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Engineers, Take Notice

01/14/2009 11:18 AM

I've noticed a lot of persons calling themselves "engineers" asking questions that a college trained engineer would be expected to know. I suspect that these so called "engineers" are not what they claim to be, judging by the questions they ask. It is OK to ask the question, but be honest about who you are. Does anyone else wonder also?

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#1

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 12:08 PM

"Does anyone else wonder also?"

Yes, but I don't find these particularly irksome. They can call themselves anything they want, provided they don't try to get others here to do their work for them.

These folks really get under my skin, if the truth be told. There is one member here who does this habitually - and claims to have a PhD to boot! I'm not mentioning this fellow's name, but it seems that every time he gets an RFQ or an actual contract involving some technology he doesn't fully understand (which seems to occur frequently), he posts his query as a "challenge question" or some such bullsh!t that you can see right through. I am not referring here to the Newsletter Challenge, but to his own, self-styled ones.

What gives him away are the highly specific parameters of his "challenge," such as the requirement that a specific make & model of an oscilloscope be used in the "experimental" setup when any garden-variety oscilloscope would do just fine. I gather from this that he doesn't know oscilloscopes that well, either. Other parameters might include a certain make/model of PIN diode and so many meters.xxx of a specific type of coaxial cable connected to such-and-such pulse amplifier. Very suspicious, as this were some actual device he must build for a client but doesn't know diddly-squat about how to go about doing it. Nor, apparently, does this fellow know how to use Google.

In one thread I answered his every question as if I were some kind of expert even though I had little actual experience with the technology involved. I replied the whole time as "Guest," and only posted answers that I could find in fifteen seconds or less using Google alone. By the end of the thread I had answered all of his questions to his satisfaction (and more, learning a lot in the process) using info gleaned solely in this way.

Then I told him who I was, what I had done and that he could find this info on his own -- provided he got off his dead ass and actually tried doing some of his own work for once.

Thanks for this opportunity to rant. I have to go scream now.

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#2

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 12:11 PM

I don't remember being required to state if I was an engineer or not. I came across this forum because I use Global Spec to search for products.

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#3

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 12:20 PM

I follow your argument, but I'm not so sure that I've seen that many who seem like tinkerers, dreamers or blissful fools specifically call themselves engineers. Maybe I'm just hanging out in the wrong questions.

My peeve is seeing questions clearly from students (presumably of some engineering discipline) asking for what amounts to assignment answers. I don't mind giving someone who's stuck a nudge in the right direction. If asked politely and the OP demonstrates an effort was made to grasp the nudge, I don't even mind detailing how to arrive at the answer. But those who just demand an answer deserve none.

And just in case it matters, I myself was college trained (I took the train to college every day, until I flunked out).

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 12:32 PM

You don't have to be an engineer to be a member here. That's the beauty of it, because CR4 has many many visitors who are looking for some engineering advice or a bit of help on a bona-fide engineering problem, and they come here. They don't have to be engineers. IMO such a requirement would severely constrain this forum's usefulness.

I would hope that those of us who are long-time members enjoy helping others; students, aspiring engineers, folks trying to solve a puzzling problem, hobbyists. I thoroughly enjoy doing this. I don't like questions from lazy folk who don't -- or won't -- research their problem a bit before coming here. There are people who do that, too. I mentioned one of them in my previous post, but most folks aren't that way.

CR4 is also a place where engineers & non/aspiring/Real engineers can vicariously meet like-minded folks over a virtual beer and have some fun, talk shop, or whatever. I like this aspect of CR4 a lot, even if I do get on people's nerves from time to time (who? me?). I've made quite a few friends here -- people I might never have met in any other setting. For this I give a hearty thanks to CR4 and its creators.

-e

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#5

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 12:48 PM

Yes, this is a pet peeve of mine. I suffered through a very rigorous major in college, then took a very challenging test afterwards to attain my license to actually (legally) call myself an Engineer. Technically you cannot call yourself an Engineer unless you have taken and passed the Professional Engineer's Examination and received your certification. I serve with the exam comittee and help prepare and evaluate the Chemical Engineer Exams and am licensed in several states.

