Physical Engineering is a discipline based on the application of physical principles to the needs of industry, primarily through technology development or adaptation. It was was developed over 80 years ago in the United States, and is also currently taught in countries including Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Spain, England, Germany, and Russia. The TEC is the first Costa Rican university to offer this academic option.
It brings aspects of Physics (capacities for abstraction, theorizing and discovering relationships) together with aspects of Engineering (innovation, design and implementation). Solving the problems faced by professionals in Physical Engineering requires performing qualitative assessments, reviewing existing information, proposing theoretical analyses and, if necessary, carrying out a phase of experimentation and computer simulation.
Physical Engineering is a multidisciplinary undertaking, because in addition to training in Physics, it provides training in several branches of Engineering, allowing professionals in this area to solve engineering problems that involve a strong element of Physical Sciences and Technology.
Physical Engineering training prepares students to carry out postgraduate studies in areas related to Science and Technology. In addition, it provides the necessary tools to work as a professional in the industrial sector, technology companies, research and development centers, or universities.
Physical engineers will be able to perform satisfactorily in research centers and research, development and innovation (R&D) departments, in universities and other academic institutions, and in the products and services industries. In each of of these areas, they will be able to plan and execute tasks such as test design and interpretation of results, use of devices for scientific research, physical analysis of real processes and systems and their computer modeling and simulation, generation of interfaces for experimental data acquisition, supporting automation and control processes, participation in design and evaluation of quality systems, selection of measuring equipment and metrological assessment, design and evaluation of optical equipment, providing advice on equipment purchasing, and supervising and evaluating the energy impact of industrial processes. In addition, their comprehensive training also provides them with skills in development, administration, execution and evaluation of projects.
Physical engineers are prepared to work in institutions and companies in the productive sector, solving general problems that involve physical and engineering processes in areas that involve instrumentation, experimental design, optics and photonics, materials, electronics and research. Because of their up-to-date knowledge of Physics and Engineering, physical engineers will have the ability to:
- Lead and integrate interdisciplinary work teams.
- Participate in starting new companies thanks to their entrepreneurial abilities.
- Manage equipment acquisition processes.
- Perform administrative and managerial tasks.
- Support innovation in production processes.
- Lead processes of technological transformation, and adaptation and development of technologies.
In addition, their knowledge of metrology will allow them to implement and participate in the development of quality systems in measurement processes, as well as schematization, argumentation and assessment of the principles of standardization and measurement of physical quantities. The types of work that graduates in Physical Engineering can undertake in the field of metrology are:
- Development of calibration techniques and use of standard procedures based on international standards, for example, ISO 17025 "General requirements for the technical competence of calibration and testing laboratories."
- Supervision and organization of work related to technical regulations in national legal metrology in companies recognized as metrological verification entities.
- Protecting the primary prototypes of physical quantities kept in National Metrology Laboratories.
- Performing audits in metrology as auditors and technical experts.
- Designing and implementing calibration processes, estimating the uncertainty of the measurement of various physical quantities and contributing to the development of quality control systems and process automation in industrial metrology, in terms of temperature, dimensions, mass, pressure and volume.
- Developing innovative solutions to problems related to the metrology of production processes, as well as to the improvement of existing processes.
- Skilled and specialized faculty who carry out research, outreach and teaching functions.
- Teaching laboratories with modern technology.
- Research laboratories in areas such as materials, plasma, and metrology.
- The TEC also has a centralized library that manages a collection of books, magazines and other sources of information.