HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Comments
View Comments: Threaded|Newest First|Oldest First
Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
Changing engineering mores
Alexander Wolfe   7/14/2011 3:44:05 PM
NO RATINGS
The careful Sherlock Ohms reader will also note another difference between engineering design in 1979 and the way things are done today (though probably in 1991, the work environment was closer to the former than the later). Namely, that pack of cigarettes. (The stack of magazines, too, come to think of it.)

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Sitting down and testing it yourself
jmiller   7/14/2011 10:20:35 PM
NO RATINGS
Also note the engineer's dedication to sit down in front of the machine and test it yourself.  To often young engineers are told how to create test requests that have others do the testing rather than sitting down in front of the machine and testing it yourself.  There is a lot that can be learned by sitting down and understanding the unit and the testing yourself before having the test lab verify the results you expect.  Young engineers can learn a lot from a senior engineer sitting down in front of a machine to try and discren what is really going on.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Sitting down and testing it yourself
Dave Palmer   7/15/2011 6:42:04 PM
NO RATINGS
This is a very important point.  Another important point is that just because you see (what appears to be) the same problem twice, don't assume the root cause is the same.  In both the gyro example and the blood pressure monitor example, the symptoms were similar, but one was a hardware issue and the other was a software issue.  It's human nature to generalize from one experience to the next, but sometimes  this can be a trap.  Many times I've heard engineers say, "We know what this is; we've seen it before!" before doing any real investigation.  In fact, I've been guilty of this myself.  There is no substitute for sitting down and investigating the problem for yourself. (I'd recommend against the cigarettes, though).

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Careful jumping to conclusions
jmiller   7/21/2011 9:53:16 PM
NO RATINGS
I know I've been guilty of thinking I "knew" what the root cause was.  And rather than fully investigate we communicate to the test team that we "know" what the problem is and we have it solved with the new design.  However, this often communicates to the test team that they can ignore that failure.  We, as engineers, need to make sure we take every failure instance as a seriouse issue until we can prove otherwise.  Not just until we feel pretty good about it.  Shrugging off a failure as something we have already solved can tell the rest of the team to ignore what could be another serious issue.



Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
It's been two years since the Mac Mini's last appearance on iFixit's teardown table, but a newly revised version joins Apple's lineup this week.
More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
Kevin Gautier of Formlabs describes the making of a carbon fiber mold for an intake manifold, using a $3,300 3D printer, during Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 20 - 24, How to Design & Build an Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Next Class: 11/11-11/13 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service