HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Comments
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/5  >  >>
ClearPro.TimothyDonnelly
User Rank
Iron
How Do You Define an Engineer?
ClearPro.TimothyDonnelly   3/6/2012 8:17:26 PM
NO RATINGS

"A True Genius never fails to take pains."

"A TRUE ENGINEER is a Maestro of Genius in the Symphony of Pains."

But then again, so is the average Farmer, or Forklift Technician - they may each wear many hats during the course of a successful day at work.

Bottom line is, know your job - and do it well, and always respectfully consider the input of each instrument in the orchestra, being ready (even intuitively) to provide further direction when required. Spontaneity is, of course, reserved for those who cannot exercise abandon to the cause.

The digitizing, compressing, and unfortunate tendency to condense an abundance of information, even objectively, negates the Character of the Band; Only the Soloist would disagree. Hence, "The TRUE MAESTRO knows his audience as well as the composition he conducts, with the pains of a genius." This also applies to the concept of Simplicity in Design [Engineering], especially for those who prefer (and who buy) hard rock music, for instance. Riff melody ...

Improvisation then can also be construed as Sound [Design] Engineering, perhaps if only for the buff.

Great topic, TJ.

 

 

 

Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Generalists are on track the "Engineer" of the Past
Alexander Wolfe   3/6/2012 6:24:38 PM
NO RATINGS
Mick, another part of this is that engineering schools seems to be slowly moving away from giving undergrad B.S. degrees in EE, ME, CE, ChE, and replacing them with a generalized undergrad B.S. in engineering. Then students are encouraged/required to take further coursework (e.g., a Master's) to get training in their specialty. I think the academic rationale for this is that there's so much more to learn now, with computers being available (as opposed to 30 years ago). OTOH, this seems to me to be in large part a revenue-generation trick for the schools.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: No good definition
Charles Murray   3/6/2012 6:12:18 PM
NO RATINGS
Alex: I agree with you that the profession as a whole isn't accorded the respect it deserves, especially in the U.S. When I hear that big companies can't find the qualified engineers that they need here in the U.S., I find it galling. 

Amclaussen
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Generalists are on track the "Engineer" of the Past
Amclaussen   3/6/2012 4:27:20 PM

Extremely sad and too well said, Mick.  Is is sad in the same sense that some Medical Doctors nowaday become too specialized in very narrow fields, so that they are not as proficient as health problem identifiers, much less solvers.  Often, a too narrow vision hinders the troubleshooting ability of the engineer, or produces designs that are far from optimum.

I am from the 1978 generation of Chemical Engineering, and one of the very few engineers at my job that still continues to perform daily as an engineer, while most of my colleages have walked very different ways (Administration, Sales, Personnel admin, etc.)

As an old engineer, I still handle the wide multi-discipline approach to problem solvingand engineering in general. Back in 1981, when visiting the USA to review and approve a set of drawings for a large compressor for an Offshore Platform, I first became aware of the interplaying capabilities that a good engineer usually has, in order to be able and apt to solve complex problems. When maybe 8 or 9 different specialists were coming one by one to the meeting room, there were only two of us dealing with them, reviewing the many different drawings for the compression packages: the structural, electrical, control, process, piping, heat transfer, instrumentation, even the painting system specs!. Soon I realized that I was able to cover many areas at the same time, since that visit, I opted to follow the generalist path to become an experienced engineer. My only requirement, that I choose to adopt myself, was to become as knowledgeable as possible in every branch of engineering that I was touching. One older engineer asked me at that time: How many years did you study in order to become an engineer? Then told me that a true Industrial engineer in Europe in the 60's, meant having around 12 to 15 years of school...! then told me: In engineering, Sky is the limit!, and continued to explain that people capable of talking and writing many languajes always find that after the first three languajes, the next one becomes easier to command, because the common elements and structure present in many languajes help the person understand more and more languajes; it is the explanation for people capable of talking many different languages! But as years passed by, I started to see a trend towards over-specialization, "certification" and so called "quality systems", that have too little relationship with the true quality of goods or services.  Certification trends have gone too far, same as those pieces of paper hanging from walls "certifying" that ISO (or any other organism, pick your favorite) has "permitted" that factory to produce correct designs and products, but in real life, product failing to meet acceptable criteria for performance or more importantly, safety; continue to inundate the market.

