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Engineers a dying breed?

07/19/2007 6:26 AM

The same silly old question, how are we to positively overcome this before we seeze up completely. Politicians have actively discourage technical stability and universities are craming more and more into the courses. The profession is also fracturing and becoming too disipline focused. Motor Mechs are now considered to be engineers and even in this forum engineers are being asked what are they doing in the 'Fight against Breast Cancer'. What are we to do as a profession?

Last year, only 65% of companies were confident they'd be able to recruit enough people into engineering and technical roles; this year, the figure has slumped further to 56%. The message is the same as ever: we need to make engineering as a career more attractive, and the rewards have to be made commensurate with the ability and effort required to train as a professional engineer.
This comment was originally published in the Engineeringtalk Newsletter

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#1

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/19/2007 3:48 PM

I say, bring back the TV program "Macgyver" and keep the series "Stargate SG1" going. AtLeast these programs give Engineers good face time with the public and portray the field of engineering as exciting and important (which it certainly is). They are not exactly accurate, but that is not really the issue.

The slow dumbing-down of the title "Engineer" is not good and is causing damage to our profession. I say if you cannot solve an engineering problem in either your own field of expertise or one similar - for example anything electrical INCLUDING basic mechanical for Electrical Engineers, and the opposite for Mechanical Engineers, then you are NOT a real Engineer and should NOT have the title. Bonus points if you can do it in a Macgyver-like way (And no, just throwing money at a problem until it works is not solving it!).

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 12:23 AM

Engineers who are these animals? when did they exist? as long as Microsoft and networks are alive who needs engineering when networking and software can fetch disposable $income we dont even advice people to become engineers and is forbidden word.

crm

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#3
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 12:29 AM

No emoticons present, I will assume this is sarcasm.

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#7
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 3:53 AM

Yes very much a fact of life atleast in India

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#5
In reply to #1

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 1:17 AM

I believe the US would rather import educated people than actually educate them. There is a long history of the US importing talent such as Einstein. I do believe it's possible to get a good education in the USA but the parents of the children really need to be aggressive in keeping the children on the right track. What incentive is there for someone thinking about becoming an engineer when politicians can easily import educated people with H1-Visas. If the H1-Visas don't work, the companies move out of the country or co-locate. The only positions that are not outsourced in the US are politicians, CEOs, lawyers, and in many cases Medical Doctors. I'm sure there are many more but in general, these professions are what America is interested in keeping 'in the country'.

I believe the baby boomer generation is the dominant political force in the US and it's selling out on the younger US population. They are single handedly allowing illegal immigration, marketing jobs that are not designed for US workers -- only to be outsourced to workers outside the US, and simply moving work to other countries.

In many respects I fear that the intellectual force that the US has had over the world in the last 50 years is going to wane and other countries could become the dominant in intellectual and possibly military strength.

I guess time will tell.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 1:32 AM

In many respects I fear that the intellectual force that the US has had over the world in the last 50 years is going to wane and other countries could become the dominant in intellectual and possibly military strength.

You are more correct than you may think (and it is not just China that is catching up or has surpassed America in areas such as manufacturing (including advanced technology mfg), research, and labour). We do so well down here because we are able to offer quality solutions and service, and most of it is due to skilled engineers and trades people. I cannot count how many times we have beaten a major company 3 orders of magnitude larger (or more) because we can do what they cannot (or will not). Still, we face the same problems (they just are not as large as Americas).

We can (and have) adapted to not being the biggest fish in the pond the question is, when the time comes, can America.

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#21
In reply to #6

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 12:00 PM

Agreed, and by the way, all one has to do is look at where the major engineering feats are being accomplished. Few if any are in the US or done by US trained engineers. If possible, would someone please send me a reference to a list of recent (last 7-8 years) US Engineering feats outside of computer software or computer manufacturing breakthroughs. Most of them are subsequently sold of to other counties where the labor costs are cheaper.

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#68
In reply to #21

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/25/2007 11:40 AM

Give us back our engineers, and doctors!!

It may not be your engineers, but it is your money, and will, that makes the accomplishments possible. It is the combined effort that makes the difference. Your engineers have been involved in most of all the major breakthroughs, however, in the global village, most great breakthroughs are a team effort.

To feed your pride by trying to take all the credit is not only arrogant, but destructive in world relations.

The biggest accomplishments can arguably be the ones you are discounting (computer technology). see:

http://www.greatachievements.org/

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#69
In reply to #21

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/25/2007 12:37 PM

"would someone please send me a reference to a list of recent (last 7-8 years) US Engineering feats outside of computer software or computer manufacturing breakthroughs."

How about this one: First production hybrid SUV, gasoline/electric powered vehicle. Ford Escape Hybrid by Ford Motor Company, Detroit, Michigan. Year: 2004

Please note, something doesn't have to be totally new technology to be an Engineering Accomplishment. You just have to be first.

How about the first privately funded manned, reusable craft to go outside the atmosphere (100km altitude) and repeat the feat in a short period of time? SpaceShipOne, built by Mojave Aerospace Ventures of California won the Ansari X Prize. Year: 2004

I am sure we can come up with a few more.

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#96
In reply to #21

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 10:40 PM

No reference list but just a few that come to mind...

Look into the current state of cryogenic engineering, high power magnets, superconductivity, superfluidity and particle physics.

Of course, the U.S. is not the only country working in these areas, but many new ideas and devices are being produced both privately and in Universities.

Los Alamos National Labratory has recently announced that after ten years of work, the world's most powerful non-destructive magnet has been built. It has already achieved 87.8 Tesla and is expected to reach 100 Tesla. NHMFL has received an $11.7 million National Science Foundation grant to build an innovative, next-generation hybrid resistive/superconducting magnet that will potentially revolutionize a technique used to learn more about little-understood molecules.
Carnegie Mellon University's Yoed Rabin is leading an interdisciplinary research team in developing a new computerized reserach tool to assist surgeons in planning cryosurgery. The new software will recommend the nest number and placement for the cryoprobes used in cryosurgery, provide surgeons with three-dimensional images of simulated cryosurgeries and train cryosurgeons.
A team of US scientists led by Petar Maksimovic, Assistant Professor of Physics at Johns Hopkins University, has discovered two new subatomic particles. The rare particles are important relatives of the proton and neutron and are members of the baryonic family. On Oct. 16, researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia announced they discovered a new superheavy element: element 118.The element is expected to be a noble gas positioned below radon on the periodic table. The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University marked a major scientific leap forward with the commissioning of the world-record 900 MHz magnet in July. This spectacularly precise magnet is expected to yield important discoveries in the fields of chemical and biomedical research.

The breakthroughs continue!

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#99
In reply to #96

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/27/2007 4:22 AM

merkelerk, Thats an interesting list, just scanning through it I can see people that we work with. We supply detectors to & collaborate on research projects with Los Alamos, Johns Hopkins, Lawrence Livermore and several other groups in the U.S. & worldwide. Not bad for a little company in the U.K.

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#23
In reply to #5

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 2:13 PM

Doctors get imported also, there is a huge demand for foreign doctors in US, and the government has gotten in trouble recently for giving Visas to doctors with highly dubious backgrounds. Politicians are lawyers without the education. You forgot corporate management and marketing/salespeople.

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#43
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/22/2007 3:34 AM

Import me, import me!

Really, I am dying to get out of this hole.

If I can finally get my degree next year, in two years I am moving to Canada (first option) or to the USA. I just hope my thesis tutors don't mess with me by fifth time. Man, you should never be a student's delegate at the career board, that only gives you troubles.

From what I know of being two years in that position, most countries have less engineers than what they need. In Latinamerica, only Uruguay and Argentina have an excess of professionals and that is seen on the lower salaries. These two countries share other similarities. The career takes about ten years (the five years thing is only on paper) and most of the students start to work as pros from the third year.

I am just guessing, but probably the gaucho nation has the more overtrained and experienced newly grads of the world.

Brazil and Mexico have blooming industries and so they are always hiring and pay well enough. Other more underdeveloped countries haven't got strong industries but they have so little people at the university that it is almost sure you will find a good job if you graduate.

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#67
In reply to #43

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/24/2007 6:25 PM

If your a mining engineer, come to Australia as we are in a critical shortage because of the mining boom. Especially in Western Australia. We just can't get any homegrown engineers.

See you soon.

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#22
In reply to #1

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 2:09 PM

Could just protect the title engineer, and require licensure. Much like the titel professional engineer, registered engineer, civil engineer are protected in US. Because of the licensure standards and ABET certification program, universities can not really dumb down programs like mechanical and civil engineering, though they could make a psuedo offshoot that has no standards. As far as recruitment, it is hard to recruit someone into a field when they could easily earn more money for less educational and working effort, say like getting an MBA and managing the engineers from some corporate headquarters in San Francisco or New York, rather than working in some proposed oil pipeline between Taft and Bakersfield. Plus there are so many other options for better pay, and unlike engineers there is no liability, a good example is the proliferation of urban planners. When there are jobs with no standards requiring the higher education, no liability, better working conditions and better pay, why do the engineering. You really should feel sorry for physicists and chemists, they have an even higher educational skill level, make less money, and typically get a high level of exposure to hazardous materials (except the teachers).

