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Tips from the Trenches

Tips from the Trenches

I recently interviewed Raya Fidel, a former librarian and professor at the School of Library and Information Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle ( In a study she conducted of aerospace engineers and how they obtain critical information relating to their work, she discovered that the number one source of information for engineers is ... drumroll here ... other engineers!

That may sound like a glaringly obvious result, but a lot of people would probably guess that the Internet (or more specifically, Google) is a primary source of information for engineers today. And while the Web is certainly a valuable aid for searching for product specs, one thing that the Web typically lacks and engineers really need is a kind of informed opinion about the products they are researching.

Here at Design News, we recognize the value of this kind of real-world, engineer-to-engineer exchange. And while we can't bring Boris to the water cooler for you, we can bring the Bo-rises, the Natashas, and, in the case of this particular issue of Design News, Ted Diehl-an expert in non-linear FEA analysis-to you.

To that end, I am thrilled to announce the introduction of a new section in the magazine. Called "Tips from the Trenches," it's a highly useful, how-to article written by and for working engineers. Ted, for example, provides a step-by-step analysis of how to attack a nasty design problem when all the classical approaches don't seem to fit. It's a must-read for any engineer facing a situation where nearly everything appears to be non-linearly related.

And that's not all. Through a new chat room-type functionality on our website, you'll have a chance to check out the comments of engineers who have reviewed Ted's article and add your own two cents to the debate at

In the coming months, you'll see a lot more of this kind of engineer-to-engineer (E2E for short) content in Design News. We'll be publishing more how-to articles on a wide variety of engineering topics from using Excel to designing a motion control system, no-holds-barred reader reviews of website tools and product reviews, and useful tips and tricks on applying technology.

We're confident that you'll find this kind of information useful and compelling, and I'd love to get your feedback on how we're doing. Drop me a line at the address below, and I'll share your comments with our readers.

[email protected]

TAGS: Aerospace
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