It became very trendy for people to call themselves Engineers in the past, but it really bother's me because they 1) are not Engineers and 2) diminishes my profession by doing so. It may sound funny to say you are, say, a "Sanitation Engineer" (garbage man), but its not really funny to me. If you do not have an actual degree and haven't passed the PE exam, then you are not an "Engineer".

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#6
In reply to #2

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 1:05 PM

I didn't say that you had to be an engineer to use this forum. I said that some who claim to be engineers are obviously not engineers and should not represent themselves as such.

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#7

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 1:46 PM

It happens from time to time. Many of the ones I have dealt with were obviously backyard tinkerers who called themselves engineers but had no formal training (self-taught). Others have been scammers who like to give themselves fancy titles like "doctor of engineering". The PC age of adding technician or engineer to someone's title to make them sound more important doesn't help (I know a "nail technician", she cuts and colours peoples nails).

In the end we can rant and what not, but it's like someone here posting lots of comments so they can get the CR4 "Guru" status. It doesn't make them a "Guru".

In the end it is all about the content. If you talk BS or ask BS questions then people are quickly going to figure out that person is full of BS. Sort of self-regulating if people bother to look at the previous threads that person has participated in and commented on, which should be mandatory if someone is asking a rather important question that they really need a "correct" answer for (not some BS that 6 other "Guests" agree with).

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#8
In reply to #5

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 2:01 PM

"If you do not have an actual degree and haven't passed the PE exam, then you are not an "Engineer"."

In over 30 years I have worked with engineers of all stripes. A great number of them are fabulous engineers, some are pretty darn good ones, and of course, a few managed to squeak through my doors who should've been data-entry clerks at an insurance agency. Only one of these folk was a PE, and a pretty ho-hum one at that.

I think it's great that you had the fortitude to wade through your education and that nasty PE exam, but degrees and certifications alone do not a great Engineer make. Neither one is any guarantee that the person who holds them is worth diddly-squat as an engineer. No guarantee at all, nor does the fact of having them entitle one to dismiss out-of-hand those who don't hold such certifications as being less than the great folk they are. What is evident to me from your post is not so much your professional qualifications as your haughtiness. I wouldn't hire you for that reason alone.

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 2:29 PM

On the other hand (I have fingers too), I was a pretty good engineer even before I finished my degree or obtaining a professional engineering status by passing the PE exam (for which I celebrated much more heavily than when I graduated from college).

Engineering used to be done by clever mechanics before things got regulated by governments and people wanting to protect their professions to keep unqualified people in check, and rightly so. Engineers had to have four year degrees around the turn of the last century to be considered qualified to do the work, whereas doctors only had to have two year degrees, and lawyers did not have to have a degree at all.

And yes, it irks me too that some people call themselves engineers who ask some of the dumbest questions I have ever seen written.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 2:52 PM

"... I was a pretty good engineer even before I finished my degree or obtaining a professional engineering status by passing the PE exam (for which I celebrated much more heavily than when I graduated from college)."

One does not preclude the other. My point is in illustrating the fact that there are great engineers, including (and perhaps especially) those who do not necessarily have PE certifications.

If you were a pretty good engineer before you earned your PE, I'll wager you were still a pretty good engineer afterward. From this I'd conclude that the PE certification doesn't make the engineer, but quite the contrary. Good engineers make the PE certification respectable.

If the certificate holder is a lousy engineer, he/she'll be a lousy engineer regardless of holding a PE certification. If he/she is a good engineer, the same. I don't rely solely on degrees, certifications or titles when evaluating an engineer. Quite honestly, I couldn't care less. For someone to wave a sheepskin/certification under my nose and claim to be an Engineer is just so much noise in my ears; I want to see what they can do and what they have done. A sheepskin/certification is simply proof that one has a sheepskin/certification and that one has at least the fortitude to have weathered the training. It's a union card. But if one cannot do good engineering work, no amount of certification will redeem them. Call me a pragmatist.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 3:16 PM

I concur wholeheartily!