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#47
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/22/2007 4:51 AM

AAAAaaaaarrrrrrrggggghhh NO!

A certificate doesn't make an engineer!

I have found over the years that the more letters someone feels it is necessary to put after their name the less real expertise they have.

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#97
In reply to #22

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 10:46 PM

I will go out on a limb here and say that very few of us became engineers for the money.

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#100
In reply to #97

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/27/2007 4:31 AM

That's the truth. In the end it comes down to personal choices, I realise that the choices are often limited by circumstance but we are still largely masters of our own destiny.

I work for a small company in an area which has relatively low pay levels. I've had the opportunities to take up better paid jobs but decided to stay where I am. The end result is that I may not have the material gains that some others in the profession enjoy but I have a job that gives me pleasure every day, I live in a location that I love, my life is stress free & I have the time and opportunity to pursue those leisure activities that keep me happy. I may complain from time to time but I would not change my situation just for more money.

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#101
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/27/2007 4:37 AM

Very true, it's a wise man who knows when he's happy.

I cut down to a 3 day week and I've ever regretted it for a pico second.

I don't get much more done over a 4 day weekend...but I have the time to enjoy doing it! (I don't get much less done at work either!)

Quality of life.

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#42
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/22/2007 3:11 AM

I chose mechanical engineering as a profession because of MacGyver. I know he was supposed to be chemical engineer, but most of what he did was either electrical or mechanical.

I even have a Swiss Army knife. I would prefer a Leatherman or Gerber multitool, but they are impossible to find in Uruguay.

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#4

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 12:36 AM

In a market economy is not the price a function of supply and demand ? If engineers become scarce, then their price should go up. So if as you say; only 56% of the companies can find suitable engineers their rewards are bound to go up. From a purely accademic point of view, I find that the glamour of computers have robed the other engineering deciplines of the cream of new entrants to the profession. Here in India, even a mechanical or civil engineering student often tend to gravitate towads software after graduation!! All that theory of machines, thermodynamics, strength of materials, etc. aquired at the expence of so much effort (and money) is trashed in about a year or less. I do hope it is a passing phase.

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#8
In reply to #4

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 4:43 AM

You are right, Yanthram... I'm an electronic circuit designer (hardware) and I have observed (in my proffecional field) that the last 10 years (or so) the majority of the new electronic engineers are occupied with software rather than hardware... This makes sense (in my field) for two reasons: First, the always increased complication of the circuits and systems (more and more functions in a smaller and smaller space) leads to the unavoidable implementation of the vast majority of the functions inside microprocessors via software... (The FPGA designers could be considered as hardware or software as they implement digital circuits inside a "universal" chip via an appropriate software)... So, the companies, nowadays, need more software engineers than at the past... Also, the increased demands in the telecom field for new services (i.e. fast Internet) require more software engineers... Second, the new engineers prefer the occupation with computers and software because it's a more "clean" job... Hardware requires lab work (or field work) and they have to "muck" their hands... Also, requires to know the handling of special equipment, knowledge of circuits and components and experimentation... For all these they prefer the "clean" work on their offices and P.C.s, doing software... Or, more often, they prefer the "marketing and sales" occupation as this is more profitable...

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#10
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 5:33 AM

Yes i agree a simple quistion there should be joker to meet the power and airconditioning demands of all the highteck tasks you have elebarated the very animal who was comming up with these required skills to meet the demand is being snuffed out.simple when AC fails in any Datacom center entire dumb gang of Software engineers will be having paid holyday at whose cost till the AC problem is sorted out.

crm

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#24
In reply to #4

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 2:18 PM

Also depends on what the economy can bear. Plus in a socialized democracy, the voice of the horde is what sets the tempo. The US is suffering from a two party system of politicians who speak to the Hordes and serve the corporate executives. The main concern of the masses at this point is retirement and in-home health care (not so much medical professional care, more like LVN care).

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#9

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 5:14 AM

What happened to engineering apprentices? Companies used to train school leavers in the various engineering disciplines & were encouraged in this by getting grants and tax breaks. Many of our best engineers started as apprentices but I don't know of any company that still uses this system.

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#20
In reply to #9

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 11:09 AM

That is an excellent idea, engineering apprenticeship programs. Actually at some companies I have worked for in the Silicon Valley the companies hire student interns most of the time during the summer. More then likely after graduation the company will hire the interns on a permanent basis because they are already familiar with the company products and mode of operation.

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#11

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 5:54 AM

Having made the changes from marine to mechanical to HVAC to automotive to ....... over the years with all the subsiduary parts that go with these how do we maintain a profession and pass on the knowledge. Currently the hi-tech so called is blanking or blinding the long historical input that is neccessary as back up. In lots of cases the hi-tech will not fuction at all without the solid historical input or are we coming to the stage when someone calling themselves an engineer will want to know if there is any software to tighten nuts to bolts.

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#15
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 9:50 AM

I completely agree!

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#33
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 11:14 PM

I not only agree with you would rather go forward to say people will look for a software to tighten bolts and NUTTS would love to have software which will fetch $ for doing nothing thats what has happend just thinkink of pishing.Online frauds stealing your creditcard information to relive you of your hardearned bank deposits.Long live softwares and Microsoft.

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#19
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 10:28 AM

It isn't just engineers we are losing. Skilled trades of every description are retiring faster than new entry level workers are found and hired. I know a skilled machinist (European trained) who says his company only employs two such people. Both are within two years of retiring. When they go, the company may have to shut down because they do not have anyone with the requisite skills.

A recent question on CR4 concerning the comparative surface finish of ESD machining and surface grinding, highlights the problem. Anyone who had seen the finished result or seen the process at work, would know that answer. My impression is the question came from someone who only had textbook knowledge.

I once worked in an R&D shop where the boss and the chief engineer had both worked in the same company that was now one of their best customers. The boss remarked that the new generation of design engineers at that company were making the same mistakes that he and his contemporaries had resolved some twenty years previous. Evidently the corporate memory of past successful solutions was not there. Those who possessed the requisite knowledge had either died, retired, or moved on to greener pastures.

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#118
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/28/2007 8:19 AM

Are engineers a dying breed?

No, I don't think so. However, perceptions over what constitutes a good business model have changed in recent years. Today, many businesses, especially the university high-tech spin-out companies see the development of a commercial product as almost an incidental by-product. Many of these companies are primarily intended to be "speculative vehicles" intended to attract outside investors. While the company technology is still in development, there is always the promise of riches untold – once the product development team have done their stuff, then cold reality takes over.

Ideally, so it seems, sell the start-up company before too many "technical issues" start coming home to roost from the initial sales. Thus, you have one reason why start-ups tend not to employ "real engineers" on respectable salaries.

If you work or have worked in a long established company manufacturing well engineered products then of course it seems a tad baffling as to why many engineers now seem to be living and working in a slightly strange world where they are massively undervalued and unappreciated.

Times have moved on, there is no longer a captive market (empire) for our manufactured goods. However, on a brighter note, it is surprising how many highly skilled small businesses, often 2 or 3 man bands are out there, struggling financially, but doing the stuff we all enjoy.

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#45
In reply to #11

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/22/2007 4:40 AM

are we coming to the stage when someone calling themselves an engineer will want to know if there is any software to tighten nuts to bolts.

Nice one...soooo true.

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#12

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 7:30 AM

ENGINEERING THAT AGE OLD PURSUIT OF PERFECTION A COMPLETELY FRUITLESS TASK RELATED MAINLY TOWARDS MONETARY GAINS.

WE SHOULD START TO REALISE THAT PERFECTION DOESN'T EVEN EXIST IN NATURE AND THAT MEN AND WOMEN ARE MEN AND WOMEN AND NOT THE ROBOTS THAT ENGINEERING IS TRYING TO TURN MOST OF US INTO.

IT SELLS TABLETS AND POTIONS CAUSED BY THE STRESSES AND STRAINS AND COMPLETELY UNECCESSARY WORRYING.

UNIVERSITIES OF LIFE IS WHAT WE NEED AND NOT SOME UNIVERSITY CHURNING OUT THE ROBOTS THAT ARE HELPING TO EAT AWAY AT OUR BEAUTIFUL PLANET FASTER THAN IT CAN REPAIR ITSELF.

AS WOODY GUTHRIE SANG FIRST "THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND THIS LAND IS MY LAND SINGING THIS LAND WAS MADE FOR YOU AND ME"

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#13
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 9:00 AM

To our unidentified guest,

Exactly what "land' is it you are living in? Who is it that designed and built the bicycle you obviously ride as it's clear you would not use an auto. Do you use a toilet? How did that get built and what happens when you flush it?

Equally clear is how little time you have spent reading the commentary here. If so you would find a community of intelligent, insightful individuals whose discourse ranges broadly from technical to social issues.

Please enjoy and learn here. If you have a differing opinion please express your point intelligently. You will not lack competent argument.

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#28
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 3:57 PM

Pepper,

You needn't bother with an idiot like that. They won't listen to you. Use of all capitals is indicative either of stupidity or a conscious desire to yell.

