Earnest-GS; Reed-LD; Conover-D; Estill-C; Gjessing-C; Gressel-M; Hall-R; Hudock-S; Hudson-H; Kardous-C; Sheehy-J; Topmiller-J; Trout-D; Woebkenberg-M; Amendola-A; Hsiao-H; Keane-P; Weissman-D; Finfinger-G; Tadolini-S; Thimons-E; Cullen-E; Jenkins-M; McKibbin-R; Conway-G; Husberg-B; Lincoln-J; Rodenbeck-S; Lantagne-D; Cardarelli-J II
Engineering is the application of scientific and technical knowledge to solve human problems. Using imagination, judgment, and reasoning to apply science, technology, mathematics, and practical experience, engineers develop the design, production, and operation of useful objects or processes. During the 1940s, engineers dominated the ranks of CDC scientists. In fact, the first CDC director, Assistant Surgeon General Mark Hollis, was an engineer. CDC engineers were involved in malaria control through the elimination of standing water. Eventually the CDC mission expanded to include prevention and control of dengue, typhus, and other communicable diseases. The development of chlorination, water filtration, and sewage treatment were crucial to preventing waterborne illness. Beginning in the 1950s, CDC engineers began their work to improve public health while developing the fields of environmental health, industrial hygiene, and control of air pollution. Engineering disciplines represented at CDC today include biomedical, civil, chemical, electrical, industrial, mechanical, mining, and safety engineering. Most CDC engineers are located in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Engineering research at CDC has a broad stakeholder base. With the cooperation of industry, labor, trade associations, and other stakeholders and partners, current work includes studies of air contaminants, mining, safety, physical agents, ergonomics, and environmental hazards. Engineering solutions remain a cornerstone of the traditional "hierarchy of controls" approach to reducing public health hazards.
G. Scott Earnest, PhD, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Applied Research and Technology, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226