Picture this: In developing the latest bearing, you stumble across an engineering obstacle. Do you a) give up, b) whine to your boss until she hands the project over to a more capable or tolerant employee, or c) consult the Internet? The answer is c. Whether in the form of a company's homepage or a large generic engineering portal, in many cases websites provide live interaction with other engineers and scientists willing and able to answer your questions and offer advice.
Pacific Scientific (www.pacsci. com), a motor and drive manufacturer, has launched a new "Chat with an Engineer" help section. For true interaction, if you send the information between 8 am and 2 pm CDT, an engineer will call to chat about the problem.
Eng-TipsŪ Forum (www.eng-tips.com) operates in the form of a "chat room," allowing users to choose from any engineering field, with any topic. For instance, I chose High Speed Rotary Couplings. Here, a certain John McC was seeking advice on locating a particular rotary coupling. Not only do you have the option of giving input on others' questions, but you could even add your own thread about, say, that bearing obstacle you and your job security were facing.