People like that will soon self-destruct and should best just be left alone. It is the quiet ones who sound more rational, but are not really when you analyze what they are truly saying, for whom you have to watch out. But then, they are not as likely to stumble in her and regurgitate on us. They are usually too wrapped up in their own blog! When they really get too big for their britches, you will usually find them in a court room, chasing ambulances, in Congress, or on Talk Radio.

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#14

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 9:02 AM

The real problem in the US is not a lack of engineers.

1.)It's a lack of cheap engineers. Corporations claim that they cannot fill the jobs, but ignore engineers that apply for the positions. Why? They have too much experience. I've seen Sr. Engineer positions advertised that require only 5-7 yr experience. This pushes anyone with 10+ out of the market. At the same time, they are asking congress to allow more foreign engineers to work here, since they will often work for less.

2.)It's a lack of engineers that formerly worked for competitors. We are expected to start today and be productive by this afternoon, with no ramp-up time allowed, either for the products or for the tools to design them.

3.)It's a lack of engineers willing to put up with the attitude of the employer. We are among the first to get laid off and the last to get promoted. We hit a career peak before our 30th birthday (See 1.) and often see new hires earning as much as experienced engineers. Often, we can forget about getting training to use newer design tools; it's cheaper to hire someone that has been taught to use them, even though he/she has not knowledge of the industry. (I know, this conflicts with 2.).

I love engineering, but cannot reccomend it to students for these reasons. No long ago, an engineer was considered a professional and treated as one. Now, we are treated as commodities. </End rant>

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 9:57 AM

Amen to the rant! Our culture has dropped to everyone trying to get the best deal, cheapest price, without understanding what they are really buying. For all the knowledge that is available in this world, there seems to be little wisdom in using it.

I don't exactly know the answer to this issue, other than to be an imformed buyer and seller of goods and services. Don't always try to take or offer the cheapest price. Make sure you understand both sides of the bargain or contract (trust, but verify). Try to live by the Golden Rule "do unto others as you want them to do to you". (No, not those other cynical versions "he who has the gold rules" or "do to others before they do to you"!!)

</end sermon>

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#17
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 10:07 AM

I certainly agree with your comment about prices. When we buy from suppliers offering the lowest price we seem to spend more time rejecting or making the parts work. We can pay a small amount more & get the parts that work as we want them to. You have to look at the big picture when assessing the value of anything.

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#18
In reply to #14

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 10:11 AM

Jack of All Trades put the problem rather well. And yes part of the problem is the lack of appreciation for real talent and in-depth education. All too often the North American consumer is willing to accept a lesser solution as long as its cheap.

We are losing the knowledge base possessed by the Baby Boomer generation. I'm one of them (born in 1948) and know from personal experience that me and my generation is not being replaced by people trained to an equal level of technical expertise. Younger people in particular consider me obsessive in my attention to detail. Why bother? they ask. Who cares, since the lesser solution is "good enough". At least until a catastrophic failure highlights why.

Real engineering talent cannot be acquired solely in the class room from text books. It takes hard won experience to make that difference.

On the subject of software, try talking to an old timer who learnt programming with COBAL or FORTRAN and who remember the huge gains when 8 bit machines became the norm.

Now there was a group of programmers who knew how to write tight code. Compare that to the code bloat so prevalent in the latest windows based programs.

BTW; MCGyver and SG1 shows are both Canadian in origin, filmed in the Vancouver area. Sadly as is the case with so many things, market forces dictated that the show be produced to make it look American in origin. But the innovative talent behind the scenes was Canadian.

No doubt NZ and Oz are doing so well precisely because they are not american and thus less exposed to the creeping blight permeating American society. In my own design work I find myself specifying New Zealand, Australian and European products in preference to American products because these demonstrate more innovation and better engineering.

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#26
In reply to #18

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 2:54 PM

i think we are not losing the skills of the baby boomer generation so much as evolving and modernizing. In the US the baby boomers frequently drive the change in our society now. One of the biggest problems discussed in the 90's was the turn over of older gneration workers who had not adapted to the newer technologies, for younger who had. This was of course a time when progress was favored, because Baby boomers were investing and wanted fast returns on investments. Now they are retiring and want stable long term investments to pay for retirement, and there has been a big drive to rehire the older "experienced" workers, foregoing modern progress, because it is expensive to obtain an accurate solution when an older pre-computer age estimation that worked in the 1970's is so frequently an acceptable solution, since no one but an engineer or scientist could rationally question the results. A good example of this is the explosion of water and stormwater simulations utilized up until the early 2000's, and the fall off of their use in preference of the Rational method, because of cost and a perceive lack of need for accuracy.

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#27
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 3:40 PM

GUEST wrote:i think we are not losing the skills of the baby boomer generation so much as evolving and modernizing.

REPLY - that depends very much on what field you are describing. Any field which involves physical objects, equipment and hand-on processes is suffering because the late comers do not have the requisite skills and background. Computer simulations are only as good as the assumptions driving the programming. When the programmer lack the imagination to envision something the simulation does not include it.

Other posts have described the aversion by most younger students to get their hands dirty. This relates directly to getting real world experience. The only people willing to get their hands dirty lack the higher level education to make the best of the situation. And with the downward pressure on salary fewer and fewer qualified candidates are available.

Sometimes moving to newer technology is not progress.

elnav

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#41
In reply to #18

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/21/2007 8:00 PM

He He Ha Ha.

Had to laugh as about 1/3 of the engineers who work at the mine that I do are Canadian. Sorry USA but the only things that I have that are American Made are A Mag Light (Actually 6 Mag Lights), Estwing geo-pick, Bunton Compass and a Leatherman Multitool.

Well done Canada on SG-1. Be over there soon for a Visit.

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#34
In reply to #14

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 11:30 PM

i am not prepared to Belive There is lack of cheap engineers in US! if thats the sean then if any body to be blamed its the Big Generals GE,GM, who came out with Grand Idea SIXSIGMA and glorified it &all others Carporate Geients who adapted SIXSIGMA as a way of life.God knows how many Creative Young Real AMERICAN engineers were left behind or discarded.And how many recived Pinkslips because they couldnt get certified as greenbelts or Blackbelts.i am very keen to Know How many Certified Blackbelts are really contributing to their respective engineering fields once there Blackbelt term is over.

crm

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#46
In reply to #14

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/22/2007 4:47 AM

You are right...

Someone earlier mantioned supply and demand...but it doesn't work in a system where wages are set by accountants, managers and HR people who have no idea about engineering and want to run companies that don't actually produce anything anyway.

Example, my big Sis used to work in Higher Education. When she first started the ratio of lecturers to admin staff was about 5:1 when she left it was 1:5.

Managers and accountants will always pay themselves more, empire build and never fire themselves. (they will also always blame their lazy inefficent money grabbing workforce for any failures, rather than themselves) In the extremely unlikely event that they do get 'moved on' it will be with a full earnings related pension and a golden handshke.

Cynical Moi?

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#25

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 2:43 PM

Yea company don't want to pay the price. They figure any Joe can make drawings. They don't know why engineer spend so much time to design something but they want it to be cheap, working and take no time to design. Oh by the way can you change that, add this, get rid of that and that should be all the changes, for today.

Some boss want dumb engineer, don't ask any question just do it. They don't want to know how it can be improved. I guess part of the problem is engineer always point out all the problems and the boss don't like that.

Engineer don't get much respect now. With companies cutting cost and engineers don't make immediate profit for the company, they're the first to go.

We need company that have a long term vision for employer.

Pineapple

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#29

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 4:17 PM

Are engineers a dying breed? I don't think so. That implies an ultimate extinction, which I believe cannot or will not ever happen.

Are fewer young people going into the profession. Yes, of course! If you have been following Engineering education at all (and I have been for over 30 years now) you know that this stuff is very cyclical. Manufacturing and/or Construction is down, Engineers get laid off. Engineers get laid off, more competition for existing jobs. More competition for existing jobs, salaries (on average) go down, or simply do not rise as quickly as inflation, and fewer jobs are available for new graduates. Fewer jobs available for new graduates and salaries not keeping up, guidance counselors and parents steer young people away from Engineering. Young people get steered away from Engineering, fewer young people enter Engineering. Fewer young people enter engineering, more opportunities for older engineers who were laid off in the first place. When other factors in the economy coincide, demand for manufactured goods and/or construction picks up, demand for engineers and engineering salaries pick up, more jobs with higher pay become available, more parents and guidance counselors steer kids into Engineering, more of them enter the workplace, get jobs and experience, and pretty soon, BOOM, the bubble bursts again, and the whole cycle starts over.

Some people believe Global Warming works similarly! <grin>

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#30

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 4:46 PM

I'm a mechanical engineer in Portugal, and I suppose that:

1)engineers will always be needed

2)engineers are a commodity, paid to do a job. after that they're supposed to move on

3)nowadays, engineers need to scratch their living, on their own

4)there are Ages for each type of engineers. Mechanical engineering's Golden Age ended by 1900.