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#12
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Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 3:58 PM

"... it's like someone here posting lots of comments so they can get the CR4 "Guru" status."

And now for the fast-sell: For anyone wanting instant Guru status, I have here in my hot little hands a Perl script that'll synthesize and post inane bullshit to CR4 until the counter hits '500.'

You may choose from the following list of Hot Topics:

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Orders made within 24 hours include a free Member ID Generator so folks can see your name in ALL CAPS (my fave). For a small additional fee, we'll include a personalized avatar signed by Eddie Murphy free!

[automated reply generated 2008.14.01.14:58:59 by ophtopik rev 2.2.3b beta]

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 4:05 PM

Or should that be, "wholeheartedly?"

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 4:17 PM

No prob.

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#15
In reply to #10

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 5:14 PM

Let relate a story. In the place I used to work(I'm retired)there was a guy who immigrated from Russia and claimed he was degreed. I asked him what university or college he graduated from. His reply was he graduated from(I don't recall the one) and couldn't produce a piece of paper, claiming he was forced out because of communists. He was hired(I wasn't doing the hiring). What really got me was he came in at about the same salary as I was making at the time. I was his supervisor and I knew he didn't know squat about the job. There's a bit more about the story that I can't repeat due to religious reasons. I could point out many instances where a poster who claimed to be an engineer and isn't(based on their questions), but I don't want to single any one person out. I'm sure you already know. I personally have an in-law who comes from a former iron curtain country who claims to have a degree in chemistry, but for a test, I asked some simple questions to see what she knew. Now I'm not a chemist, but there are many things basic to chemistry that most non-chemists know. Formulas for everyday items like NaCl, she didn't know.

I think the reason these people do it is to make themselves sound important and educated and also to get a bigger salary. It's called lying.

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#16
In reply to #12

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 5:22 PM

You forgot one

8. "How to size busbar?"

Arguably the most commonly asked question, and one that the poster should know if they are to perform the work him/herself professionally.

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#17
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Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 6:06 PM

My personal favorites:

  • I need to design a pressure vessel for 3000 psi. What thickness should I use?
  • I have a piping system - how much flow do I have?
  • I need to perform a very critical pressure weld - which filler should I use?
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#18
In reply to #15

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 6:17 PM

Behind the Iron Curtain (IC)...this is a subject in which I am master. Before 1989, when many East-European (EEC) countries separated them self from the communism, IC was a curtain difficult to penetrate. Some (from EEC) were able to get a tourist passport and stay in the first capitalistic country in their way. Some had to do the trip abroad due to work related training or negotiations etc and were doing the same. Some, less fortunate, had to sneak under the IC to escape. No information about such persons were allowed to be transmitted on the other side of IC, by the orders ot the leaders of the communist states. So, unless you had your papers with you and took the risk to be searched at the communist customs, there was no written proof of your degree.

Well, there was a way to prove that you are an engineer, by doing engineering work.

I am of those who jumped over the IC, with my papers wrapped in a plastic bag. In 25 years in US, I have been to several interviews, I had several engineering jobs but I wasn't asked to show my papers, not once. Ah, I was teaching in a vocational school, for some 4 years, and they wanted to know and see everything!

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#19

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/14/2009 6:20 PM

Anyone who has looked at my profile will know that I am a Student working towards an Electrical Engineering Diploma.

I have also noticed this little querk and find it very amusing and scary at the same time.

Amusing, because these engineers do succeed very well at looking very foolish by asking such basic questions.

Scary, because some of the questions that they ask are Entry Level Trade Apprentice level questions I see in my Homework, yet they are working on serious design\build scenarios.

To those who are Real Engineers at Heart, I appreciate and respect your Knowledge and Patience I see at\on CR4, some of the answers to my posts and other have clarified stuff that I have had trouble getting a grip on or given an alternative solution.

