I haven’t had anything that engineering can’t do – yet!
There are some things I’m working on that we’ll solve and get fixed very slowly, so there will be a few designs that work better but aren’t perfect… but thats ok I think!
How about paint a picture to rival that of the Mona Lisa? Or write a play better than one of Shakespeare’s? Or score a goal with a diving header better than van Persie’s against Spain? Or explain why the universe isn’t infinite? (Something to do with that if the universe was infinite, there would be an infinite number of stars so the sky would be completely white at night rather than there being patches of black)
Engineers can answer a lot of questions, and I’m sure that if all the engineers in the world were asked a question or to do something, one of them would be able to answer or do it or at least make a good attempt. But, whilst the world that we know wouldn’t exist without engineers, it also wouldn’t exist if we didn’t have artists or actors, physicists or chemists, footballers or world chess champions.
There is a lot that engineers do, however, there is a lot that we cannot do as well (although sometimes it’s difficult to admit!) thats why we need to know our limits and work well with project managers, surgeons, doctors, scientists, finance people, operators, users, etc.
To be a really effective engineer it helps if you can work well with other people and in teams. That way when you do not know something you can ask the right person, at the right time, in the right way and get the right answer. Sometimes you even learn a little… and if you remember it you can apply that next time without needing to ask!
Well, it depends on how you think about this question. I do lots of things everyday that do not have to do with “engineering,” per say. There are also lots of tough problems to think about in the world that depend on lots of different types of people working together – engineers, policy makers, social scientists, doctors, etc, etc.
Engineering does provide you with a set of skills that you can use to answer a certain type of question (depending on which sort of engineering you choose). Within the types of questions that I am “supposed” to know the answer to, though, I’ve often been asked to do things that I don’t know how to do. So, I read about it, I ask people about it, I think about it, and eventually I come to the answer 🙂