Written by Lorenzo Slay, Project Lead
In the academic world, Engineering and Science are tightly coupled. Scientific truths form the basis of engineering knowledge and professors teach the scientific method to hone skills aimed at solving any problem – from ‘how to cook a juicier steak’ to ‘how to engineer reusable rockets for increasing the accessibility of space travel.’ Beyond the classroom things get dicey – there is some debate between scientists and engineers on “who is getting it right.” Scientists do seem to have more fun; tinkering and trial and error are part of the job description, but many of their greatest accomplishments fly under the radar of the general public. Engineers, on the other hand, are not celebrated for their failures and, typically, the expensive behavior of tinkering on an industrial scale is discouraged. In turn, Engineers have the benefit of building things the average person gets to see and smell and touch.
I have always loved the engineering charter to better the world, and I’ve spent the better part of my career teaming with others in completing engineering projects aimed at leaving subject system structures and components in better shape than we found them. To complement the tactical nature of my work I always found creative outlets in hobbies
My work with Transcend has been completely different. The possibilities seem endless. If you don’t know, Transcend Software has basically synthesized Tony Stark’s superpower into a tool that anybody can use to make engineering fun again. When you think about what makes Tony Stark powerful as a character it isn’t his ability to have a great idea or know the perfect solution to any problem intuitively; his superpower is his ability to use software (Gravis) to iterate through multiple possible solutions quickly and autonomously. The AI he uses frees his time and attention for solving truly difficult problems and doing the cool stuff. When I saw the TDG in action for the first time, I saw exactly that. Leaning on a largely academic understanding of wastewater engineering I was able to design an entire wastewater treatment facility in less than a day. While that’s incredible, what is really game-changing is the fact that I spent only 15 minutes actively conceptualizing the design. The rest of the day I spent on other core business while the TDG autonomously iterated through thousands of possible solutions until it found me a handful unique solutions to explore.
My new charter is to bring fun back to engineering by empowering engineers with the tools they need to explore new technologies, evaluate more options and tinker to influence the future like never before and I look forward to configuring the Transend Design Generator to tackle problems in dozens of industries from water and renewables, to construction and communications.