5)specialization is bad if you're young, good if you're old and have a small market to explore on your own (if not you'll be considered only as garbage)

6)most employers are completely unware of what are their needs. But they know one thing: it has to be the cheapest and it must be working by yesterday

7)Social relationships are the keystone for any type of engineer. How else would we be distincted from the likes of us? know people and you'll be knowned

8)Technical schools are needed! but what for, if it's cheaper to buy from China than to create/develop in our own country?

9)Politicians, the ones who should care about economic growth and a country's strong industrial tissue, are the ones who care less.

10)It's better to be a bartender than an engineer. You'll get more pay and get laid more often. Unless you're a (good) sales engineer.

11)And finaly, what are we supposed to do about it? Open a bar, same as 10) or 3)

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 5:06 PM

I like that idea! Open a bar! I have the best name, too,

"Murphy's Pub: Where Murphy's Law can be bent, but not broken!"

So when engineers are successful and happy, they can come and we'll toast their success.

When Murphy zaps them, they can come and we'll all drown our sorrows together!

The bar napkins will all have light blue quad-rule lines on them and the coasters will be stamped out with gear-teeth around the edges and a pencil sized hole in the center.

The bar-maids will be equipped with anti-gravity brassieres (we'll import a few Hooters girls)

Every Beer glass will be equipped with an temp sensitive LCD thermometer, and all ice-cubes will be produced with our signature inverted icicle.

Instead of Big Screen TV's with sports, they will either be on the Sci-Fi channel, the Discovery Channel, on National Geographic Channel (OK, we will put on the History Channel when they show Modern Marvels or Wild West Tech!)

Instead of bar tables with Pac-Man and Galaga under glass tops (OK, we'll have a few of those, too!) we'll have Internet PC's which have CR-4 as the Home Page!

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#35
In reply to #31

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 11:57 PM

My dear STL

When and where are you opening the Bar of yours!

CRM

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#49
In reply to #35

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/23/2007 8:39 AM

"When and where are you opening the Bar of yours!"

Well it would have to be somewhere between the new Busch Stadium and the Gateway Arch, hopefully, right above a MetroLink station!.

As to when, probably when I hit the jackpot on the lottery!

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#51
In reply to #49

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/23/2007 9:02 AM

if you're relying on the lottery you need the luck of this guy.

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#125
In reply to #31

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/31/2007 11:14 PM

I like that too, when will be the opening? keep me posted.. or I may suggest that in the center floor is a churning refrigerated platform simulating an oil rig.... a best place for an aging engineer like me simply just want to kill time, ..... am a sure costumer.. just kidding..

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#32
In reply to #30

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/20/2007 5:09 PM

Bar code 506 wrote: 8)Technical schools are needed! but what for, if it's cheaper to buy from China than to create/develop in our own country?

REPLY

Having worked with several Asian educated professional people, I have been told by them that the educational system over there is not conducive to teaching would be engineers to think outside the box and be innovative and creative.

The western world education system is still the better venue to teach that kind of thinking. That is why we still need technical schools.

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#37
In reply to #32

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/21/2007 12:04 PM

In my modest opinion, the USA continues to be the best supplier of Integrated Circuits, boards and scientific and lab instruments.

I do designs of special DSP boards including mixed A/D circuits, FPGAs, microwave "logic" ICs and the like for several clients and I make sure that all components can be bough exclusively from US manufacturers, as Xilinx, Analog Devices, Micron, etc., then I just e-mail the part lists to my clients and they do almost all purchases.

For example the best distributor of ICs in the world is Digi-Key, located in Thief River Falls, MN, because the information they supply on-line is so good, so complete, and navigating through their giant site is so easy going, that I enjoy working long hours all night connected to their web site, even changing the design just to fit the available stocks from that company. Nothing like this can be found in Europe or Asia, even more, I hate buying in Europe, and specially I hate doing that in France, the worst supplier in the world.

I want to say that at least, for an electronic designer as me, USA has no competitors in the world.

You worry about China, Ok, good for you if you worry, but don't have nightmares, the Chinese are very poor on providing information, as data sheets for example, they provide poor application notes or no application notes at all, and they sell only for large production runs of older chips, from the 90's and even 80's.

One of the advantages of the US mentality is that you are "tinker entrepreneurs", you experiment in the garage, and that is impossible in France, China, Germany, Japan, etc, the only garage tinker experimenters live in Anglo Saxon countries like the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and may be in UK or Ireland, so this is an exclusive advantage of your Anglo Saxon culture.

So please don't decay, because the example you have legated to the world is extremely valuable. In Chile we have learned a lot from you, but still we have to learn a lot more from you, in special the need to empower small enterprise spirit to avoid collectivization.

The legacy of Silicon Valley and other US alleys is still an insurmountable challenge and inspiration to the world, the "garage" spirit, the personal initiative to undertake risk, most of this qualities are still an exclusive characteristic of you US citizens, so please again, do not decay, your leadership has no substitutes, remember that:

1 China is still a dictatorship, with many political prisoners.

2 India has 160 million Pariahs, persons that may be abused or killed without any practical consequences, as it was in the Soviet Union during Stalin's rule and its GULAG forced labor camps.

3 Japan is still a fascist nation, where racism and discrimination is still rampant

One thing that may be done to rescue lost "may be" entrepreneurs in the USA would be to empower you banking system and stimulate and or obligate banks to increase their willing to take risk, otherwise we should arrive to the conclusion that they are becoming cowards.

I guess USA should empower a new wave of venture capital in the 50 states to support a new generation of entrepreneurs. Te best and only way to compete with China is converting our countries in free entrepreneur nations, and this should be educated from primary school.

Sincerely

Jaime Soto Figueroa

http://www.matharts.cl/

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#38
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/21/2007 4:44 PM

I do designs of special DSP boards including mixed A/D circuits, FPGAs, microwave "logic" ICs and the like for several clients ------------------------------------

You worry about China, Ok, good for you if you worry, but don't have nightmares, the Chinese are very poor on providing information, as data sheets for example, they provide poor application notes or no application notes at all,

------------------------------

I agree with you about the design and innovation in electronics aspect of the US of A but I have worked for a firm that designed here, but shifted manufacturing to China. One company was high tech electronics the other was a specialixed custom yacht builder. I wouldn't classify it as a nightmare, but it definitely is cause for concern. Once the manufacturing infra-structure has been eradicated from a country, how do you get it back if you need it later on. Its too late.! And with manufacturing gone, how many engineers will find employment domestically. Not many.

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/21/2007 6:02 PM

Yes, this time is evident that you are right; you have reasons to lose sleep:

On revising several recent part lists I have found that even when companies in the USA developed all the parts, they were not necessarily manufactured in the USA.

After consulting this morning, one client told me that even when Chile has a Free Trade Agreement FTA with the USA, and all parts were developed in the USA and also bought to US vendors and dealers, the airport customs officers here ordered them to open all boxes, and then they ask them to classify all antistatic bags tubes and trays over a long long long table, and the officers took the time to examine the country of manufacturing and to enter the data with a reader to a form in a small computer, and an they found that an important percent of the items were actually manufactured in China, South Chorea, Japan, Malaysia, and the like, so the FTA didn't have the expected effect.

In my opinion custom officers are unfair, because all items were developed in the USA and also bought in the USA anyway, but they have the legal power to order opening all boxes.

I wonder if the US government worries about the fact that without a manufacturing infrastructure, the USA may loose the economic competition and even worse, a war against its potential enemies. This tendency may accelerate very fast, and if this is occurring as I suddenly realize, then the USA will be in high risk in just a few years, and the so venerated homeland security may vanish instantly upon trespassing the dependency threshold.

It would be interesting to call the opinion of experts, like the directors of major venture capital investors, like Draper Fisher Jurvetson – (Premier Early Stage Venture Capital), see them at

http://www.dfj.com/

They are very communicative, and I think that major TV channels like CNN should interview them extensively, the theme is critical, they deserve to be heard.

Sincerely

Jaime Soto Figueroa

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#40
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/21/2007 6:32 PM

Quote: I wonder if the US government worries about the fact that without a manufacturing infrastructure, the USA may loose the economic competition and even worse, a war against its potential enemies. This tendency may accelerate very fast, and if this is occurring as I suddenly realize, then the USA will be in high risk in just a few years:

REPLY: Evidently they have forgotten the lesson of Dec 07 194 - Pearl Harbor. The wounded often joked about being hit by a recycled rusty Chevy or Ford. For almost ten years before WW2 Japan was buying up as much scrap metal as it could from the USA.

Yamamoto had it right about awakening a sleeping giant. Unfortunately the next time the sleeping giant will discover the mice have emptied the factory store house and removed the factory as well.

You don't have to look very far to identify strategic materials. Every vehicle in the country uses a lead acid battery; so do many, many other electronic products used by the US government and militay. However the environmentalist movement has suceeded in shutting down all but half a dozen battery factories for environmental protection reasons.

Try and buy scrap lead for a home built boat keel. Not to be found! All scrap lead is being bought up by China. So where will the US military find replacement batteries for all their engines if hostilities renew? Where are the necessary factories needed to make the hundred of thousands more that wil be needed? Already the balance of import versus domestic manufacture has shifted drastically.

