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Engineering and Technology in Society

Course Code: ENGR 1100
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Engineering
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the practice of engineering, surveying its history and its current state. The social and political aspects of engineering decisions will be illustrated by a number of case studies.

Course Content

Students will explore the history and current state of engineering practice by analyzing engineering project case studies such as the Pyramids of Egypt, the Roman Aqueducts, the Great Wall of China, the Panama canal, and the Three Gorges dam.

The afore listed case study analysis will strongly emphasize the ethical, social and political aspects of engineering projects. 

As well, students will be expected to analyze present day projects such as the Trans Mountain pipeline, and the BC Hydro Site C dam.

Methods of Instruction

  • Lectures
  • In class group discussion
  • In class case study analysis
  • Group Projects
  • Poster presentations
  • Possible online Assignments and Discussion

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation will be based on the following:

Research Paper: 30% - 40%

Project with subsequent poster presentation: 20% - 30%

In Class Participation and/or group exercise: 10% - 15%

In Class Quizzes: 15% - 30%

Assessment means could include online quizzes and assignments.

Learning Outcomes

After taking this course, the student will be able to:

  • Analyze major engineering projects in terms of key resources such as cost, labour, and implementation time.
  • Analyze major engineering projects in terms of societal benefits, and detriments.
  • Identify, current and historical, key engineering projects, devices, and inventions.
  • Identify, current and historical, key figures involved with engineering projects, devices, and inventions.
  • Demonstrate how to apply general scientific principles such as the laws of thermodynamics, and conservation of energy to situational and mathematical problems.
  • Apply scientific principles to debunk ‘junk’ science and engineering myths such as perpetual motion.

course prerequisites


ENGL 1130 or CMNS 1135 must be completed prior to OR at the same time as this course.

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.