning and public policy courses. Some even get master’s degrees in these subjects. They realize the importance of these issues, and that you just can’t go off and build a power plant anymore.”