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#44
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/22/2007 3:46 AM

9)Politicians, the ones who should care about economic growth and a country's strong industrial tissue, are the ones who care less.

You are so right! Last week I had a meeting with congressman Luis Lacalle Pou. Previously I had written at his website to explain why biodiesel isn't a good line of development in Uruguay (because the required ethanol either imported or national makes it more expensive than ordinary gasoil) and also explaining a plan to boost the number of industries in poorer areas. I was very excited about the meeting but when I came in to his office he only asked me to explain him "that hybrid cars thing", because somewhere I said a little something about encouraging the imports of hybrid cars. He didn't even mention anything about industry.

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#36

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/21/2007 1:15 AM

We should feel proud of being Engineer. Once you know the dignity of the word you will do justice for it. This cannot be a dying breed.

In new changinging scenarioes of Energy and Nano & Biotechnology Engineers will be playing major role in reshaping Earth.

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#48

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/23/2007 8:18 AM

Ok just a short rant.

How many of you in here have created a way for your company to run a job that has been sold by a sales person that has no clue how the equipment operates.

After the job runs fantastic and the customer comes back again and again, how many of you got the recognition for making it happen.

Now look ahead 2 years, the same reoccuring job is still running in the plant and the company and the salesperson are making money hand over fist from this customer. How many of you get any monetary gain from the residuals of your expertise in gaining this valuable customer.

BTW my last raise was less than the cost of living increase in the state of Oklahoma.

<end rant>

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#50
In reply to #48

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/23/2007 9:00 AM

You got a raise? I have been with this company almost 2 years and have had NO raise. I asked another engineer who started about the same time as I did if he had received any raise and he just laughed and shook his head!

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#52
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/23/2007 9:13 AM

I got a good raise last year but it was only because we had to employ another designer to work for me & all of the applicants that were any good were already getting paid more than me. We had to pay the new man the going rate then my salary had to get bumped up so that I was getting slightly more than him.

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#53
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/23/2007 9:44 AM

Excellent post.

A while back we had problems with an injection molded part, I designed a folded sheet stainless steel part (off my own back, without being asked) but the boss didn't want to pay the £250 tooling !!!

I offered to pay for it in exchange for a small royalty on every part....

No such luck...they paid for the tooling

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#54
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/23/2007 10:39 AM

Just curious, which part (plastic or stainless) had the higher true manufacturing cost (materials + labor + variable overhead)?

What were those costs?

What is the annual production or total production if for a one-time contract?

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#55
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Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/23/2007 10:55 AM

The folded stainless part was more expensive....but it worked!

The plastic part was one bit of an assembly which was causing problems...

It was a plastic carrier plus two pins two rollers and two springs...this was a spring loaded roller assy' in a peristaltic pump.

My design had fixed rollers with no springs. When used with a thicker walled tube this gave a better pump rate, better reliability and longer tube life.

It was the only effective way of doing a quick cheap re-design to solve the problem of poor pump rate and tube life when pumping a viscous product.

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#56
In reply to #54

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/23/2007 11:04 AM

Production has virtually gone over to the steel part now, it is used on virtually all our products.... probably 1k parts per week.

The labour costs are similar...

A royalty of 1 penny a part would have had me nicely in profit by now...

The key element was the time for the development and the very cheap tooling compared to a injection molding tool.

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#57
In reply to #56

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/23/2007 12:07 PM

Of course... in line with the thread...

Did I get a bonus?

Is my Boss on a profit share, bonus etc?

You guessed..... NO and YES respectively.

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#58
In reply to #57

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/23/2007 12:11 PM

I'm reading between the lines here but do I detect a trace of bitterness?

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#59
In reply to #58

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/23/2007 12:21 PM

Nope,

Just a healthy dose of cynicism.... read my bio'

Please note I'm employed as and Electronics Design Eng, so the mechanical stuff is over and above 'just doing my job'... so maybe a little recogition would help.

I've found that in team building this is very true. I bet we've all learned as Engineers.. 'you have to blow your own trumpet 'cos no body else will'

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#60
In reply to #58

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/23/2007 12:43 PM

I'm reading between the lines here but do I detect a trace of bitterness?

If so, Del seems to have a right to be bitter, although It does no good.

Several times after checking back with friends I made at previous companies where I was laid off, or downsized, etc. I found that my legacy of good design pervaded the company. At one company, I invented a machine to make an acute angle bend in a sheet metal part with a single stroke that had previously required a two-step operation that resulted in defective parts from cracking since the first step also work-hardened the parts. My friend told me that after I was let go, they began copying this design for dozens of other applications throughout the plant where similar problems existed.

Also, simpler is often better, but you have to think outside the box. Engineers at a medical equipment company where I had a "temp job" for two years needed an o-ring seal that had very low leak capability with low clamping force as well. Conventional solid rubber O-rings did not work, so we investigated various type of more complex lip and "V"-shaped seals, with and without metal spring reinforcement. Nothing seemed to give us the right combination. One day I was absent-mindedly "playing" with a small piece of silicone rubber surgical tubing and noticed how easily it deformed when pressed between my fingers. Thinking about what might happen if I trapped air in the tube by sealing two ends of a short piece, I tried it and got a nice, tiny, pneumatic "cushion". Remembering that some O-rings are fabricated by using rubber extrusions and joining the ends together, I grabbed some silicone rubber adhesive (RTV) and, with a crude fixture to hold the ends together after applying it, I was able to produce some "hollow o-rings" of the correct size, which worked perfectly in the application.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, after some more experimentation with the equipment, the engineer in charge of its design decided that with a small change in the mating parts and a large change in calibration, the seal could be eliminated, as he found an acceptable leak rate! Even better, I thought, since I had already done what was asked of me and received my kudos for a good job.

However, despite this and other accomplishments, when a "permanent position" opened up, to which I applied, I was told that it required knowing a certain CAD system which I did not. Now, all the other engineers there who used this CAD system were originally put through training on it by the company. When I asked whether I couldn't get the same training, I was told that company policy did not allow them to pay for training of "temps". Catch-22! They proceeded to hire a CAD expert from the CAD company, but who then had to be led by the hand by myself and other engineers on the design team for months to come up to speed and even after that was a contentious sort, who was not a team player, but had to have things "his way". Then I was let go when the project was completed and he moved on within the company to other projects.

Do I sound bitter? I hope so!

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#61
In reply to #60

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/23/2007 4:55 PM

Well after all that, All I can say is..........

At least I'm not alone

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#62

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/23/2007 5:49 PM

Heh, I was just ranting about this last night.

PE = 4 year degree, EIT test, 4 years Intern, PE test = 8 years

Lawyer = 4 year degree, 3 year law degree, BAR exam = 7 years

I think maybe we need a law that states that any politician who does not have a bachelors in poly-sci and 4 years of internship is not qualified for an elected office. See if that would fly.

I started in drafting 20 years ago. Since then I covered more than 4 years of school and am well beyond a 4 year intern. Heck, I occassionally find myself training the wanna be / EIT. Yet, I am not allowed to sit for the PE now because I don't have a degree. Will one of you lawyers please sue the state governments who make a 4 year degree a manditory requirement to sit for the PE. You either know what your doing or you don't. That's the purpose of the test!

At 8 years investment, you might want to consider the occupation of lawyer or even doctor. Probably by far less bull to deal with as well.

Dilbert is my HERO!

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#63
In reply to #62

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/24/2007 12:42 PM

I started in drafting 20 years ago. Since then I covered more than 4 years of school and am well beyond a 4 year intern. Heck, I occasionally find myself training the wanna be / EIT. Yet, I am not allowed to sit for the PE now because I don't have a degree.

20 years ago you made a choice, to enter the working world in a semi-professional (some say para-professional) position as a drafter. I don't know your circumstances, so I am not being critical, just realistic. Many people continue studying towards an engineering degree at night. Many who do not have that opportunity put their career on hold and go back to school to finish, just as those who go straight through engineering school must delay the start of their career and fore-go earnings. The bottom line is there is sacrifice involved.

I myself hit a few bumps along the way and took a bit longer to finish my engineering degree than others. A short stint of enlisted active duty in the Air Force convinced me to go back and finish my degree while I continued Air Force Reserve duties part-time over one hundred miles away (weekends I did NOT spend partying in college).

I actually had well over the required number of credit hours when I finished my degree, so saying you had over 4 years of school does not necessarily mean that it is equivalent to an engineering degree.

Yes, I am sure you have helped train "wanna be / EIT " engineers. But that is the nature of business. The more experienced help the inexperienced, sometimes to their detriment. I basically taught a Chemical Engineering student how to design and sketch tooling so that a machine shop could make parts for him, then when office politics (I got a new boss) led to my being let go, I came back the next week to clean out my desk and found they had hired him to take my position. In reality, I was fired so my new boss could make points with the Plant Manager by hiring this guy.

25 years ago I also made a choice. Although I was qualified to take the EIT and later the PE, I did not need to have the EIT or PE for the job I got, or for any of the succeeding engineering jobs in manufacturing. My Dad, an ME and registered PE, said he never needed his PE and thought it was pointless. However, I look back now and see that perhaps having those two letters behind my name might have opened up opportunities that I never got. Am I bitter? No, it was a choice I made.

