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Project Presentation, help needed...

Project Presentation, help needed...

Project Presentation, help needed...

Dear Friends,

   I've recently received an invite for a US sponsored HB1 position in a major engineering consultancy company, so I'll have to attend a board meeting to show a brief of my work as structural engineer and the matter is that I have no idea about how do the projects are presented in US, i.e.:  

calcsheets organization (what to include, how to show results, design issues...),
modelling issues and considerations,
loads, load generation, load combinations......,
project sheets organization (sizes, scales, formats, numbering....)

  I'm a heavy AISI (cold formed steel) user and I do have some experience with AISC LFRD (very similar to our local steel code).

  So I wish to ask for advices on how to find these guidelines and maybe take a look at some finished examples of industrial and comercial projects.
  Another question is: should I convert my calculations, dimensions and so on to the Imperial units system?

   Thanks in advance


RE: Project Presentation, help needed...

I guess the answer depends upon what the expectations are for your presentation.  If you are trying to put on a "dog and pony show" to sell your capabilities, then the sky is the limit.  Multimedia presentation, renderings of past projects, etc.

If you are just required to provide examples of your work products (drawings, calculations, etc.), then it is a different situation.  Just bring representative samples of work you have done.  A fellow structural engineer will be able to tell quite a bit about your work by reviewing these documents.  No need to translate them into U.S. customary units or reformat them to any certain size or scale, just make sure they are neat, complete, and understandable.  If the drawings and calcs are good and you can talk the talk in the interview, you should have a good chance.

RE: Project Presentation, help needed...

Don't convert the calculations and dimensions. Educated engineers know and understand the international measurement system, as it is quite simple. It shows more professionalism and technical competence on your part to use a coherent measurement system preferred worldwide.

RE: Project Presentation, help needed...

exegesis...I understand SI, but have my customs. What using SI shows is the will to comply with such system of units by whatever the reason, and I think may have nothing to do with technical competence. Really, in transitory stances it may even diminish the reliability of teh work done, since forcing people to use units the appraisal of which is not internalized.

RE: Project Presentation, help needed...

Wow, Exegesis, you could really start a SI vs. US flame war with that kind of post.  But I'll be good and go back to the original topic, which was "How does an engineer present himself, internationally?"

fkd, If it is a board meeting, then they probably want a slide show.  That being said, the heart of your presentation will be your capabilities.  I suggest you get 10 calcs together, 3-5 of the most esoteric stuff you did and 5-7 of your average/day-to-day type of calc's and put it together with 3-4 of your best drawings.  No more than 25 pages, tops.  Create a slide show and a handout packet of these.  If there are engineers on the board they will understand your capabilities regardless of the units.  For the non-engineers, this will give them evidence to support the bullet list they are making in their head.  If you have to do a presentation, don't explain the details, simply stop at the slide and say what the calculation is.  Then spent about ONE minute giving a BRIEF overview of the project to which the calculation refers.  Total presentation time should be 20-30 minutes.


RE: Project Presentation, help needed...

  Thank you very much for the feedback, I'll adopt the slide show idea, very good advice for making the things easier.

RE: Project Presentation, help needed...

Hi, all

I do not really understand why anyone should have problems in getting a 'feel' for calculations in SI units.

Surely we all have a feel for millimetres, metres and seconds.  Practically all we then need is a feel for Newtons.  

Just recall a bit of (dubious ?) history, redefine the Newton as the weight of a British Standard apple, and all becomes clear.  How many apples to the pound ? - about 4.5 .

RE: Project Presentation, help needed...


Unless the mayority of the board members are structural engineers, I don't believe they would be interested on reviewing your calculation sheets.    They may be more interested on actual photos of the projects you have worked on.   Large consulting firms have their own system for preparing and filing calculations, and that may be different to the system you use.    Conveying to them that you are flexible to adapt to other ways of doing things, would be advantageous for you.     Same with the SI versus English/Imperial systems.   Show them you can handle both.  

If the position you are seeking requires presentations to clients or building departments, the board could be interested on how you would handle those presentations.  In that case, I would try to prepare a complete presentation with slides, photos, hand-outs as Imagineer suggested.   Sell yourself.   Show what you have done in the past and what you able to do.   Cover not only calculations, but drawings (are you efficient in computer drafting? or, do you prepare adequate sketches for CAD operators to draw?,) how you work from preliminary concept to final design, what are your areas of expertise, what degree of supervision do you need, how good are you in team-work, what general knowledge about architectural and other engineering disciplines you have.

Good luck!


RE: Project Presentation, help needed...

Hi Austim

To add to your feel for SI units ... there is an engineering legend about a rugby player by the name of Killer Newton : he weighed 1 kilonewton = 102 kg = 226 pounds.

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