Test Engineering

Test Engineering

Test Engineering (TE) is generally defined as the application of one or more engineering branches (such as Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Genetic Engineering, etc.) and/or the application of one or more pure scientific disciplines (such as Statistics, Physics, Chemistry, etc.) and/or the application of one or more academic fields outside engineering (such as Law, Management, Economics, etc.) for the primary purpose of validation and verification of design, development, production, and/or maintenance of the object under test.


Testing is expensive, time-consuming and difficult in the development of products. Test development ensures designs meet requirements for efficacy and safety. Products must be tested to ensure requirements. However, much of the testing that is performed in industry does not provide optimum balance of mission assurance versus cost and time. There is always pressure to reduce testing and reduce cost.

Engineers, in the industry perspective, have not developed a consistent philosophy for testing. Testing is rare in engineering schools, although exceptions are growing. Test engineering is mostly associated with electronics and software, but in fact applied to a wide range of multidisciplinary and systems aspects. Testing is more than an engineering issue, it is also an issue for management due to economic and business aspects. Testing is considered a value-adding process when the risk of failure is significant (such as in mission-critical systems).

TE examples

test engineer

software testing

flight test engineer

nuclear testing

digital video testing

safety testing of explosives

environmental tests

nondestructive testing

animal testing

automatic test equipment

drug testing

qualification testing

multi-site test

blood testing

design for test

built-in self-test

focal plane array testing

fire test

design controls

References and external links

*International Test and Evaluation Association [http://www.itea.org/]
*Graduating Engineer - Test Engineering by Valerie Anderson [http://www.graduatingengineer.com/resources/articles/20010324/Test-Engineering]
*Evaluation Engineering [http://www.evaluationengineering.com/]

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