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where is engineering going ?
8

where is engineering going ?

where is engineering going ?

(OP)
not very far if this note from online university course (structures analysis) material is true ...

"obtaining this relation requires energy methods, which is graduate material"

which is sad since energy methods aren't so difficult to grasp, and also because the undergraduates are being told "take this on faith ... you're too dumb to understand it". ok, my ad lib ... maybe they're being told "take this on faith, 'cause we don't have time to show you the details".

I get the problem ... the syllabus is so broad now that they can only go an inch deep, and graduate degree allows them to delve into details of a few topics. But the problem I see is that students and graduates aren't given the tools to derive things for themselves, they're restricted to looking things up (in wiki) and taking a lot of things "on faith". Worse is that this mindset is placed in them where they should be learning how to prove things for themselves, at the foundation of their career house ... bad foundation = bad house.

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: where is engineering going ?

I've been arguing ever since my own Masters graduation that perhaps if we ditched one or even two of the courses spent teaching chem engs how to do analytical integration of ODEs and PDEs, we'd be able to fit in a few things the undergrads could actually use when they graduate...But there is much debate on that subject.

The derivation of things in detail isn't possible all the time, nor is it necessary to get them to the good stuff. The exercise can be left to those who are interested enough to look into it themselves, but that's not most of us for sure.

RE: where is engineering going ?

I was introduced to energy methods in high school physics.

I agree there is far too much higher maths in engineering courses. There'd be no harm in it as a paper that could be selected as an alternative to something else, but most of what I did I regard as unusable, There is a desperate need on the other hand for something like 'numerical methods'.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: where is engineering going ?

Foundation is a lie, your brain is plastic and learns all the time. You don't need to be taught the details of everything, learning works best when it is done just-in-time.

RE: where is engineering going ?

Quote (Belgiancadengineer)

Foundation is a lie, your brain is plastic and learns all the time. You don't need to be taught the details of everything, learning works best when it is done just-in-time.

I agree with everything except the first three words. You need a foundation in math and physics to have a chance at learning the details on the fly.

If you don't need a foundation, then what is the point of education at all?

RE: where is engineering going ?

I guess you do need a foundation, but the point of education is to mold people into obedient workers.

RE: where is engineering going ?

It harkens back to something I've read a while ago on the INCOSE website an article from 1992 it was about how Systems Engineering techniques could apply to education. Briefly it was divided into four levels:

1. Schools develop some curriculum for you, little thought is given to its meaning or value.
2. Schools develop some curriculum for you, but they try to put effort into making it valuable.
3. Schools listen to students and will take feedback into account to improve their curriculums.
4. Schools leave most of the curriculum up to the students themselves to decide and then the school implements it.

Think of the word "students" as synomyn of the word "customers" in a Requirements Management phase.
With the customers responsible for the customer requirements and the school responsible for turning them into executable technical requirements.

Then you will see current education is basically at Step 2. It was so in 1992 and it's still so in 2016, sadly enough.

RE: where is engineering going ?

It's not a manifesto, I'm just saying the world is a sad place.

RE: where is engineering going ?

My world is quite a happy place. But then, I am free of managers, except for my wife.

RE: where is engineering going ?

This is veering back towards the "university or trade school" discussions.

Having gone the totally sensible route (sponsored through focused engineering course and into engineering afterwards), I feel I wasted my youth. With hindsight I'd much rather have done something much less practical, with little or no coursework/labs in a nicer university. Wasted afternoons on river banks or college lawns would have been good memories to have in the bank. Late nights completing lab reports followed by massive alcohol benders with other guys is what I have instead.

Steve

RE: where is engineering going ?

More managers than just my wife, but hardly a sad place wrt to work. Other places in the world are indeed sad.

"Think of the word "students" as synomyn of the word "customers" in a Requirements Management phase.
With the customers responsible for the customer requirements and the school responsible for turning them into executable technical requirements.

Then you will see current education is basically at Step 2. It was so in 1992 and it's still so in 2016, sadly enough."

INCOSE has a warped view of the world, anyway. Who need we needed Facebook until it came out? Seatbelts were never a customer requirement. INCOSE is pushing a very narrow view of systems engineering, but even in the case of customer funded developments, requirements are hit and miss. Typically, a customer rarely has the systems engineering or technical experience to develop rational and robust requirements. We do the best we can to clean up their requirements and then add the requirements necessary to create a complete product. In the commercial world, one of the most famous non-customer driven developments was the microprocessor; apocryphally, Intel was told that the demand for processors was only 16,000, worldwide, and that building a microprocessor would be a complete waste of money.

