Apollo 11 lands on the moon in 1969 . So the space race also leads to the creation of NASA and a huge set of support for aerospace industries which has major consequences for engineering. One of the great successes of Cold War engineering with the development of Arpanet which was the basis of what would eventually become the internet. And it was developed as a set of connections between a number of universities and research institutes focused on defense work, and so the government funding for this decentralized network eventually leads to Arpanet which ultimately leads to the Internet. One of the characteristic features of the Cold War era as you something that's known as the military-industrial-university- complex . Engineering teams were getting bigger and bigger. So certain organizations might be overseeing the project, but they're ordering parts from other suppliers, other companies are integrating it to build together, and so what you see is a massively complex organization or rather set of complex organizations. In particular, you have collaborations between military agencies, universities and defense contractors that become much much more common. And so this is a new pattern for engineers figuring out how to coordinate across all of these different organizations and it sets rather there are a new set of challenge s for engineers as a result. At the time corporations were quite unlikely to make this sort of investment and that's why you see the military making that investment instead The Cold War transforms the practice of engineering which leads to growth and a reorientation from the private sector to military research and we can compare this to three other changes in the early 19th century civil engineering projects drove engineering, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries corporate growth drove engineering and during the Cold War there's a shift as many engineers are employed by the military- industrial university complex and another feature is that the practice of engineering changes due to cross organizational work as the projects become much much more complex and the military-industrial university complex while it has a host of benefits there are also significant dangers associated with this system. Noble’s reading: Changes in engineering, these changes in production techniques how they could benefit some more than others. He’s also looking at the changing relationship between the government, industry and engineering. And he's talking about changes in engineering having sometimes unanticipated consequences.
George Campbell and Michael Pupin
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- Summer '15