"Dilbert is my HERO!"

Dilbert DOES have an engineering degree which, according to one source, he obtained at M.I.T. Interestingly, Dilbert's creator, Scot Adams, worked as an engineer, but never got an engineering degree, having a BS degree in economics and an MBA.

By the way, Dilbert is also a Ham Radio operator!

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#70
In reply to #63

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/25/2007 1:38 PM

Hi again, sorry for the delayed response, but work comes first. :)

I'm aware of the sacrifice. I too commuted 90 miles 5 days a week, spending 4 hours each night in the class room and 8 hours a day as a transmission mechanic trying to pay for school. I did not however have the opportunity to finish. I later spent 50-60 hours a week working in a machine shop while taking night classes part time for 4 more years. All said and done, I had choices to make just like you. But that's the point we had a choice. Now you can choose to take the test, but I can not make that same choice.

Discrimination comes in many forms,,, race, religion, gender, financial status, geographic location, and even education. To test someone on their ability in order to determine their qualification is one thing. Licensing is necessary to protect others in our society. But to demand that a tuition be payed to a certain college for knowledge that you already posses, is nothing short of extortion.

If were to manufacture a product (regardless of whether that product were considered to be a necessity) and asked a price of $100 from anyone who did not have a degree while charging $200 from anyone with a degree, I would be breaking Federal anti-trust laws. The same applies for the PE test. You can not offer this test to the public for a given fee and then deny "some citizens" the opportunity to take the test. This especially applies when this licensing affects their ability to work and support their families.

As another example, you can get a driving permit where I live at 15 years of age, take a course and get a "blue slip", then take the test for your license at 16 years of age. Again, this licensing is necessary since it affects the general welfare of others. If you do not take the drivers training, you can still take the test at 18 years of age. After 18, you can not legally be denied the right to take the driving test, unless of course you have shown yourself to be dangerous to others and have had your license revoked.

I recently spoke to a PE in civil engineering in another state (not my discipline). He has 4 "techs" working for him. According to him, they do roughly 80-90% of the work. He just feeds them pipe sizes that the state has already speched out in their code. He pays them between $8-$12 per hour and bills the customer $45 for their time. Regardless of how much experience or knowledge they acquire, these techs will not be able to take the PE themselves unless they go to school and line the pockets of the "education mafia". Sacrifice also comes in different forms. Working years for just enough to get by is also sacrifice, more so than those who do party away their weekends at college while living off mommy and daddy.

You say you had to sacrifice, I believe you. I won't deny that. But please recognize that going to a 4 year university or taking night classes are not the only ways a person may make a sacrifice, nor are they the only ways a person may acquire the knowledge necessary to perform competently.

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#71
In reply to #70

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/25/2007 5:08 PM

I have no doubt that your experience has made you very good at what you do. I have had enough experience with "bootstrap" engineers to know that many do quite well that way. And I accept that you have made sacrifices in your life and career to get where you are. My only point is that others have made sacrifices also, as well as choices, and yes, perhaps their path was a bit easier by whatever circumstances, but I think, and you might or might not agree, that you could have made other choices, perhaps even greater sacrifices, to obtain the engineering degree. And you say that I can still take the test. Yes this is true. You can also still get an engineering degree. There is no (legal) age limit. But let us not argue about that.

I think where you might be missing the point is that you may be comparing apples to oranges. Experience is not education and education is not experience. Let me put it to you this way. As a medical technician in the Air Force, I had many opportunities if I had wished to continue on a medical career. Within my career specialty I could have progressed in training and experience to the point where I was equivalent to a civilian Licensed Practical Nurse. With some college credits under my belt, I could even have become a commissioned officer as a Registered Nurse, perhaps even obtaining a BS degree in some field related to my work. I could have even entered a training program with my experience to become a Nurse Practitioner, doing many of the things that a MD does in seeing and screening patients, even doing some diagnosis and prescribing a course of treatment (possibly even medication in some states, although I am not sure about that).

Now, I might just get a burr up my butt and say, hey look, I am doing everything those young MD's are doing! I am even training many of them. But will I ever get the respect I deserve and the title of Doctor, or earn the money they do? No way! Oh, but if you had your way, then by the same token, we could force the states to allow me to take the Medical Boards and if I passed I would earn a license to practice medicine!

How many people do you think would be lining up to be treated by a licensed Physician who simply passed an exam without having gone to medical school and obtaining an MD or at least a DO degree?

Would you like me to be your doctor, given these circumstances? Now answer truthfully, and not thinking back to your own situation!

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#87
In reply to #71

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 3:21 PM

Concerning medical, Doctors have to serve a residency to gain a minimum of 4 years experience. Ask any one of them and they will most likely tell that is were the real learning begins. I have a brother-in-law who was a combat medic in the army. If I needed surgery and had a choice between a medic with combat experience or a doctor fresh out of school or even residency, a medic in a nice tidy surgery room would be my first choice. So to answer your question, if someone can pass the medical boards (provided they also have the required lab experience), then yes, they deserve to be allowed to serve their residency.

You do NOT need to defend your degree, I'm not attacking "anyone with a degree". But to say that those without a degree can not think "outside of the box" is absurd. How do you think they became engineers to begin with? Through their ignorance and stupidity? A degree does not make you more intelligent than the next guy.

Education and Experience are not the same, experience provides both wisdom and knowledge while education simply provides knowledge. Education is very valuable in any civilized society most especially at a basic level. It bolsters those of lesser intelligence to a level where they can function with others in society. But their comes a point where it's no longer about knowledge and it's all about money. The primary purpose of any college is profit. To ensure demand and profit they need to be necessary, not just desirable. So they lobby the politicians to pass regulation on the most profitable professions first, and force up wages for those with degrees while oppressing those without. Abe Lincoln once said something to the effect of "you can not build up the weak by oppressing the strong, you can not build up the ignorant by oppressing those of intelligence, etc., etc., etc." This is precisely what our modern system of education seeks to do. Dilbert may have had an engineering degree, but Einstein did not. Nor did he have a physics degree. He was a high school math teacher who had previously been rejected entrance into an engineering school. After relativity, they issued him a degree (most likely to promote their institution). Now most schools teach the work an "unqualified" man. In today's world, Einstein would have died without notice. I'm not claiming to be the next Einstein, but you bet that he won't come from some college stamping out "cookie cutter" engineers.

All of which makes no difference and is a debate that does not hit on the real issue. Do you believe that corporations or institutions have the right to deny individual liberty for the purpose of financial gain?

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#90
In reply to #87

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 4:09 PM

Wow, you have said a mouthful! Let me see if I can answer you, in reverse order to make it interesting:

"Do you believe that corporations or institutions have the right to deny individual liberty for the purpose of financial gain?"

No, of course not. What individual liberty do you think that they have denied? If so, better alert the ACLU and/or a constitutional lawyer to protect your rights! I will bet that what you think is a guaranteed right, or individual liberty, is not. People think that just because they want something to be their way, and they are not happy about it, someone must have violated or denied their individual rights.

Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we have God-given rights (oops, I guess atheists are out of luck! <grin>), that among these are life (it cannot be taken away without just cause, such as a capital crime), liberty (freedom from incarceration, unless for just cause), and the pursuit of happiness. Please note, even Jefferson did not believe that Happiness is a right, but that being free to Pursue Happiness is a right.

Where in the Constitution or which one of the Bill of Rights or other Amendments do you think is being denied you by corporations who wish to hire degreed engineers or by licensing boards that require an accredited degree to apply for professional registration?

I will try to address your other points separately.

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#91
In reply to #87

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 4:31 PM

"The primary purpose of any college is profit. To ensure demand and profit they need to be necessary, not just desirable. So they lobby the politicians to pass regulation on the most profitable professions first, and force up wages for those with degrees while oppressing those without."

Boy are you cynical about higher education. I challenge you to find that purpose in the mission statement or any other document of any academic institution, other than those that are privately owned diploma mills that disguise job training as a "college" even awarding so-called Bachelors degrees. I know that you will not find that in an public land grant institutions, the one that make up the bulk of engineering graduates in the US, nor in the top private research oriented universities, CalTech, Stanford, MIT, etc.

Last time I checked, wages (salaries) for professionals was set by employers, not by politicians (unless you count those employed directly by governmental institutions, which must remain competitive with private industry or suffer the consequences). Funny that you say that regulations are passed on "the most profitable professions". Wow, I never knew that barbers made that much money, or land surveyors, etc. Yet these are highly regulated and licensed professions, just as law, medicine and engineering. Funny thing, most states exempt engineers working in Manufacturing or Mining from licensing, surely those are very profitable fields are they not? No, I am afraid that you have this one all wrong.