"Customer" and "student" are not synonymous; while there is a "product," the typical student doesn't really know what they want to do for the rest of their lives, nor do they have sufficiently developed frontal cortexes to weigh the outcome of their choices, both in school and out. Additionally, not every student is capable of performing to the level required for any arbitrary discipline; I had a friend who wanted to be an aeronautical engineer, but couldn't make their way past trig. We don't allow K-12 children to dictate what they want to learn because we, as parents, know that their choices would lead them into playing all day, which might be good for a select few disciplines, but bad for almost anything else.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers

RE: where is engineering going ?

I guess you're right. Oh well, at least life isn't that bad. Still live in the first world afro

RE: where is engineering going ?

As I recall, a few years ago MIT announced a change in educational policy, to reduce the stress on students ( after some reported suicides) and reduce the number of disillusioned students that drop out- basically to dumb-down the curriculum. I had seen the same change in policy occur at my alma mater, and I think it reflects the change in capabilities and background of millennials vs boomers. Circa 1969 the US educational system had shifted away from traditional rote methods to those that "inspire creativity" and improve the student's feelings of "self worth". By coincidence, it also simplified the teaching tasks for high school teachers, who became equivalent to baby sitters and which union rules embraced whole-heartedly. And then ,finally, technology brought the use of handheld computers to the school, which eliminated any need for any student to perform basic mathematical operations manually. And so we are where we are today. Eventually, AI and expert systems will eliminate the need for the least amount of rational thought.

"In this bright future, you can't forget your past..." Bob Marley

RE: where is engineering going ?

The common thread in people who criticize modern education is complete ignorance or separation from what actually seems to happen in modern schools.

Or maybe my experience in 3 districts across Two states is just individually exceptional. I'm very happy with the education my son has gone through and all my interactions with school staff.

RE: where is engineering going ?

AI and expert systems should have been much bigger today already! Wasn't there the biggest amount of buzz around expert systems in the late 80s? Why has this not seen more uptake by now?? I think people are just afraid of displacing their jobs, which is a fair thing to worry about I suppose. I wholeheartedly support increasingly higher levels of abstraction. Engineers are not calculators.

JNieman,
Good for you. Aim low, be satisfied.

RE: where is engineering going ?

I look at modern education and wonder. Why is there a higher crime rate near high schools? Why is the normal pay for high school students the minimum wage?

I ask why are people graduating with a degree and not being able to pay their student loans? Why is history class so boring, and the history channel so interesting? What was intention was met by me taking a PE class?

RE: where is engineering going ?

"-free of managers, except for my wife."

(as all of the married males on the forum silently nod in understanding) hokie66, I almost lost a perfectly good cup of coffee on that one! Well done.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: where is engineering going ?

Quote (cranky108)

Why is history class so boring, and the history channel so interesting?




"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert"
Arthur C. Clarke Profiles of the future

RE: where is engineering going ?

Quote (cranky108)


I look at modern education and wonder. Why is there a higher crime rate near high schools? Why is the normal pay for high school students the minimum wage?

I read somewhere that a lot of burglaries are committed by high school students at lunchtime. What do they get, forty minutes?

I am a technologist with a three year diploma, and I took strain energy in third year, and it is indeed useful stuff to know. In college, I generally took history as my elective, so I find it fascinating. Perhaps high school history would be more interesting if they included some classes on debunking idiotic crap like Ancient Aliens.

--
JHG

RE: where is engineering going ?

"I read somewhere that a lot of burglaries are committed by high school students at lunchtime. What do they get, forty minutes"

>>Much easier to mug someone for their lunch than wait in the interminable lines.

"Why is the normal pay for high school students the minimum wage?"

>>Have to start somewhere. Doesn't make sense for them to be getting $100k/yr for the jobs they're qualified for, although, there certainly are a number of jobs that pay reasonably well that do not require degrees.

"I ask why are people graduating with a degree and not being able to pay their student loans?"

>>There's something I learned in college called "supply and demand." Just because you have a degree does not make you automatically employable. Someone who gets a Bachelors in English Lit might just wind up working as a bank teller (I worked with him, and he actually had a Masters), which makes it hard to pay off a $150k loan. The most popular major is psychology, but the demand it fills is for social workers, and the same problem with paying off loans results. People were told to get college degrees, but weren't really told what degrees they actually needed. Conspiracy theorists believe that the push for STEM degrees was to try and push down starting salaries, and by extension, keep existing salaries from growing as before. Uc Berkeley has about 3156 engineering students. If even a additional small fraction of the 14,429 admits went to engineering, that would drop the starting salaries pretty dramatically, assuming similar GPAs, etc., of course. The other side of this is that there were ~11k students that DIDN'T major in engineering, and a lot of them got degrees in things that are not overtly employable.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers

RE: where is engineering going ?

Assumption 1: Not all high school students graduate. So why is the pay for high school graduates the minimum? Are high school graduates not worth more than dropouts?
Conclusion 1: A High school graduate is no more valuable than a high school dropout.

Assumption 2: If someone goes to college, would they not be smart enough to know they are getting a degree that does not pay enough to pay off their student loans?
Conclusion 2: Economics is not part of a college education. Or apparently is planning for the future.

Assumption 3: If more students graduated in Business, the salaries of managers would go down.
Conclusion 3: If more Business graduates were to happen, engineering salaries would go down, because business people can't pay people who work for them more than they make.

RE: where is engineering going ?

"Conclusion 2: Economics is not part of a college education. Or apparently is planning for the future."

By then, it may be too late anyway, since most schools require declaration of major no later than sophomore year; I declared my major at the end of freshman year, and BEM101 wasn't even available until sophomore year. Additionally, it's well known that the frontal cortex, where consequences of actions are calculated, does not fully develop until at least the mid-20s.

Your conclusion for #1 is dubious; high school dropouts have about 2x the unemployment rate of graduates, so even they were getting the same hourly wage, the statistical salary expectation is about 2x higher for graduates. Therefore, high school graduates are indeed more valuable than non-graduates. based on statistical compensation.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers

RE: where is engineering going ?

"most schools require declaration of major no later than sophomore year"

Beginning of upper 6th form here in UK, as part of the application at the age of 17. Some may switch during their course, but it's far from the norm.

Steve

RE: where is engineering going ?

Well, I did too, but I didn't actually wind up staying that course over the years, but that was sheer luck on both ends. I remember my mom asking where I was applying, to which I replied, "Well, I'm applying to XYZ, since that's where I want to go." "Silly boy, what if you don't get accepted?" So, yeah, frontal cortex not fully operational. Applied to a few other schools, but I got into XYZ anyway, so no biggie.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers

RE: where is engineering going ?

When I say plan A & plan B I meant for careers, other than Oxbridge & the distinction between real universities V polytechnics there wasn't quite the same amount of snobbery over which university as in the US.

I applied to all 6 (or was it 8) schools allowed by the UK UCAS system, only Imperial was smart enough to reject me and they weren't my first choice anyway.

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What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: where is engineering going ?

Well that's odd, Southampton is my "alma mater" and I wasn't even smart enough to take the Oxbridge exam.

I just remembered, I was the one that asked my guidance counselor what my back up should be if I flunked my exams and they basically told me not to worry about it based on my predicted grades.

Guess I really was an exception, shame that exceptionalism didn't continue.

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What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: where is engineering going ?

I thought it was all internal politicking between unis. Quite funny in these days of publically available league tables, or maybe they didn't like the uncertainty of being the backup plan.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: where is engineering going ?

Yeah, I was thinking the same Greg on the politics, clearly not an aptitude thing so either:

1) You applied to our 'rival' so we wont' consider you.

OR:

2) If you applied to Cambridge you're statistically unlikely to come to us so not worth the effort of interviewing or some such.

Always being risk averse my ultimate back up was Hertfordshire where they were amazed I was taking double math A level - probably should have been a clue that my back up may have been a bit too safe.

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RE: where is engineering going ?

I remember the alleged politics too. If you are going to apply to X, they need to be 1st on the list, Y need to be 1st or 2nd, Oxbridge must be somewhere on the list but 5th is ok, etc. That advice was nothing more than hearsay from school teachers now I look back. I reckon I could have shuffled my list and had the same set of offers.

My father sat me down and made it clear that I would have a good time at any of the 5 places on my list and would come out well qualified. I was wasting my time agonizing over 5 excellent choices - a first world problem.

For the record (in 1986)...

1 Imperial (must be 1st to be considered)
2 Brunel (back-up, since they could provide industrial placements)
3 Bath (place filler)
4 Loughborough (place filler)
5 Cambridge (5th is apparently ok)

And as it turned out, #5 was wrong (passed their exam, but wasn't given a place). Bitter? Me? Never!



Steve

RE: where is engineering going ?

When I was applying Bath was still rebooting its engineering course, plus it was my Lo-Cal uni. Brunel and Lowbrow weren't even in the frame. Well I guess that's enough ancient history.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: where is engineering going ?

I never had to worry because state universities were required to take any students that graduated from a state public high school. And since an in state school was all we could afford, that made it easy to decide on because there were only a few state universities.

Now I can look back and see that the only thing that made the state universitys known is the sports teams.

RE: where is engineering going ?

Hmm, well either my tutor/advisor was holding out on me or by the mid 90's the politics had reduced because I don't remember any scuttle butt about which places you couldn't mutually select or needing to rank them etc.

Southampton
Bath
City University
Queen Mary's
Hertfordshire
Imperial (rejected)

As to the OP, pretty sure the 'Principale of Minimum Total Potential Energy' as my lecturer called it was second year aero structures. i.e. a core requirement to get your bachelors not even a final year elective or some such. Seems a little odd for it to have moved all the way to grad studies.

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What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: where is engineering going ?

(OP)
'cept that'd be "principle" ! (yes, I'm the self-appointed principal/principle corrector !)

and I think they're talking about using infernal strain energy to solve redundant structures.

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: where is engineering going ?

Interesting. The next nearest university to me was more than an England length away,and the next nearest I would have wanted to go to would been just over UK length away. Narrows down the options quite a bit.

RE: where is engineering going ?

Energy methods...did that in my three year diploma in 2002.

How many undergraduate programs have a big focus on structures? Aerospace, civil & mechanical all include structures but how many students choose the upper class electives? Why surprised that a lot of schools just defer to graduate studies?

RE: where is engineering going ?

Not too sure what you are getting at there. As a mechanical engineer I did a couple of papers in my final year in structures, in fact my final year project was on some exceedingly dull aspect of stiffness of trusses as they approached yield (that was the fun bit in the lab, breaking stuff).

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: where is engineering going ?

This is a touchy subject.
Many universities have revised slightly the curriculum in a way that tries to incorporate some practical sense while still maintaining mathematical rigor.
I'm surprised at the "energy methods only for graduate school"...
This is a simple and easy to use method for classical mechanics.
During my PhD I never used this...
What mattered most was my understanding of the fundamentals with advanced math as well as advanced programming.
I won't get into the other details...

What I can say though is that this is irrelevant all together to any practical engineering perspective. An engineer that for some reason never used a particular method is not a sub-par engineer. If he is a good engineer he can learn this in 2 hours and determine if it is applicable or not to what the goal he is working towards..

RE: where is engineering going ?

My opinion of mathematical training is that it helps structure your though processes. Knowing what integration and differentiation is changes how you intuitively think about problems. In my view it is a mistake to assume a mathematical topic is without merit just because you never directly apply it in your work.

Engineers need more math. Industry needs more technicians.

A lot of work done by engineers is really technician work and business would profit in my view from structuring work so that the complex decisions and designs go to engineering and the majority goes to technician level workers.

When I started working around the early nineties I was dismayed at the mindless simple stuff I was assigned. I constantly thought they don't need an engineer to do this stuff. Industry has since moved to a more technician solution and this is best for economic efficiency sake. Needs to move more this way though.


RE: where is engineering going ?

(OP)
I agree with that, from a large company perspective. When I was hiring the push was to get the brightest and best, but my opinion was that they'd get bored pretty quickly with what we have to offer. Instead of "type A, future leaders" I wanted to get "good team-players, followers (but not sheep)".

But in a smaller company there's less support and you need to respond to a multitude of issues.

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: where is engineering going ?

The decision to hire more engineers or technicians is usually not an engineering decision. It is a decision for the MBA's and other business people, who have no idea what it takes to do the job at hand.

So you have a few engineers who do the work, and a dozen who think they can do it.

University is only the start of an engineers training, and needs to be broad to give the skills for the next step.

School is intended to give you the ability to think, however some never seem to be able to think outside the book.

RE: where is engineering going ?

(OP)
many don't (apparently) open book

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: where is engineering going ?

Many things are intended to do many things....but everyone always has their own agendas.

RE: where is engineering going ?

My agenda no longer includes saving the world. It's more about obtaining a paycheck.
It's not that I don't care as much as I did in the past. It's that I am tired of correcting other peoples problems, and getting no respect for it.

I mean that's it, if you entertain people, you get respect, and more pay. If you provide someone with the basics, food, energy, housing, safety, etc. you get paid less, and are not respected.

RE: where is engineering going ?

I don't think engineering is thought of as much of a talent. Besides I think people would more likely pay me to not sing.

RE: where is engineering going ?

(OP)
of course it isn't ... not even on BBT !

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: where is engineering going ?

These are government-subsidized organizations. They will do whatever they can to ensure that everybody who goes to those organizations is capable of producing good results, but not capable of critical thinking or questioning what they're told.

Moreso, they do not want dissenters to be able to have a degree or credentials that would allow them to gain influence of organizations peppered throughout society. It is not about molding you as much as it is making sure that you aren't a dissenter or free thinker.

"Formal education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." ~ Joseph Stalin

RE: where is engineering going ?

2
All of these discussions about which Uni is better is all academic. Just look around you and probably the better paid individuals never went to Uni and do not understand Engineering. These are the guys who were "dumped" in the Projects section. Over the years they have built their own reputations on the back of Qualified Engineers working on successful Projects and getting their jobnames as Project Engineers then Project Managers and maybe to the heady position of Project Directors. All the time just pushing paper around and calling meetings at which they allocate tasks to the Qualified Engineers. So basically what's the point of working towards getting a degree or higher qualification or even Chartered status when you will not be on the same salary as one of these un-qualified individuals who perhaps have an ONC or HNC ?

RE: where is engineering going ?

Then again DSB123 there are the folks with HNC/HND/Apprenticeships who've been working hard for all their career doing Engineering tasks including full on stress analysis of aerospace equipment etc. who get to have some new Grad, or an at least one instance I saw Chartered Engineer that didn't have a clue come in and give them bad directions, take all the credit, use & abuse them...

What's you'r point DSB123?

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What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: where is engineering going ?

So what is your goal? Is it money, or fame? To do something meaningful?

If you wanted fame, you might consider a different profession. Know any good jokes?

RE: where is engineering going ?

(OP)
I had the same argument with my son ... "Steve Jobs didn't graduate uni,and look where he went" ... retort "so you think you're Steve Jobs, or like Steve Jobs ... good effing grief ... the only way you're like Steve Jobs (said some years back now) is that you both take in O2 and expel CO2".

and I second cranky ... what do you want out of life ? ... money and fame ... then probably don't do Engineering (sure some make it, but they're the "Steve Jobs" exceptional people).

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: where is engineering going ?

KENAT,
My point is don't bother with Degrees/Masters/PhD's/Chartership and all the study that takes when you can get a better job by being a "numptie" so long as you read and practice Billy Bagshot's "Book of Brilliant Bullshit" or his sequel "Bullshit Baffles Brains". This is all you really need to achieve a good salary and an easy job!

RE: where is engineering going ?

There's something a little bit off there but I can't quite put my finger on it. Oh yes, there it is. Some of us don't want to be highly paid (probably not) bullshit artists. Yes, that's it.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: where is engineering going ?

As I recall , Steve J. had a serious personality disorder, and died young from a cancer that could have been cured if he had a "normal " personality and accepted prudent medical recommendations. It is not clear why anyone would want to emulate Steve J.

"In this bright future, you can't forget your past..." Bob Marley

RE: where is engineering going ?

Steve J. is one of those guys that the more you read about him, the more it perplexes you why anyone let him be the head of anything.

RE: where is engineering going ?

(OP)
but he did.

and in any case, he was only an example (I could have easily used his mate Bill). The point being sure there are exceptional people that have been "successful" without much formal training, but most of us aren't exceptional.

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: where is engineering going ?

rb1957,

Programming itself is very different in my opinion than engineering in that it can be self taught and is very dependent on the aptitude of the coder. Anyone with aptitude can bootstrap themselves if they have the discipline and can find job to get their foot in the door. How many people really have that much discipline?

RE: where is engineering going ?