I would mention another important capability to add to the "tool" or "blade" collection of the Swiss Army Knife simile: the Understanding of physical world phenomena, based on a proper and vast Analogy grasp and handling; Think of the old engineer that is capable of perfectly visualizing, handling and predicting a given system because of a finely tuned sense of the physical/chemical/Optical/Materials/Energy relationships, thanks to being capable of almost feeling the proper analogies (like  the Hydraulic/Electrical/Magnetic/Thermal/Acoustic/Mechanical or whatever analogies he or she can apply in order to fully understand the problem at hand.  As far as I see, Analogy handling should be taught in all engineering courses, for its importance in understanding all kind of systems.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: List of Engineer skills
Rob Spiegel   3/6/2012 2:23:57 PM
You are certainly correct about that, Electron Rancher. You can look through our Sherlock Ohms postings and it's one detective story after another. The detective function arises in all aspects of engineering, from product design through process engineering and trouble shooting. The detective's skepticism is an  important quality for the engineer.

Mick
User Rank
Iron
Generalists are on track the "Engineer" of the Past
Mick   3/6/2012 2:21:19 PM
The Engineer as a "Generalist" who utilizes his/her skills in science and mathematics to design solutions to a wide variety of societal challenges is well on the way to becoming a dinosaur.  Once the certification industry (and yes, IT IS an industry) figured out that they could extract a revenue stream from the engineering profession, by "certifying" engineers to perform functions that were traditionally offered by them anyway, it has doomed the Engineer as Generalist to eventual extinction. 

For example, structural engineers will soon be required to be "certified" as an SE in order to be licensed in US States that they do not currently hold a license.  LEED certification is now affecting the ranks of engineering generalists ever more in order to remain competitive in today's market.  ISO, AISC, SECB, AAWRE, SIRIM, IQNET have their own certification programs, all of which are extracting a revenue stream from individual engineers just trying to continue practicing engineering as generalists.  Not only are most of these certifications and yearly fees unnecessary, it is also dangerous to the future of the engineering profession.

Eventually, engineers are going to have to choose which certifications they will be able to afford and stop practicing in other areas of engineering.  Think this can't happen?  It's already is a reality with PE's choosing to practice in some states, but not others, due to the cost of bi-annual license renewals.  Mark these words.... the end game of specializing through certification is destined to be the obsolescence of the engineer generalist.  Maybe not a year from now, nor even a decade, but eventually it will happen.  Won't it be a sad day when the brilliance of a future engineer practitioner is muted when asked to solve important societal problems spanning across specialties and all he'll be able to say is "Sorry, but I'm not certified for that."

sensor pro
User Rank
Gold
Re: Is choice a definition?
sensor pro   3/6/2012 1:39:51 PM
NO RATINGS
YES YES YES, Love your statement !!!!!

jeffersonpayne
User Rank
Iron
Engineering Is ...
jeffersonpayne   3/6/2012 1:26:26 PM
Engineering is the Art whose medium is function.

electron rancher
User Rank
Iron
List of Engineer skills
electron rancher   3/6/2012 1:24:28 PM
One skill that should be added to the list is detective.  How many times have we searched for obscure clues and then put them together to come up with a meaningful conclusion?

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: An engineer is a writer
Rob Spiegel   3/6/2012 1:07:04 PM
NO RATINGS

Yes, writing is a skill that can give an engineer freedom, independence and a leg up. I discovered in college that proficiency at writing gave me an advantage in nearly every non-writing course I took. 

<<  <  Page 2/5  >  >>


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team 100 to make (about $161 US).
At Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest, Joe Wascow told Design News how Optimal Design prototyped a machine that captures the wing-beat of a duck.
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
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