I know, you are seething and spitting venom as you read this, thinking that I am a lackey and apologist for "The Man". Hardly. I have been underpaid and underemployed most of my career primarily because my engineering degree is not well known, at least not as much as the "traditional" degrees, ME, CE, EE, etc. No one said our system is perfect, but the good thing about it is, if you and enough people think there is something wrong, you have the right to attempt, legally, to change it by several different methods of redress, including your right to vote, working with your legislative representatives, getting a referendum on the ballot (just requires your hard work to get enough signatures), influencing public opinion through your right of free speech and freedom of the press, redress through the court system, etc. If you feel so strongly about something, do something about it, don't just complain and moan that your individual rights are being denied!

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#92
In reply to #87

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 4:49 PM

"You do NOT need to defend your degree, I'm not attacking "anyone with a degree". But to say that those without a degree can not think "outside of the box" is absurd. How do you think they became engineers to begin with? Through their ignorance and stupidity? A degree does not make you more intelligent than the next guy."

Oh, I never thought you were attacking me personally, I am not that thin-skinned. But maybe you are, as I never said that "those without a degree can not think outside of the box". I did say, in my experience, that generally (and there are ALWAYS exceptions), university-trained engineers did a better job overall than those without the degree of coming up with innovative solutions.

It is also patently unfair to compare academia of today, especially in the US with that of Europe over 100 years ago when Einstein developed his theories while working as a patent examiner (Yes, I know a little about Einstein as well). Ironically you contradict yourself when you say "In today's world, Einstein would have died without notice." which, if I am reading your context right, would be because he lacked the academic credentials to be recognized today, right? Then you go on to say, "I'm not claiming to be the next Einstein, but you bet that he won't come from some college stamping out "cookie cutter" engineers.", in other words, you believe that the next (in today's world?) "Einstein" or genius engineer or physicist won't have academic credentials either, right? I assume that is what you meant by the reference to "cookie cutter" engineers. Hey, wait a minute! Whoa, maybe you ARE attacking my degree after all! <grin> Well which is it, an non-degreed "Einstein" would die without notice today, or the next "Einstein", whom by inference everyone WILL notice, won't have some "cookie cutter" engineering/physics academic degree? You can't have it BOTH WAYS!

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#93
In reply to #92

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 5:02 PM

Dang STL when you get wound up you can really lay out an arguement.

Bravo!!! Encore Encore!!

OK i know I'm stirring the pot here but this verbal debate is really becoming quite intriguing. As you said.

"I did say, in my experience, that generally (and there are ALWAYS exceptions), university-trained engineers did a better job overall than those without the degree of coming up with innovative solutions".

I gotta ask. Are you referring to experienced engineers that are not only degreed but have been in the field for many years (15 or more) or fresh cut college boys just starting out in the industrial world. <grin> Just curious mind you.

Oh and if you have some free time I have a design in my head for something that I would enjoy collaborating with you on. You will be required to have knowledge of motor vehicles and electronics. You game?

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#98
In reply to #92

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/27/2007 12:46 AM

LOL!!! now,,now,, "cookie". Don't let this "bootstrap" raise your blood-pressure,,,

*pause to laugh some more*

I'm just going to touch on a couple of points here:

I never said that "those without a degree can not think outside of the box".

No you did not. You said:

I have worked with many "bootstrap" engineers and found them quite competent in their jobs, but the problem often occurs that when a solution outside of their experience is required, they usually end up floundering quite a bit, whereas the degreed engineer sets about thinking outside the box and "does his homework" in finding non-obvious (but often very simple) solutions to complex problems.

Granted, this was a little farther down the page, but us illiterate types have to do a lot of reading to keep up.

The only thing inferred when mentioning Einstein was his level of intelligence, not fame.

Why is it acceptable for you to compare a medical license with a PE, but "unfair" for me to make reference to educational institutions from different time frames that function in similar fashion?

Now with the semantics game aside,,,, LIBERTY!

The declaration of independence is considered to be a historical document, not legally binding, but since you mentioned the pursuit of happiness...

http://www.answers.com/topic/pursuit-of-happiness-1?cat=biz-fin

Liberty and Freedom are not the same thing. John Locke and most of our founding fathers believed freedom to be "God given". However, others such as Karl Marx defined liberty as being a freedom granted by the state. In the Air Force, you had the freedom to leave the base and skip town any time you chose. You were not physically restricted in any way. You also were not necessarily at Liberty to do so. Liberties are in fact granted by the state and can be restricted. They are not all constitutionally granted (just the big ones). Here are three sites referencing anti-trust laws and the U.S. Code. With very little investigation you will see the position I am taking, albeit you may not like it (and may seethe a little ). But we still have the liberty to express our opinions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antitrust

http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/index.php/Antitrust

http://uscode.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode15/usc_sup_01_15_10_1.html

Lastly, you assume too much. This very topic will be discussed with several senators and a U.S. congressman the next time I see them. I've done my fair share of petitioning.

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#103
In reply to #98

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/27/2007 8:32 AM

"Lastly, you assume too much. This very topic will be discussed with several senators and a U.S. congressman the next time I see them. I've done my fair share of petitioning. "

As the Aussies say: "Good on you, mate!"

Have a nice day.

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#94
In reply to #87

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 5:04 PM

Lastly, concerning your jumping on my medical example and landing on my neck with both (left) feet, you said:

"If I needed surgery and had a choice between a medic with combat experience or a doctor fresh out of school or even residency, a medic in a nice tidy surgery room would be my first choice."

Oh, if only the rest of the American public felt like you, all the indigents waiting in ER's to see "The Doctor", all the "fat-cats" going to see their specialists (which includes just about everyone on an HMO or PPO or other health insurance, because "primary care physicians rarely really treat non-routine patients anymore, simply diagnose and refer anything they can't treat with anti-biotics, anti-histamines, or pain-killers, because otherwise they might get sue or lose their lucrative contracts) and many others who don't know that a combat medic is just as good as any surgical resident or recently promoted attending physician, with a measly MD.

Wake up and smell the coffee. This isn't some politician's plan or The Man trying to keep you down. It IS the way the public wants its medical practitioners to prove competence, or else the laws would get changed. I am not putting down the skills of any combat medic either, they make excellent first providers of medical care, even minor surgery for lifesaving purposes, and should easily make a transition to their civilian equivalent, paramedic. But to say they are the equivalent of an MD with a surgical residency under his belt or even one still in training is ludicrous.

And I mean that in the nicest way.

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#88
In reply to #71

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 3:34 PM

PS- There is another engineer here where I work who has a bachelors in math and a bachelors in physics. He can not sit for th PE either.

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#89
In reply to #88

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 3:51 PM

Guest,

I see you have a great vigor for life and are very adept at discussing your point.

In my opinion it would be nice if you would join up with CR4 and join in on some more discussions.

Course thats just my opinion and like Grandpa always used to say. " Opinions are like a__ Holes everyone's got one and most of the time they stink".

Hey I think I just got a new tag line!!

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#64

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/24/2007 2:59 PM

I am currently putting my time in as a Quality Assurance Technician; which, by the way, I feel as though every good little Engineering graduate should do if they are on there way to an engineering position at a manufacturing(or any type) company. The problem I have found at my current company is that Human Resources doesn't know what an ELECTRICAL ENGINEER is. Our Quality 'Engineer' has a Graduate degree in English...Our transformer design 'engineer' has a associates in civil engineering. I can't even tell you how many times while reviewing schematics I find mistakes that are a result of "engineers" copying old CAD files and changing a few specs to make the transformer "work"...

I have to agree that in order to hold a certain title(engineer), not only should a degree be required, but a certification by fellow, and elder, engineers and testing should be required...

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#65
In reply to #64

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/24/2007 3:18 PM

HR managers should all fire themselves immediately...but of couse they never will...they'll recruit themselves an assistant instead and then........

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#66
In reply to #65

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/24/2007 4:29 PM

I do know one HR manager who fired himself. He then proceeded to set up a company to contract engineers whom the corporation wanted to change from direct hire ("permanent"!) to "contract" employees. Sometimes this was because the employee wished to reduce hours (to part-time status) and sometimes simply as a way to eventually eliminate the employee after they had finished some critical project, without being accused of laying off "permanent" staff.

Oh, he did quite well in firing himself!

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#72

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/25/2007 11:07 PM

Just thinking aloud, since I for one is becoming obsulete (an Engineer) can we not just put our heads together and may be somewhere out there be able to find a solution to make out (just thing aloud) a policy in such a way that an engineer can be as like as lawyers, who dies as lawyers and like doctors even when they are paralized and can not practice still a doctor. (just thingking aloud, when you are out of job are you still an engineer?). just thinking aloud. God bless all engineers whatever.. regardless, sitting behind desk or doing the dirty works..

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#74
In reply to #72

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 3:43 AM

The problem with all these societies and such is they start to require degrees PhD etc...

Many years ago I had a big chip on my shoulder 'cos I never finished my degree..(wrong course, wrong time...blah blah)

Now I realise that I could get one if I wanted, but I have neither the time or inclination. I no longer feel the need to 'prove myself' to anyone.

They can take me or leave me...I know my worth (and my limitations [maths for one])

So maybe they wouldn't let me join their club of 'Chartered Engineers' unless I wasted my precious time writing up loads of stuff to be submitted...

My time is worth more than a qualification or a membership or a few letters after my name, or even a few extra quid.....life's too short.

