Research in engineering is founded on the interpretation of data from experiments and observations and its application in projects. Researchers identify a specific question, and determine what evidence is needed to support an answer to that question. The question you've identified is not the first on the topic; other researchers have written about it, too. The experiments you design, the observations you make, and your interpretations of all that data are part of an extensive conversation with researchers in the past and across continents, and they open up new questions for future researchers.
Engineering research of course relies on experimentation and observation, but it also requires a knowledge of the conversation that you're entering. Only by acknowledging interpretations that already exist can you present your field with something new. To find these materials, you'll need to find both original research articles as well as scholarly reviews. Your research design may be identical to something that's already been done, but your interpretation of the data (or even the results) may be wildly different. Or, you may create a completely different design to respond to the same question, as a way to find different or more significant results. But only by finding research that already exists can you expand the field.
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