I don't know why these guys want CR4 to do thier home work for them, it belittles CR4 and themselves and lessons learned by wrote cause more problems than they resolve.

The "look here" answers are my favorite because they let me learn more in application, not just the theory.

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#20

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/14/2009 6:57 PM

Admittedly some of the questions are not ones expected from college-trained engineers, but then it is also true that some of the people on this forum are not engineers who simply need help in the performance of their hobbies and what have you, and then there are also those who are simply engineering students.

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#21
In reply to #5

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 7:19 PM

Many years ago there were certain jobs where the person did not have a degree but was called an engineer; for example, Radio Engineer, Railroad Engineer. I worked with a person who was called an engineer when he worked on developing the drives for the first Univac computers, but was called a technician thirtysome years later, when we worked together. I think it was the particular discipline in earlier times whether an engineer was required to have a degree.

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#22
In reply to #16

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 7:47 PM

9. I don't care what you say, HHO works for me.

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#23
In reply to #5

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 8:24 PM

I too suffered greatly going though college. pre-exam axiety, things not setting in or registering for me. tough exams and tests both written as well as projects. But even then, as tough as it was, I knew that school was going to be easy as compared to getting a job after. Because making a mistake or not doing well in school as long as you were serious and work hard. . . . . you learned, you graduated.

the people that thought that the tough part was over after recieving thier degree, whether it a BS, or PE, and relaxed. actually peaked early before landing a job.

And its usually the same people that live in the past, that keep talking about their college daze........days.

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 8:48 PM

Which makes me wonder what CR4/GlobalSpec's legal liability is when members/guests suggest a course of action that ends up with the OP's design blowing to smithereens; possibly causing loss of life and property.

Any poster who consults an informal forum (like CR4) for critical design information is asking for trouble. There is no way to qualify the individuals making recommendations and the OP, by the mere fact of asking the question here in the first place, is clearly unqualified to evaluate the merits of such recommendations. Yet, that OP is in the position of implementing such recommendations to someone's harm.

Chris Leonard?

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#25
In reply to #24

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 9:06 PM

Ah, you edited your post, very good.

"Please note that all messages express the views of the author, and neither the owners of CR4 nor its administrators are responsible for the content of any message."*

*From the FAQ disclaimer.

Of course, asking a question here, that could blow yourself up, makes you automatically in the running for a Darwin_Award.

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#26

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/14/2009 9:49 PM

I might also add that a lot of the questions are from offshore.

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#27

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/14/2009 9:59 PM

I agree with OP

Yes though it is not an engineer's exclusive, anybody can come to us for help, and we are willing to. But we have to know their capabilities to answer.

We are finding too many of the questions that are primary level (what is a swivel joint , faradays law etc what no egineer worth his salt will ask)

If we know that the kid is a std 5 or 6 well he could have asked his teacher isn't it ?

Just since he has a net access , and his dad/mom is on the site (else how could he get the address) , he just logs in and asks -

what is 2+5

And he has to mpersonate.

And other sickening aspect is to make us complete their homework/class work/project work

Even for project work (we too had to do once) - I always feel it better to not search these blogs- we are grey haired practicing engineers (most of us with due respect and apologies to black haired (and unhaired ) - and though we take pride, we are not exactly updated to latest in the field.

It is far better if they consult their project guides/ scan through papers and journals (as I remember to have done of course blogs,forums and PCs were non-existence- we worked with punched cards and Fortran, of course the papers were all in papers - not papyrus)

We are- most of us are - ready to help with technical difficulties - but not - how to design a heat exchanger

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/14/2009 10:42 PM

"and though we take pride, we are not exactly updated to latest in the field."

I spend a lot of time and effort staying current in my respective fields, (instrumentation, combustion, documentation). I've never turned to this forum for help in what I do. I'm fully capable of doing my own research, and don't need much help. However, sometimes, I have to stray from my fields of expertise, and have asked for help here. For the most part, I've been flooded with a wealth of information from the participants in this forum. But I do my homework first, before I ask.

