The History and Impacts of Product Development


Engineering Studies – P2 Product Engineering – The Engineering Profession

This topic discusses the history of Australian engineering of products.
Australian achievement and innovation in engineering are identified and discussed, along with the impacts these products have had on peoples lives.  Examples could highlight developments in the use of materials, manufacturing methods, technology such as CAD, testing procedures and the applied technologies in the product.

Key Concepts


  • The effect of material changes on product design
  • The effect of technology change on product design
  • The effect of material changes on manufacturing methods
  • The effect of technology change on product manufacturing


  • The significant changes on people’s lives that have been achieved through engineering
  • Knowledge and understanding of the impact’s technology developments have on people’s lives
  • Examples of innovation in product engineering

Discussion Questions


  • Discuss how the use of materials has changed on products over the past 30 years.
  • Explain how the change in materials has affected the way things are manufactured.
  • Describe technology innovations in manufacturing techniques.
  • Describe an example of a product that has undergone significant change as new technology has been introduced.


  1. List significant impacts on people’s lives achieved in Australia by products in areas such as:
    • Transport
    • Electricity supply
    • Water supply
    • Packaging
    • Health.
  2. Discuss the impacts on society that product engineering has had on:
    • Communication
    • Cultural awareness
    • Safety
    • The environment.
  3. Discuss examples of recycling and sustainability in product engineering.
  4. Describe an innovation in material application in product engineering.
  5. Describe an innovation in manufacturing techniques used to produce products.
  6. Discuss the impacts that product development has had on people’s lives.
  7. Discuss examples of product recycling and sustainability.
  8. Discuss an innovation in material application in a product.


Veena Sahajwalla - Environmental Engineer - EA Website