Reverse engineering is a matter of inferring adaptive function from structure. The utility of reverse engineering for evolutionary biology has been a matter of controversy. I offer a simple taxonomy of the uses of engineering design in assessing adaptation, with a variety of illustrations. The plausibility of applications of engineering design reflects the specific way the models are elaborated and derived.
education to include considerations such as the environmental, health, safety, ethical, social, and political impact of engineering design. This paper focuses on public policy as a proposed umbrella framework for consideration of these issues, and advances three propositions. First, that the public policy process has a lot in common with the engineering design process; second, that engineering design activities are becoming increasingly entwined with public policy considerations; and third, there are a wide variety of practical approaches to incorporating public policy considerations into engineering design education. The paper begins with well-known models of the engineering design process and the public policy process to establish the similarities between the two. In addition, several popular myths regarding the relationship between these two processes and their practitioners are explored. Next, the paper enumerates different classes of public policy activities engaged in by federal, state, and municipal governments that have implications for engineering design decisions. Included are generic issues such as: environmental, health, and safety regulations; professional licensing and registration; government support for basic and applied research, development, and exploration; defense weapons and other government procurement activities; patent and other policies to support technological development; and government collection
"Civil engineering is a profession that has a distinct focus on the design of infrastructure systems. There are major differences between the characteristics of the infrastructure design problems that civil engineers solve and the problems examined by other engineering disciplines, which tend to emphasize the design of smaller items produced for short term use. Beginning students in civil engineering should be made aware of these distinctions and the types of systems civil engineers design so that they can begin to think about the problems associated with them. This is the starting point for evolving into professional civil engineers whose area of expertise is design of the civil works infrastructure that supports modern societies."--