If someone comes here and asked about things that I know about, I go way out of my way to help them out.

So, so, many questions asked here can be answered with a quick google/web search. Actually, with much less effort than posting a question here. Perhaps, people in some country's are blocked from full access to the web, and this forum is their only recourse. But probably more often, posters seek a more personal connection, wishing to connect to the more privileged members of the world community. In many ways, it empowers them.

Yes, we get the lazy, we get the student trying the easy way out. Often, the language challenged. You just really never know. Yup, you get a poster, throwing out a line, with a quick, simple, vague question. If he gets a bite, then he puts the whole details about the question out there. That's fine.

However, the correct answer is in the details of the question.

And if a student is forthright, and states his research, and is stuck, everyone here will be willing to help.

I guess it comes down to the OP being honest.

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#29
In reply to #8

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 11:00 PM

Thank you. You have a GA from me, for that. An engineer is one who engineers a solution to a problem. Pure and simple. And a PE license does not make one able to do that, though it should, and most often does, prove ones ability. But so does a successful design, built to spec, which works.

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#30
In reply to #19

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/14/2009 11:07 PM

If you use the name " Sapper " then I would presume that you , like me , are an Enginer with the prefix " Royal " Engineers

Best REgards

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#31
In reply to #10

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/14/2009 11:54 PM

Hi Europium

A star and good from me too (oh and a GA).

In the UK we called people who built houses 'builders' and we also called people who worked in engineering 'engineers'. As a member of the latter, I was called an 'engineer' too. Sometimes I even had the audacity to refer to myself as an engineer while only holding a Full Technician Engineers Certificate! However, I have been employed in my discipline of engineering for 30 years and it has taken me around the world (with other people paying the tickets) six times at the last count! I would like to think that, perhaps, as it used to be all right to call myself an Engineer, I could claim 'Grandfathers Rights' to the title! But, if pushed, I really don't care!

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#32

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/14/2009 11:58 PM

I know what you mean, I once met a "mechanical engineer" who wasn't able to calculate the volume of a rectangular water tank.

Unfortunately, no one else cares about the subject.

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#33

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 12:08 AM

I concur.

I've also notices that the locations of these so-called engineers are either countries noted for turning out second-rate students at best, or examples of the worst that country has to offer.

It's not just engineers--some of the doctors from these countries I wouldn't let work on my cat!

Had an anesteologist from one of those countries talking down to me in the O.R, and his English was like a fertilizer salesman with a mouthfull of samples.

Really wanted to tell him he should either go back to running a gas station or have a effing Slurpie in the recovery room for me.

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#34

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 12:13 AM

My favorite question was asking if anyone knew the correct torque for the bolts on an airplane jet engine mount. Yeah, that's the airplane on which I want to fly alright.

Some of the questions are just frightening. To think that someone's safety might be dependent on an answer someone got off a website from some unknown source is absolutely frightening. There are just some questions that should only be answered by known authoritative sources, like the correct torque for an airplane engine mount. You should have that information from the service data from the manufacturer.

One of my other favorites is asking technical questions about a multi megawatt power plant. What? Are you kidding me? You are going to take some action regarding that scale of a project based on an answer that falls out of the clouds?

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#35

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 12:47 AM

Always, people who doesn`t know some basics should be ashamed of therselves to be called as engineer.Though engineering field is very vast and we cannot get all the knowledge from schools. We need experience to enrich our knowledge. Engineer should be referred as problem solver [ Technical]. If he don`t crunch his head to the problem he is facing, before asking to someone for help. He is not engineer though he possess some qualified degrees. In india there are lot of people who doesn`t posses any qualified education but they are called masters in their work , due to passion of thinking and digging the info. But they don`t refer thereselves as engineer. People refer them as engineer. Also,there are some high ranking peoples [in their studies] who don`t know how to clean the spark plug of their bike.

