As a kid, I would watch adults or older kids fix or reassemble things. I was always fascinated when there were "parts left over". It didn't make any sense to me.
What I love most about what I do (it's more than a job for me) is making sure that all of the parts fit and are easily understandable. Connecting the dots, and showing how macro trends effect everyday life is so much fun.
Personally, when I can't find what I need in the market, being able to make it myself (and usually give the idea to a colleague) is the MOST fun! Necessity is the mother of invention, right?
Yes, Chuck, that is a great headline. Also, the story gives insight into the work lives of young engineers. It's a new generation of engineers were seeing now. They grew up on video games. They have been around personal computers since they were todlers.
I never had the guts to take my Dad's riding mower, but I did repeatedly take my bike apart. I particularly liked to disassemble the coaster brake mechanism which is difficult to reassemble and he would have to help me get it back together. It got to the point that he hid all of the 9/16" wrenches to stop me. He knew I was going to be an engineer before I did.
Sylvie, nice article. I like the idea of blowing up things. I designed high voltage circuits for several years and loved it!! I've even designed fuze circuits but never got an opportunity to blow anything up. Work not nearly as exciting now that I do systems engineering.
You got the key to solving complex problems Tekochip. I totally agree with simple solutions. I've seen so many times engineers trying to do fancy and complex just to make a mess. More times than not simple works best.
Great post Sylvie. Early one spring day my dad came home with a new lawn mower. I was about 11 or 12 years old and very interested in just how things worked. How every thing worked. The very next day he went to work leaving me with "exhibit A". Well, I decided closer inspection was needed so I started taking the mower apart. (So many pieces!!!!!) My thoughts were, it should be easier to put it back together than take apart. I remember making notes and sketches as I carefully laid out the pieces one by one. Five o'clock came with some progress but not really enough to satisfy my dad when he came home. I remember him telling my mom, "that boy can break an anvil". The following Saturday we moved the "debris" to a mower repair shop. James Hudson, was the owner. He was very patient as he demonstrated how the parts neatly went back together and what function they all played in the actual working of the machine. That interest has never waned. I love to spend time in the lab and love to design work cells and robotic equipment that actually provide value-added to their owner. NASA and the "original seven" certainly added "fuel to the fire" and influenced me to get serious about becoming an engineer.
The propeller on my hat spins from the enjoyment of adding value to society by solving problems; applying physical laws, mathematics and hard-won experience to design and predict the behavior of a system. It's really gratifying to implement concepts into a functioning device, and even more gratifying to see the product released out into the market.
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