I teach an introduction to engineering seminar to grade 6 students and I tell them that engineers are "the ones who take science and make it affordable". The sample is a pencil that has 8 pieces and with parts costs, assembly, shipping, handling, etc., it sells for less than 10 cents - AND - the store selling it and everyone in between made a profit! That's engineering.
Ozark Sage: I was not aware that engineering schools were pushing the idea of 6-7 year graduate degrees. Imagine the cost associated with that, especially given the fact that many public schools are now over $20,000 a year, and private colleges are twice that.
Alexander I do whole heartedly agree. You hit the nail on the head. What you said about periferals is also true, but I wonder if every engineer has to be proficient on computers A to Z. It seems to me a well trained engineer has/ must have good visualization skills in his head befor he/she even aproches a computer lest the client becomes misdirrected or pre-design infected, prior to advanced design selection. Some times a rough sketch can save hundreds of hours of time & MONEY while working out what the client REALLY WANTS.
The other problem I have is with the CONSTANT need for "Certification" especially when the software is continuously managed by capable engineering company IT people and the company PEs regularly attend IT seminars and their specialty organizations' meetings most of which stay abreast of software advances.
PS A closing comment on Systems Engineers. Should they have a 6/7 year course and graduate Doctorate? A question asked by UT Dallas, U of P, and many other high ranked schools. $$$
I like the definition with the following additions: A negotiator with government regulators. Here in Washington State permitting agencies for civil works control most of the design standards and practices such that I question the validity of stamping engineering plans, specifications and studies. For example, in most cases storm drain analysis and design are completed using manditory computer models developed and provided by local agencies. However, the private design engineer must stamp the hydrologic (Technical Information) report. I question whether the engineer can attest to anything other than using the agencies black box model and therefore should not be expected to accept liability for design. Some agencies use non-engineers as reviewers and the State Licensing Board allows them to use 'engineer' in their position title which in effect is shows a lack of respect for professional engineers. Therefore, the engineer needs to be a negotiator to get through the review and approval process in Washington State.
The second addition to the definition is that engineers are creative but as noted above, creative engineering is not readily tolerated in Washington State.
Your statement regarding knowing how to find the information you don't know is at the core of good engineering. First, however, you need to be able to recognize what you don't know. The most durable part of my engineering education was learning that there are lots of things I don't know, but I was forced to acquire the skills to find out where the information I need is [many years pre-Google] and continue learning. Unfortunately, the newest graduates I interview from engineering schools indicate that this critical part of their education seems to have been dropped from their cirriculum.
Generally, I would see an engineer as someone that can solve problems with a clear plan and can explain how they solved it. I have known some people that have graduated with engineering degrees, but due to their lack of ability to use that learned knowledge to solve real world world problems, I would not call these people engineers.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.