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#36

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 1:17 AM

Hi all,

I want to add my two cents worth to this discussion. I have to aggree with Ronseto - there are too many people posing as engineers and post the most basic queries. I am a C&I engineer by profession - but some of the questions asked here I would expect an apprentice to know.

What really gets to me is that it seems as if the people asking the questions have never heard of google? :)

I don't say that all the people are doing this as I believe that quite a few students use this forum to get a better understanding of problems they might have. I believe that this is a good thing. I disagree however with giving a solution. I have done this a few times only to be caught in a never ending loop. I get the impression that some people expect you to do their whole design and sign it off for them.

That is the engineers bread and butter. If there was a web site where some bored person would do all that for you for free then we would not be doing any work :(

I think it is good to point new engineers in the correct direction - but I cannot believe that some of the people on this site, working with the type of projects they are working with, do not know even the basics about their own discipline? Where are their senior engineers that should be there to guide and mentor them?

As stated earlier, I get the impression that quite a few people are here to get a freebie, and get all their work done for them.

This is not why I studied engineering, and I believe that most of the geniune engineers here will aggree with me. We studied engineering because of the love of the challenge of creating something new and solving the problems that bring the project to fruition. Personally I love it when I have comissioned one of my designs and get to see it work, as well as fixing the oversights and problems that crept in as they invariably do. :) That is what engineering is about - not just sitting back on your a** and expecting free hand outs and other people to do your work for you. If this is the state of engineering today - then it is a sad day for all of us.

I must also say that I have noticed (and I don't mean this as an insult), but many of our new graduates have this attitude of being spoon fed. I am sure it has something to do with a "Sins of our fathers" type attitude. They simply do not want to go and look for the information themselves. This is not the way to learn. I believe that you retain that wich you really struggle to understand. Lets face it - you never forget the solution to that problem that kept you awake for months, but you do not remember the solution that was just handed to you.

Anyway, enough grumbling. :)

Regards,

Craig

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#37

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 1:29 AM

Oh I forgot - my favorite questions that keep popping up, and not matter how many times you answer they come back. Makes you wonder if the person asking the question ever browses through the older pages?

1. What is a valve CV - you answer and they don't believe you

2. How do you calculate a valve CV - you answer and they don't believe you, or don't want to go to all that trouble

3. Why is my DP instrument calibrated like so - ask and apprentice

4. What type of instrument should I use for my application (no process data given) - see answer for no.3

5. How do I tune a PID loop (no data given) - tune the loop howzit

6. How do I detrmine the wire size for x signal - come on

7. How do I work out the cable size for x load (no distance given) - see answer no 6

8. I need a circuit for x, y and z - see answer no 6

9. Can I mix signals in my multipair cable - see answer no 6.

10. What protection must I use on xyz transformer, what tests must I carry out, how regularly and why - see answer no 6

etc, etc, etc

I particulary like the mechanical ones about piping and flanging. I am not a mechanical engineer, but even in C&I we have to know that for valves and inline instruments.

Anyways - I hope these questions give you real engineers a good laugh and make your day brighter - not make your blood boil.

Regards,

Craig

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#38

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 1:29 AM

It's been mentioned a number of times that just because someone has an engineering degree doesn't mean they are a good designer. Of course, this is true.

Having the degree should however indicate that its owner has a good background in real world maths, physics, chemistry etc.

I've noticed many non engineer technical people use an "experience" or "cookbook" approach when solving problems and often have a poor understanding the underlying issues. Consequently, when the problem is outside their usual experience or has unusual conditions, their standard solution doesn't work.

The opposite can be true of (inexperienced) engineers, they can over-complicate when a simple battle-tested solution is available.

Designs work best when both groups talk and share their knowledge.

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#39
In reply to #10

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 1:54 AM

the fact that there are great engineers, including (and perhaps especially) those who do not necessarily have PE certifications.

Thank you for this view.

Having had over 43 years of successfully working as an engineer (without a Degree in engineering), no certification or even a diploma, your view gives great comfort. Having had the good fortune of heading a "Time-bound" construction project of a very large minerological plant of complexity and new technology of total plant control through a 5-in-1 redundancy computer system (SCADA) as far back as 1977, completed ahead of schedule (using computerised PERT/CPM) and below budget, I wonder whether to call myself an "Engineer" or not, though I was designated as Senior Engineer-in-charge; primarily because of the chauvinistic attitude of Graduate engineers and Engineering College Professors.

Would you agree with me that there ought to be a system that rewards sustained engineering acievement with a PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER degree grade (N) for the number of years of practice > 4 years?

Incidentally, I am much sought after for "Guest" lectures in Robotics by engineering colleges and Universities even for Summer and Winter training camps for Professors of engineering at the national level.

Thanks and regards

D.Ramakrishna Naidu

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#40
In reply to #16

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 2:16 AM

very carefully

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#41
In reply to #36

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 2:25 AM

I agree i am in japan and all the procedures and specifications are in Japanese so i have to google a lot .

I wish i had Google when i was still a student!

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#42
In reply to #32

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 2:28 AM

I can't resist here throwing out my story about the time I was in working in the disc drive company 20 years ago. They had this "hot shot" young "phd" attitude about two years out of Stanford (big California, USA, university) with what they called an "Engineer degree". 30 credits in Mechanical Engineering beyond the Master's level; but with just a technical paper published in some journal rather than the lengthy research requirements of a thesis.

We got into a disagreement on just how much would be the theoretical pressure rise in a air vent between the centerline of a 1-1/4" diameter shaft turning 3600 rpm and its OD. I calculated the amount I recall something on the order of fractions of an inch water column and he shouted me down in a meeting with his position that the pressure would be several hundred psi. He was strongly supported by his manager (who hired him). A couple of days later he circulates this 4 page white paper full of calculations supporting his conclusion. I might have been the only one who actually read it all the way through but somewhere around page 3 he described how he took the maximum power output from the 2 hp driving motor (this was a 14" disc drive -- remember them?) and back calculated that number to determine the theoretical pressure of the "tiny air pump" in the drive shaft to be 372psi. Every time his name got mentioned I couldn't resist asking if he ever applied for a patent on the new air compressor technology he invented. He never admitted he was wrong and was still around 3 years later when we all got laid off during the plant shutdown.

I guess the points here are that it is possible for some highly educated technical type to be completely ignorant about something out of his field. Oh yeah, and that it pays to be judicious in your criticism of corporate politicians.

Ed Weldon

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#43
In reply to #30

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 2:47 AM

Yup, ex-RAE ...Down here we put an "A" between the "R" & "Engineer"..

That's why "It's all about the Boom"

Regards,
Sapper.

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#44
In reply to #15

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 6:10 AM

Is your problem that the person was from Russia and therefore you should be entitled to a higher salary - you just come across as a bigot

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#45

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 7:11 AM

Interesting topic and discussions, i love the stories.

My story isnt about someone else, but myself. I hired into the position i am currently at as a designer in the "Engineering Department". Because i did my job well i was relabeled with the title "Project Manager". That is only a term used here that means you now have more responsibility.

Of course i am neither degreed as an "Engineer" or as a "Project Manager" but am considered an "Engineer" by all in the company. A title which i will deny as often as possible. There are many out there who have put there time in on the job, and in the class room who can lay claim to the title "Engineer", but i am not one of those. I do have a lot of hands on experience, and a lot of common sense. Unfortunately that is something that can not be taught in the class room eviroment. I have meet a lot of "Engineers" who are useless, and others who are the "god" they think they are.

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#46
In reply to #36

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 7:18 AM

Craigza,

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you say, some questions are almost moronic and deserve the ridicule and sarcasm they attract. This is bound to happen when "engineers" are involved (it's the way we are: unfortunately, we don't suffer fools gladly).