There are many out there like me.

PS Professional bodies are sometimes a rip off. My wife has just retired, a year or so before she was obliged to pay good money to join some pseudo official teaching body set up by a QUANGO which as far as anyone could tell had no legal standing...but you couldn't be employed until you joined!

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#75
In reply to #74

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 4:35 AM

You're right about the societies, I recognised many years ago that their entry requirements would change & joined whilst I could. If I tried to join now I would not qualify. I can't say that being a member of professional societies has done anything for my career although I can't tell whether I would have still been considered for jobs in the past without the letters after my name. I keep my membership only as insurance in case they ever get their act together enough to make it impossible to practice as a designer without being registered with the Design Council.

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#77
In reply to #74

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 9:16 AM

Amen Del!

I am of the same mind as you 25 years expierence in the field far outweighs any book training I could get at this point.

Too bad employers don't feel the same way.

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#78
In reply to #77

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 10:44 AM

"Amen Del!

I am of the same mind as you 25 years experience in the field far outweighs any book training I could get at this point.

Too bad employers don't feel the same way."

I am not sure if that is exactly what Del was trying to say. But I will leave that to him to clarify.

Let's not confuse getting an engineering education (book training?) with becoming a licensed Professional Engineer or joining a technical or professional society. The first requires several years of full-time (not just part-time) seriously hard work, both in the lab and in class, with many exams, quizzes, reports, papers, homework, etc. The second (EIT and PE) usually requires only a few hours or days (depending on personal readiness) in preparation and one or two days of actual test taking, on top of the education and experience you should already have. And the third, at least in the US anyway, usually only requires an interest, nominal attendance, and annual dues (often company paid as well!).

In recognition of that, companies usually do place importance first on education and experience (one without the other means something is missing), and only then on licensing and professional society affiliation. Licensing can be more important in certain specialties, it may even be a pre-requisite for some jobs, but in general is one of those "preferred" qualifications.

Even though I have an engineering degree (ABET-accredited as well), it is not a "traditional" major, and I believe I often get screened out by HR types looking for the classic ME, EE, CE, etc. when applying for positions. So, I have some idea of what it feels like to be excluded because your education did not fit someone's idea of what it should be. Nevertheless, I defend the employers right to decide what they consider constitutes qualifications for their position, and firmly believe that an engineering education is the cornerstone of good engineering practice.

Also, a formal engineering education, without the constraints of daily work pressure, corporate culture, NIH (Not-Invented-Here) Syndrome, etc. can help form an engineer's approach to problem solving in a more creative and more flexible way than any "years of experience in the field" can.

I have worked with many "bootstrap" engineers and found them quite competent in their jobs, but the problem often occurs that when a solution outside of their experience is required, they usually end up floundering quite a bit, whereas the degreed engineer sets about thinking outside the box and "does his homework" in finding non-obvious (but often very simple) solutions to complex problems.

Does this mean that I de-value 25 years of experience? Not hardly, but I cannot agree that it far outweighs any "book training" one could get, at any point. I will never forget the 75-year-old professor of Ceramics Engineering, holder of several advanced degrees and part-owner of his family's refractory (ceramics manufacturing) business, making him a millionaire many times over. He was enrolled in the Human Factors Engineering course that I took as a senior in engineering school. At the beginning of the class our instructor (the other professor's colleague, and a professor himself) asked each member of the class to explain why we had enrolled in his course, which was not required for any degree, but was simply an elective.

When the elderly Ceramics professor and ultra-qualified scholar spoke he reminded us that learning does not stop just because one obtains a degree or completes a career, but continues as long as there is a curiosity or need to learn something new and that life itself is one very long education and we should take advantage of any opportunities that come along. Formal education, in contrast to learning On-the-Job, has the advantage of packing a lot of knowledge, often distilling decades of previous experience by many others, as well as even more years of theoretical research, into nice "Bite-size" chunks, kind of like a concentrated vitamin and energy bar!

I also believe that his applies to many other professional fields as well, and looking at other professions might even give someone who is thinking about education versus experience some food for thought. One very good example is in my post #71 above.

Now stepping down off my soap-box, preparing for the flames as I don my fireproof suit! <grin>

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#79
In reply to #78

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 10:59 AM

I agree with your comments to a point but, although you are right about degree qualified engineers being able to find a solution to a problem my experience has been that these solutions, whilst being innovative, are often hopelessly impractical & require an experienced engineer to re-think them in order to make them work.

I work in a small company with a higher than average quota of degrees & PhDs but often have to make their schemes work properly.

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#81
In reply to #79

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 11:33 AM

"I work in a small company with a higher than average quota of degrees & PhDs but often have to make their schemes work properly."

I did not say that degreed (especially Ph.D's) engineers always came up with simple solutions. I agree that "book-trained" engineers with little practical experience often suggest theoretically possible, but impractical solutions. Usually, that becomes the key to unlocking the puzzle, more of a starting point than a true final solution. But an educated engineer with experience is invaluable as he/she can do both, the "whole enchilada", as they say.

I was once paid a compliment (indirectly, hearing this through a colleague) by a Project Manager comparing myself to other engineers he had on his team, saying that if some of the other (degreed, many with Master's degrees) engineers created a solution or a design that did not work as expected, or not at all, they usually threw up their hands, or shrugged their shoulders, saying, well, I designed it, it should have worked, then fishing about for other people to solve the problem for them, whereas, my approach was more pro-active in that if faced with a similar failure, I immediately set about finding out why it did not work and then making it work or coming up with another solution myself.

I agree that it takes both education and experience to do the best job.

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#82
In reply to #81

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 11:41 AM

I agree with your last comment entirely but would add that there are situations where complete ignorance is the key. I have found more than once that useful solutions come from people who have no experience or understanding of the problem at hand because they have no boundaries to constrict their thought process. Their suggestion may not be immediately practical but can point the way forward.

The world's a funny place.

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#85
In reply to #82

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 12:24 PM

"I agree with your last comment entirely but would add that there are situations where complete ignorance is the key."

The only rule without exceptions is that there are always exceptions to any rule! (Or so the saying goes, please don't flame me on this with rules that have no exceptions! <grin>)

That is why "brainstorming" is an effective technique. Ideas can come from anywhere, even the most unlikely sources. Velcro was invented when its inventor discovered how cockleburrs clung to the fabric of his clothing. Post-it notes were invented by accident when a 3M scientist found a glue that did not stick as well as others and found that it was excellent for pasting in removable bookmarks for his wifes music books. "Honeycomb" aerospace materials came about when engineers discovered the high strength-to-weight ratio of the hexagonal structure of hives built by honeybees.

The NIH syndrome is deadly to problem solving.

"The world's a funny place."

I agree.

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#86
In reply to #85

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 12:37 PM

Its just unfortunate when braing storming becomes brain farting. Oh well the search goes on.

Oh and STL,....... Thanks. Jeff

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#80
In reply to #78

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 11:27 AM

OK STL I do understand your point and yes a good education is always very helpful.

With respect to your qualifications and your knowledge I will also agree that there are things that you have to learn or be taught by a learned individual.

I have had 3 levels of Algebra, Geometry, Trig, and Calculus. I did have some college training and I am not discounting anyone with a degree. Nor was that my intention.

Now that being said. My intention was to relay that in the 25 years I have been at this and all the problems solved and designs of my own I have built should at least give me some credibility with a prospective employer.

Which leads me to this statement.

I would put my abilities and out of the box thinking and design credibility against any College graduate with and engineering degree and 2-5 years experience any day.

That is not to discount their training in any way.

Also having been on the maintenance side of the equation, to many times have i come acrossed a design in a machine the was hammered out by a green engineer that appears to have given no thought to the daily operation or ability to repair or maintain said machine.

Yes you are correct in that it is the employer's right to require certain qualifications for the personell they hire. Can't argue that. But to exclude a person with massive experience only on the grounds of their education i feel is wrong. that was the only point i guess I was really trying to make.

As far as being a "bootstrap" engineer, I think I would prefer to be called a "Practical" Engineer as the designs and ability I utilize daily lean more to the practical side of manufacturing. I.e. making the operate more efficiently with fewer problems. All this being accomplished Because I "do my homework"

I also agree with you somewhat on gaining insight from lets say "the older guys"

I have found throughout the years that if you want to learn something quick and want to know the easiest way to approach a task talk to them. They have been there and can make your life either more difficult or much easier.

Having started out as a young guy (19 years old) and now rapidly becoming "the old guy" (44) i still find myself learning new things. And Yes even some from the young guy going to school to be an engineer.

In closing i just want to say I hope I have not offended anyone or descredited them in any way as that was not my intent. But just give us older guys a chance we may not be formally educated but we have some good Practical experience to draw on.

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#83
In reply to #80

Re: Engineers a dying breed?

07/26/2007 11:50 AM

Something I forgot to say.

I don't know everything when it comes to engineering. I do however have a healthy appetite for learning and always have and I greatly enjoy being a part of this group of learned individuals be it from the experience, training, or both.

And I thank you all for your helpful knowledge whether solving my problems or others.

You are all a credit to your respective trades.

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