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To teach engineering value: an introduction to a special issue

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This paper introduces the work of five authors who contributed to this special issue and reports an analysis on the significance of value and its relevance to engineering. The etymological foundation of value is discussed, concluding that, in essence, the value concept is a metric. A trip through different sciences and disciplines shows different value meanings, presenting a rich variety of the concept's extensions, all of them in some way relating to engineering work. The economic value adding process is modelled, both at micro and macro levels, and explained in a pedagogic style, in order to show how those matters could be easily taught to engineering students. An economic growth condition is derived, which illustrates the very basic background where engineering students should build their technical knowledge. Some basic principles are proposed on which the teaching of value to engineers should be supported.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: CEG--Instituto Superior Técnico Taguspark, Av. Cavaco Silva 2780-990 Porto Salvo Lisboa Portugal, Email:

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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