John Roebling was one of the nineteenth century's most brilliant engineers, ingenious inventors, successful manufacturers, and fascinating personalities. Raised in a German backwater amid the war-torn chaos of the Napoleonic Wars, he immigrated to the US in 1831, where he became wealthy and acclaimed, eventually receiving a carte-blanche contract to build one of the nineteenth century's most stupendous and daring works of engineering: a gigantic suspension bridge to span the East River between New York and Brooklyn. In between, he thought, wrote, and worked tirelessly. He dug canals and surveyed railroads; he planned communities and founded new industries. Horace Greeley called him "a model immigrant"; generations later, F. Scott Fitzgerald worked on a script for the movie version of his life. Like his finest creations, Roebling was held together by the delicate balance of countervailing forces. On the surface, his life was exemplary and his accomplishments legion. As an immigrant and employer, he was respected throughout the world. As an engineer, his works profoundly altered the physical landscape of America. He was a voracious reader, a fervent abolitionist, and an engaged social commentator. His understanding of the natural world, however, bordered on the occult and his opinions about medicine are best described as medieval. For a man of science and great self-certainty, he was also remarkably quick to seize on a whole host of fads and foolish trends. Yet Roebling held these strands together. Throughout his life, he believed in the moral application of science and technology, that bridges--along with other great works of connection, the Atlantic Cable, the Transcontinental Railroad--could help bring people together, erase divisions, and heal wounds. Like Walt Whitman, Roebling was deeply committed to the creation of a more perfect union, forged from the raw materials of the continent. John Roebling was a complex, deeply divided yet undoubtedly influential figure, and this biography illuminates not only his works but also the world of nineteenth-century America. Roebling's engineering feats are well known, but the man himself is not; for alongside the drama of large scale construction lies an equally rich drama of intellectual and social development and crisis, one that mirrored and reflected the great forces, trials, and failures of nineteenth century America.
Leadership in innovation is essential to U.S. prosperity and security. In a global, knowledge-driven economy, technological innovationâ€"the transformation of new knowledge into products, processes, and services of value to societyâ€"is critical to competitiveness, long-term productivity growth, and an improved quality of life. Preeminence in technological innovation depends on a wide array of factors, one of which is leadership in engineering research, education, and practice. A threedecade- long decline in the share of federal investment in research and development devoted to engineering and a perceived erosion of basic, long-term engineering research capability in U.S. industry and federal laboratories have raised serious questions about the long-term health of engineering research in the United States. This book illustrates the critical role of engineering research in maintaining U.S. technological leadership; documents major challenges and opportunities facing the U.S. engineering research enterprise; and offers specific recommendations for leaders in federal and state government, industry, and universities to help strengthen U.S. engineering research in the face of intensifying global competition.
Engineering Solutions to America’s Healthcare Challenges covers the technologies, systems, and processes that are emerging in hospitals, clinics, community centers, universities, and the White House to repair healthcare in the United States. Focusing on the importance of individuals being proactive about their own state of health, it presents a systems approach to changing the way healthcare professionals do business and take care of their patients. Written by a leading government and private sector consultant with more than a decade of experience as an industrial engineer, the book features interviews with leading industry experts, both domestic and international. Describing how industrial engineering practices are shaping healthcare, it explains why systems thinking must be the foundation for every aspect of healthcare. The book presents proven Lean and Six Sigma tools that can help any healthcare organization begin making operational improvements that result in a better quality of care for patients—all while reducing and even eliminating the waste of time, money, and human resources. These solutions include implementing Six Sigma in emergency rooms, 5S in accounting for medical inventory, using Theory of Constraints to form a plan for shortening the length of stay in hospitals, how informatics are used to aggregate and benchmark sensitive data, and design of experiments to recruit and retain the best healthcare talent. The book illustrates the most common factors involved with successful Six Sigma projects in healthcare organizations and considers the implications of a rapidly growing medical tourism industry. It addresses the role of insurance on healthcare improvement and also previews some of the most fascinating technological advances currently in development. It also offers examples and analysis of The Institute of Medicine's six aims for healthcare: safety, effectiveness, efficiency, timeliness, family-centered focus, and equity.
This report presents detailed national statistics on the employment of America's scientific and engineering manpower in relation to various economic and social characteristics. Responsibility for the publication of this report is shared by the Bureau of the Census and the National Science Foundation. The statistics in this report are based on a postcensal survey conducted in 1962 representing a sample of particular occupations and other groups selected from the 25-percent sample tape file of the population enumerated in the Eighteenth Decennial Census of Population, taken as of April 1, 1960.