Wick Allison will never live that comment down, at least in their mirco-world. He is giving a "Cool Hand Luke" scenario there... Like when Luke had to get "his dirt" off the land of one boss, and keep it out of a ditch of another's. The engineer was asked to lay out a road in a designated area, then he does, he is reprimanded, asked to change it. How frustrating.
Playing the devil's advocate, sometimes design work can have a dividing effect. For example, move a road underneath another will often create a place for riff-raff to gather, vandalize, and in effect lower the quality of city. (Also, it always looks dingy, dank, and depressing.) Proper aesthetics need to be taken into consideration.
Engineers built everything in this world, directly or indirectly.
I agree that our cities are were not planned out well for curb appeal. I believe that more thought should be put into our cities so they look appealing to the eye and have the functionally that is required. However, it's not the engineers fault because of this. It is the government or whoever contracts the design team. It's all about the lowest bidder to get the job done. The money talks and the looks, well walk.
California State University, Chico was the first school in California to offer an ABET-accredited degree program in mechatronic engineering. Now its California Mechatronics Center works with industry on machinery, robotics, and surveillance vehicles.
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