HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  RESOURCE CENTER  |  INDUSTRIES
Blogs
Blog

# Where to Begin & the Tough First Step

NO RATINGS
User Rank
Blogger
look it up
12/27/2012 3:40:11 PM
NO RATINGS
This is all very detailed and complex. Most engineers I know have not used math beyond algebra or geometry in their day job careers. However, when faced with a problem, most engineers know where to look up info like the above. (The old cliche)

C

User Rank
Iron
Re: look it up
12/28/2012 9:33:50 AM
NO RATINGS
Gents, after a few decades of doing this, good engineers do most of this

in their heads, and only use the model to confirm thier conclusions!

(and get hard numbers!)

Phil

User Rank
Platinum
Re: look it up
12/31/2012 11:23:13 AM
NO RATINGS
I think taking time to write down the model can help insure that we don't miss one important detail which is ususally what happens when we do it in our head.

User Rank
Silver
It's an art
1/16/2013 5:27:17 PM
NO RATINGS
Modeling of physical systems was not taught in school. I claim it's an art. When I have performed this "art", only other engineers who were intelligent enough to have done it themselves have understood. Experiance? No. As a new grad years ago, I had to model a motor driver / antenna / radar system. I had no experiance but I pulled it off. It required understanding that a derivative is the change of parameter A w.r.t. parameter B. Hmm, I couldn't understand why that concept was so difficult to grasp by others. One of the closed-loop parameters was the angle of the target. This was in radians. Another parameter was the electrical phase lag angle of the motor current. This was in degrees. "You can't mix degrees with radians" some people shouted." I remember this vividy from decades ago. They were actually angry. "You certainly can", I replied. Luckily for this new grad, there were other engineers in the room who understood simple principles of math and the model was accepted.

User Rank
Platinum
Experience
12/27/2012 9:48:14 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree that the ability to physically model systems is a valuable skill.  Having a good physical model can shed light on different areas of the design and accelerate system optimization and solution break throughs.

These skills are quite complicated to master and I think the main keys are gaining experience through practice and also having a good mentor.

User Rank
Platinum
Re: Experience
12/28/2012 9:35:17 AM
NO RATINGS
The ability to produce an adequate model is very useful, but accuracy is omportant. One additional advantage of producing the model is that it serves as a "reality check" as it helps to  avoid missing pieces and details.

BUT attaching real numbers to a model does get quite tedious, while some of them can be looked up, othhers must be calculated.THAT can be very tedious indeed, I have found in the past.

User Rank
Platinum
Re: Experience
12/28/2012 9:24:10 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree.  In many cases, the real numbers needed for these equations must be empirically determined through experimental measurement (and that can get quite tedious, time-consuming and expensive when a project is on a fast-track).  Sometimes engineers want to take the time to run experiments to properly model the system, but management may not have the patience or commitment to allocate the needed resources and or allow the time to do it right.

User Rank
Platinum
Re: Experience
12/28/2012 11:17:38 PM
NO RATINGS
Being able to procede without doing the modeling, or being able to do the modeling without doing all of the math, and getting it right, is the vaue of experienc, at least potentially the value. Knowing where you can't get away with assumptions is the biggest value of experience.

User Rank
Platinum
Re: Experience
12/31/2012 12:04:54 AM
Interesting discussions.  As a mechanical engineer who has made the transition into marketing and product development I can say that modeling (i.e. the mathmatical representation of the real world) is not confined to physical systems.  Buying behavior, pricing scenarios, market response to financial pressures all lend themselves to modeling.  Having the experience to look for these associations and the understanding to apply the correct modeling dynamics comes from my engineering background.

User Rank
Platinum
Re: Experience
12/31/2012 9:16:18 PM
NO RATINGS
Scott, well said.  Too many times, our engineering team delivered our product design on time, on cost and on spec. but the product didn't sell as well as anticipated.  Why? Because the buying behaviors as you stated below were also not properly or accurately 'modeled'.

 Partner Zone
More Blogs
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
Easy home automation comes with a new Kickstarter project, the smart power strip. It controls various AC outlets with a wireless controller and a smartphone app.
Czech Republic-based Keen Software House recently released a game with a new twist on game play and learning. The game is Space Engineers. People play as engineers in space, as the title implies.
The idea of having everything connected to everything is quite intriguing and opens up a wealth of opportunities.
From Dell / Intel®
Scott Hamilton, vertical market strategist for Dell Precision workstations, 5/2/2013    7
Early in my career, I worked as a draftsman and remember the days of drawing on vellum with numbered pencils and Mylar with plastic lead. This was a fun experience in the sense that I ...
Most recent post: Ralphy Boy
From Dell / Intel®
Trey Morton, Dell, 4/25/2013    3
I've been using workstations for more than 10 years and love finding ways to get more performance from my system. With demanding professional applications that require more power each ...
Most recent post: Cabe Atwell
From Dell / Intel®
Kirsten Billhardt, Manufacturing Industry Marketing Strategist, Dell, 3/26/2013    6
A lasting memory from my first job as an engineer in an auto assembly plant is standing on hard concrete at six in the morning, vending-machine coffee clutched in hand, listening to ...
Most recent post: Ockham
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Dec 2 - 6, Protecting Your Embedded System From Hacking & Theft
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4