Emotional Engineering

(Apologies for the late post)

Going through the readings and the TEDx talk for this week, I was struck particularly by both Palmer’s and Edelstein’s writings. Emotions, as Parker said, are so often overlooked and downplayed throughout American society and especially in Professional Environments. Nowhere have I seen this to be more true than in Engineering and metal casting. One, it’s a field dominated by men, who are often wrapped up in toxic masculinity which devalues and suppresses healthy emotional expression. Two, since it’s so based in Math and Science, which are typically thought of as cold and objective, emotions are heavily eschewed. Edelstein discussed the importance of humanities, with which, as an engineer, I couldn’t agree more. I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard from fellow engineers “I’m an engineer, I don’t have to be able to write” or how stupid they think poetry or literature are. Hearing that infuriates me.

I think the TEDx talk was a great way to wrap up what we’ve been talking about all semester, of rethinking how the education system is supposed to work and what it can achieve. As in our earlier discussions, there are always The Big Questions that this brings up: how can we effect this change? How do we know it works?

4 thoughts on “Emotional Engineering”

  1. Hi, Erin. It’s great to hear that another engineer values emotional expression and the humanities as well! I, for one, often fall back on skills and knowledge gained in the humanities courses from my undergraduate education to this day. Additionally, I truly believe that the fact that I do “wear my heart on my sleeve,” so to speak, has only allowed for better connections with my peers and furthered my passion and tenacity in what I do.

    My question is, how do you foresee our convincing others in Engineering to value emotions and a holistic education as we do?

  2. Thanks for the post. I really have the same concern of most people in Engineering under-evaluate humanities. Although, I think humanities are still important for engineer’s sole. You cannot just study technical stuff like maths, physics, other engineering courses and say that’s enough. I like to read in many other disciplines rather than Engineering. I think this was influenced by the fact that in my undergraduate in Egypt we were asked to take a humanity course each semester.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *