×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Looking for more training, where to start?

Looking for more training, where to start?

Looking for more training, where to start?

(OP)
Hi All,

I am a mechanical engineer working as a design engineer for a company that makes equipment for the refining and chemical industries.
Mostly valves, fluid control panels, and sections of process piping. Lately I feel like I'm stagnating in my personal development.
I've talked to my employer about this but I haven't gotten any guidance as to what I can do to improve my knowledge and skill set.
However they are willing to send me to training and give tuition reimbursement. I just need to decide where to go.
Some of the interest I have right now are: improving my knowledge of ASME Code (specifically 31.3, but VIII would be helpful too), improving my project management skills, and engineering management skills in general.
Do you all have any suggestions on programs/training/classes I can go to?
Honestly I've been on my own with this company as far as training, and I'm considering moving to a different company where I could get more guidance.

Thanks in advanced for any advise!

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

greenbean209,

It sounds like your employer is being reasonable. What don't you know? What can't you do at the moment that might be corrected by training? Does your employer have any ideas of what you could be trained at?

--
JHG

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

(OP)
drawoh,

Yeah they are reasonable. It's just that they don't know what to send me to.

And well that's kind of the point why I'm posting here. I don't know what I don't know but I know I want to know more.
So far I've been able to perform all my job functions without wavering.It's not like I've been stuck on something because I lack training.
What I'm wanting is to do is just become a better engineer, but my job isn't really presenting a challenge to do that, so that's the reason I'm looking for training ideas.

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

What would you like to learn more about? Be careful, as if the want-to-know is far enough removed from the need-to-know, the employer may reject it as invalid training. Also, many employers require you to stay with them for some period of time after taking the training (typically 1 year), else you have to pay the class costs back. If the info is sufficiently removed from your current job, it may make sense to pay for it out of your own pocket as you prepare to move on to another position.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

(OP)
IRstuff,

There are but I don't work with them and they work in a different sector. I'm actually from another company that was acquired a year ago. In that old company I was the only engineer. Now its basically the same except instead of having the whole company to myself, I've got the product line to myself. The other ME's are in another state and I don't even really know them.

MacGyverS2000,

I'm pretty confident I can get them to send me to whatever training I want. As far as actual class tuition, yeah they do have a clause about that.

Guys really I'm looking for suggestions on where to look for training or courses. I've listed my interests in the OP.
One thing I've seen is that ASME offers various course, and a couple of them look relevant to me. Are there other places like that I can go look?

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

So, you ARE the senior engineer. What higher position can you aspire to in the current environment? What needs are you not fulfilling now? Seems to me that your supervisor is having a difficult time coming up with a plan because there is no higher place to go. Otherwise, he'd be able to say, "You weren't able to support project A, and your work on project B was marginal." Sounds like it's time to move on, unless you plan on retiring from this company.

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 Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

(OP)
IRstuff,

Yeah in the current environment there's not really a clear vertical path. They would have to place people under me. For me this is a really weird situation since I've only been working for 3 years. So I know I've got a heck of a lot more to learn
So I'm looking for ways to improve.

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

greenbead209,

Being the senior and only design engineer with three years experience sounds scary. I learned mechanical design largely by trial and error, and I figure it took me five years. You may have developed all sorts of weird, idiosyncratic habits. Is there any way you could arrange a meetup with your company's other engineers, and trade knowledge?

My very crude guess is that if your company needs mechanical engineering expertise, there should be at least three mechanical engineers on staff. They can pass knowledge and expertise around (professional development). The company is protected if someone is fired or finds a new job or is run over by a truck.

--
JHG

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

The point I appear to be having a hard time getting across is that while your desires are truly admirable, they may be wasted in your current position. Let's say you become an expert at some random ME subdiscipline; if you have zero opportunity to exercise your new-found brain cells on this topic, EVERYTHING will fade and you'll have done done really nothing to protect your investment, nor will your company see any benefit, since they don't appear to be needing or wanting anything else than what you already provide.

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 Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

I don't know your circumstances but I think you will get far more experience / learning / development just by moving to a company where you will have more projects coming across your desk, and with more experienced engineers to support / guide you.

When I first started out the project I was on consisted on HUNDREDS of small work orders which were completed on a weekly basis. Some were the same, some were similar, and quite a few were totally different / new to me. I got to look after them all myself, but there were other engineers (on other projects) who I could talk to when required.

I learnt far more in those first few years working on so many jobs, so often, than I ever have (or will) learn just by going on a 'really good' training course.

I think you need something like that.

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

The best training I have taken was service engineering schools for our various product lines, followed by anything put on by our suppliers

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

Do a google search for continuing education in engineering. Most states require licensed engineers to acquire a certain number of Continuing Education credits or Professional Development Hours every year, so naturally a whole industry has developed around those requirements. A quick google search using those terms will reveal available course catalogs and costs.

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

I found that through work, so many questions come up that I wish there was another 15 hours every day to devote to technical research. so many courses come up that I would love to attend. the problem is, there is just too much work to be done.

if you cant find anything to learn about, it may be a job problem, not an education problem

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

To be blunt, it sounds like you're at one of many small manufacturing companies that doesn't really devote much to engineering but rather only a minimum to design which has its advantages and drawbacks. Likely you're in a role that a senior tradesman could do so you simply won't learn or apply much, OTOH there may be potential to get higher in the organization than you would elsewhere and/or become a partner or owner eventually. If your goal in life however is to become a competent engineer then I'd recommend moving on. Engineering is 10% education 90% perspiration, you simply won't become proficient in even basic mechanical design without spending years under experienced engineers practicing efficient casting, weldment, sheetmetal, and other process design regardless of education. I tell interns flatly that your first year in engineering will be more difficult and educational than four years of college.

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

CodeWest has B31.3 and ASME VIII courses.

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

Also google ASME for its courses, dates and locations.

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

One issue I have found is that if you get education that you really don't need, you also forget it after a while, too. So yeah, that Visual Basic was pretty cool, but haven't touched it in 10 years, either. Learning topics that are peripheral to your job, but not really what you do, has the same issue.
I've taken ASME classes, ASCE classes, various industry-specific classes and seminars.

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

You could join the ISA and attend their conferences annual conferences in Houston.

There is a series of books that are very good books for reference for instrumentation, controls, and valves. The controls information is a little dates but not a lot has changed in reference to valves or instrumentation. It was the only reference I had that was worth a damn in instrumentation aside from company manuals.


https://www.amazon.com/Instrument-Engineers-Handbo...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

RE: Looking for more training, where to start?

I am not a big fan of formal training after a certain level of basic education unless it is focused on a specific topic of immediate need. If you feel you need need more general knowledge in your field of work, that will come from work experience and self-study beyond just knowing barely enough to do the job. Trade and professional magazines are good guide to tell you what kind of new knowledge you need to acquire. They are written by people in the profession for people in the profession. They can be your mentors if you don't have any.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Resources

eBook - Functional Prototyping Using Metal 3D Printing
Functional prototypes are a key step in product development – they give engineers a chance to test new ideas and designs while also revealing how the product will stand up to real-world use. And when it comes to functional prototypes, 3D printing is rewriting the rules of what’s possible. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close