Turns out good, energy efficient engineering is a lot more than removing a few extra ribs on a design and slapping a low power motor in it. James Dyson has something to say about that. This story at Fast Co.Exist gets the vacuum innovator’s take on lazy engineering.

Lazy Engineering or Lazy Management?

Is your engineering lazy? The best quote in the whole piece gets to the chewy center of what it means to be an engineer.

“I think you are brought up to believe that lean engineering is what you should be doing as an engineer. I don’t think there’s anything new about that, and I’m 65. I don’t think it changes because it’s good to be green. Engineers just think like that, or they ought to.”

What’s green? That wasn’t the topic in school or at the workbench. It was considering all the aspects, how to improve it and often, just getting it to work. Here’s what it’s come down to though: Tell management that the product is delayed due to necessary engineering improvements and you get fired; tell them your optimizing the design for the green initiative and you’re employee of the year.

Dyson’s solution to combat product greening? Longer product guarantees and government regulation. But to me, that’s lazy management for lazy engineering. A better idea would be TEACHING or, another revolutionary idea he has to promote engineering:

“What you put out as a society as being important is important,” he said. “That’s what people will want to do.”

True, and when you show kids how to create something, that is what they will want to do.

image via Form loves Function


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.