For every issue of Design News, our editors search the country to report on new engineering tools, components, and materials, and on how engineers in a variety of industries are using them to solve tough design problems. We call the result examples of technology in action.
Now, we would like you to join the action.
This year, we plan to start a new column called "The Engineer's Notebook," which we'll publish several times throughout 1997. You can be one of the columnists. Here's how:
Write a short description (about 800 words) on how you and your design team solved a recent and particularly complex design problem. Not a run-of-the-mill problem, mind you. We're looking for your most difficult challenges, the ones that require you to investigate many alternative approaches, make reasonable tradeoffs among alternatives, and call for several different kinds of components or materials to make the design work.
Here are some of the things you should tell us in your description:
• The design objectives. What were you trying to accomplish? What was the most important criterion you had to achieve?
• The design obstacles. What stood in your way? Time constraints? Budget limitations? Unavailability of standard parts?
• The tradeoffs you had to consider. Did you have to sacrifice strength for weight savings? Functionality for cost savings?
• Design tools, such as CAD or finite element analysis, that were critical success factors.
• The role of vendors who supplied crucial components or materials. How early did you involve them, and what value did they add?
• The biggest lessons you learned from the project--things you think other engineers should know.
Be sure to send photos and drawings of the design, and a picture of yourself and your design team. We'll assign an editor to help you fine-tune your story. And, if we use it, we'll pay you a freelance fee!
Why get involved? First of all, you'll enjoy it and get some recognition for a job well done. More importantly, you'll be helping other engineers who can benefit from your experience.
This is a great opportunity for you to share your knowledge and experience with colleagues you've never met, and they can return the favor.