Before the creation of the computer, companies and even whole industries relied on the computational skills of their employees. Some businesses and organizations even had entire departments dedicated to calculating mathematical solutions as well as checking those solutions. Having a mistake in the calculations could have been disastrous, as structures and building were built off of those calculations. Imagine if a single decimal point was incorrect in a solution, this could cause the collapse of a bridge or damn that was being built. Today we have engineer consultants that can utilize advanced software to simulate and calculate on the necessary information for properly building any structure or performing any complex maneuver.
Many engineering software platforms or packages require a certain level understanding of the engineering principals that govern the software. More importantly, understanding how the software functions and how to utilize the software to provide meaningful solutions to problems is essential. Engineering has always been a difficult field of study. Students are trained to be not only mathematicians but also problem solvers. On the job, engineers must also be troubleshooters to understand why something is not functioning as designed or why a malfunction occurred. Becoming an engineer is challenging, which is one of the main reasons that talent is limited in the profession.
Finding the right engineering consultant can be potentially difficult, but we now have engineering firms specializing in various engineering fields, such as electrical, marine structures, civil, and transportation. Many of these firms utilize specialized software for their calculations, simulations, or modeling. Imaging having to calculate the fluid dynamics of an underwater structure with all the variables of the structure, water flow, and weather conditions. What would normally take days to calculate all of the math involved could be done in a matter of hours is a special software platform. However, not anyone can operate this software nor should just anyone operate it. Without understanding the governing engineering principals we could be blinding building a poorly engineered structure. This is the very reason many states require by law for a professional engineer to sign-off on engineering plans. Furthermore, professional engineers are required to maintain their engineering license by attending conferences and passing a thorough examine based on their field of study.
Engineering software can also create models of situations that we would not otherwise be able to create naturally or physically. For an example, there are modeling software that can simulate 200 mile per hour winds on a structure. This would be nearly impossible or financially very expensive to simulate physically, but in the virtual realm this is achieved easily.
With the advancement of technology we are finding more ways of building, creating and performing things that we thought would be impossible. Thousands of years ago the Egyptian pyramids were built using hundreds of thousands of people. Now we are able to build stunning skyscrapers that are earthquake resistant in a fraction of the time with less than a few hundred workers. Engineering software has opened many new doors, but the engineers utilizing the software have made the new possibilities a reality.