• Concept Article by the presenter in the book, The Mind of an Engineer (Springer, 2016).
• Smart Engineering: Using insights to conceive, model and scale appropriate solution to focused problem or defined objective.
• Scientific, Economic, Social and Practical Knowledge applied thoughtfully.
• Engine behind designing, building and maintaining structures, systems, materials and even processes.
• Aims at bringing ‘wow’ element in user’s mind. [Ack: All images are taken from websites to facilitate concept illustration.]
Lever # 1: Need-of-the-Hour Engineering
• BC Era: Primitive technology for agriculture.
• Subsequently, to heavy engg to electronics engg.
• Country’s 5-year plan— different thrust areas.
• Presently, physical and information superhighway.
•Mobile phone with masses: productivity enhancement.
• Voice/email, instant messaging and social media.
• Developing countries: broadband deployment.
Lever # 2: Improvised Engineering
• Time-of-day: Shadow from anchor stick➝Sundial➝ Jantar Mantar➝Clock➝ Luxury and Smartwatches
• Offset printing➝Dot-matrix➝LaserJet➝3D printing (subtractive to additive paradigm)
• Wireline telephone➝ Wireless communication along with multimedia data transfer.
• Precision, resolution, ease-of-use improve over time.
Lever # 3: Strip-down Engineering
• Reverse engg: What goes inside a product design?
• Frugal engg: How to reduce cost (durability affected!)?
• Strip-down engg: combines merits of both and applies Pareto’s principle (80:20).
• Selects top 80% features from user requirements with 80% cost reduction.
• Constantly weighs cost- benefit tradeoff and suitable for BoP population.
Lever # 4: Performance-Boosting Engineering
• Enhances solution performance with constraints.
• Multi-core, heterogeneous processing, hardware-software partitioning, DSP/CPU/GPU.
• Deep learning, Accelerators.
• Multi-resolution systems: phone-with-full-connectivity- but-basic-camera to higher- resolution-camera-
• Goal: reduce response time, enhance system metrics.
Lever # 5: IntelliSys Engineering
• Empowers conventional systems—promotes autonomous operations.
• Functions of sensing, actuation, control using closed-loop control, energy efficiency, cloud-based solutions.
• Energy in Smart Home.
• Connected car: tyre- pressure sensor, aid to navigation, driverless, interact, and even fly!
Lever # 6: Cross-Pollination Engineering
• Studying beyond one field; knowledge of multiple faculties to tie up ideas or apply from one to the other.
• Geology + soil engg + biology.
• Geography + information sys.
• Optical physics + telecom.
• Music + acoustic engg.
Lever # 7: Smart-Auxiliary Engineering
• Engg. playing second fiddle to science/tech projects.; helps next level of scientific discovery thru infra
• Ex: Large Hadron Collider mega project (CERN); simulation of big bang.
• Dreamliner flights grounded worldwide; battery short-circuited when changed from nickel hydride to Li-ion
with higher energy density.
Lever # 8: Sustainable Engineering
• Promotion of green concept in everyday use of tech products. • Dig. chipset: 5V3.3V1.8V • Energy-aware protocols. • Smart grids for better power distribution. • Electro-magnetic radiation hazard reduction. • E-waste management. • Reduce contamination, re-purify natural resources.
Lever # 9: Nature-Inspired Engineering
• Design usable products inspired by flora and fauna. • Cranes mimicking giraffe. • Mercedes-Benz bionic concept vehicle: low- coefficient of drag and rigid exo-skeleton of boxfish. • Japan’s bullet train problem (big sound while coming out of tunnel) resolution by studying beak of kingfisher. • Lotus leaves principles used in exterior paints and textiles.
Lever # 10: Forward-looking Engineering
• Engineering foundations based on strong theory and driven by science. • Information theory to game theory, number theory to string theory… • Cyber-physical world. • VR/AR, user interactions. • Quantum teleportation: qubits with superposition and entanglement. • Aims to manifest scientific ideas or science fiction concepts to reality.
Ten Levers of Smart Engineering: Presentation Series
• Concept Article in the book, The Mind of an Engineer (Springer, 2016). • Intel India Annual Conference, Bangalore, Oct. 2016. • Times of India, Engineers Day, Sept. 2013. • Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) Newsletter, Jul. 2013. • Invited Speaker in IEEE MANIT Tech event, Srajan’13, Bhopal, Mar. 2013. • Chief Guest Lecture in Thiagarajar College of Engg., Techutsav’13, Madurai, Jan. 2013.