(OP)
I think Steve did much more than just "programming" ... sure he did some (I think maybe Woz did more) but he had the vision of where computers could go, and the drive to get there.

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: where is engineering going ?

I think it's pretty clear that Jobs had a very specific and unique vision of what computers and portable devices could and had to be. It was his vision that put Apple where it is today, and why the board let him back in.

It's unclear how long he could have maintained that unique vision. There are others in history that did something similar, but couldn't keep it up or couldn't adapt fast enough. There was a shining instant in time when EVERY "secretary" had to know how to use a "Wang." And yet, that company is now no more than a brief footnote in history, because they were unable to adapt to the flood of PCs and compatibles that grossly undercut the Wang word processor, and the plethora of PC word processing software that quickly came into existence.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers

RE: where is engineering going ?

Quote (IRstuff)

There was a shining instant in time when EVERY "secretary" had to know how to use a "Wang."
I don't think I've ever been more careful about how I phrased a google search.

RE: where is engineering going ?

DSB123 if your complaint is about your typical weasely bull**** artist then make that point.

No need to denigrate people with qualifications other than the now typical university route.

From my recent experience, many, perhaps even most of those numpties actually appear to have phd's.

Not a universal dig at phd's - I work(ed) with some really good ones too, just like I've worked with some who came the apprentice route and probably fell into the numptie categorization.

The correlation between being a numptie and education level is not clear from my experience, but then that's anecdotal not true data driven.

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What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: where is engineering going ?

Both my parents had PhDs in physics. Both my parents were (are) brilliant, and very mechanically adept. Daddy also collected and restored antique tractors. He was always looking to see the wisdom in everyone - from the 3rd-grade-educated farmer to the Nobel-prize-winning physicist. Just because one or two people have great luck at something doesn't mean others will - we all have to follow our own paths. Mine included studying LOTS, both in school and afterwards.

(and what in tarnation is a numptie?)

Please remember: we're not all guys!

RE: where is engineering going ?

Some of the critique of orange hitler's followers, (by queen of the status quo's followere) is that they are poor and uneducated, as if that's a moral failing in a country where access to education and productive labor is decreasing, and has done so under team red and team blue for the last 30-40 years.

As a contract worker, I've been around quite a bit. Some of the best of my varied experiences in engineering have been working with people that had an agricultural background in some way.

RE: where is engineering going ?

moom161, my first Chief Engineer made it a policy to hire engineers who had farming backgrounds regardless of discipline (mechanical or electrical) and he created a very successful team.

I think for research positions, those with book learning may work out better but if you really want to 'make' stuff a person with a practical background can drive better results

RE: where is engineering going ?

Well, there are couple of issues in the industry. No one really sees any point in energy methods in the industry as it would take a lot more time to implement than a FEM model(most probably). It is nice to have the elastic foundation, energy methods, beam columns etc in your arsenal but in the end you really don't use them on a day to day basis. FEM actually bridged that gap. I learned about energy methods virtual work etc in my college days but I've never used them. I would have very much preferred an in depth discussion about FEM, element formulations and not those useless direct stiffness matrices that you can solve by hand.
It is the same story about beam columns. You wouldnt solve complex, tapered section beam column problems with numerical hand methods.(you can but it would take a lot of time) It is nice to do it once or twice but in the end what you are after is an engineering approximation. As one of my mentors(40+ year veteran) told me, engineers try to approximate the nature with their tools. So I dont see any problems with using newer and better tools and not using outdated ones.

RE: where is engineering going ?

(OP)
For me a problem with FEMing everything is that you lose touch with the analysis, and become a model-maker.

Another problem is book-keeping ... keeping these models and runs and filed ...

I'm quite happy to solve a single redundancy by hand.

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: where is engineering going ?

If I had it to do over, I think I would have done it this way:

"I know a guy who worked his way up from sweeping floors in the machine shop to designing machinery. He was one of our best engineers but had only a high school diploma.

He got from sweeping to machining by offering to help. First he was dressing keys, then he was keeping an eye on the CNC lathe, until he was doing it all.

He got from master machinist to designer by learning the CAD software and reading a chapter of Machinery's Handbook every morning. MH is dense but there is a great deal of mechanical engineering coursework represented in there. While this was nowhere near as broad as a BSME, it served him well. I'm sure if MH does not track your interest in mechanical engineering, there are other reference books that do."

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