I would also like to ask if some of the posters read their questions or answers before they commit to the internet. Notwithstanding the (sometimes) language barrier, even some of the English-speaking contributors seem not to have the capacity to read their offerings and check for spelling and grammatical howlers. Ok, we all make a mistake but - come on - any engineer worth his salt can write write and spell, surely?

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#47
In reply to #1

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 7:50 AM

GA from me.

I feel the same about such people......lazy and ignorant.....

Good trick with Google too, was he pissed????

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#48
In reply to #2

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 7:51 AM

You are not required to be an engineer, just honesty is more than enough!!!

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#49
In reply to #42

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 8:07 AM

I had to give you a GA.

This sort of thing happens far too often, I was lucky in that each time some "Wanker" tried to do it to me, I was able to prove otherwise. Being with the company for nearly 30 years and having fixed literally 1000s of problems already, of course helped....

Several of these "Wankers" found themselves looking for a new job within 6 months, so they hadn't just pissed me off, they had also pissed off people with more clout too!!

I have found that I rarely had to wait long before such people had "shot their bolt" and were disconnected!

God works in mysterious ways......

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#50
In reply to #5

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 8:42 AM

I do take a little offense at the "haven't passed the PE exam, then you are not an "Engineer". I myself have worked in the field for over 25 years, have multiple patents, I got my undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering. I do consisder myself an Engineer even though I have never taken the PE exam.

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#51
In reply to #8

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 9:30 AM

Might be a tad off topic, but this reminds me of the NDT Inspection Companies who cram a lot of Info into young kids in 80 hours, let them take a test right away and send them out to my world as CWIs and NDE Level IIs.

They either accept everything or put good stuff in abeyance creating grief for me, as I have to then interpret code for them and reinspect the stuff myself.

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#52
In reply to #28

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 10:06 AM

I have notice, when wrong or incorrect information is given for what ever reasons, ignorance, being exhausted, too late at night, rushed, one of the positive items on this site, is that it is more times than not almost self correcting, by other CR4 Members.

phoenix911

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#53
In reply to #42

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 10:18 AM

Ed,

I gave you a GA also, because it reenforced my experience, Only difference it is, this guy was the same age as me, and he graduated from Berkley. After being out of school for close to 30 years, he's still talking about his college daze, he was as they say book smart, but was practical stupid.

I believe I mentioned this in an earlier post

And how he talked I have a feeling he only took a course at Berkley, and gave the impression the he got his degree there.

If thats what he did, he should have just taken a course at MIT

phoenix911

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#54
In reply to #39

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 10:21 AM

Yes and there are people that excel in engineering fields without degrees.

A degree and PE certification is just a screening tool. Even if the person that has those credentials is worthless at least you as the employer can see that he has something to support this person's claims.

A person that has advanced from being an assistant to a chief engineer in some company without a degree. Who learned everything from hands on experience is also a valuable employee and has verifiable work experience. Sometimes this person is preferred over the degree holding engineer.

Someone that has learned his trade in his garage and reads a lot of engineering books probably does know what he's talking about and can hold his own against any engineering professional but for hiring purposes, he doesn't have anything substantial to support his claims.

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#55

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 10:27 AM

Why be a engineer when you can be an administrator. The only time I asked a question here I was told I could easily find the answer on Google by a "guest" who let me know I didn't know what I was doing. By the way, he definitely didn't answer my question. My question was straightforward, but the animosity from this user was quite clear. I'm glad everyone here is not so quick to judge. Still, I'll think twice before I ever post a question on this "ENGINEER'S" place again.

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#56

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 10:40 AM

I have to stick my oar into this discussion because I'm not an engineer (the name gives that away), but I do interact with engineers. The reason I say interact rather than interview is that over the years I tend to be sent to the same engineers. Most of what I do is in the automotive area, both in review of vehicles and in some cases I get called the "engineer to human interface". I tend to try and write in a simple manner (no jokes please!) so that end users can understand how some fairly complicated machinery works and how it will affect them directly, all in 850 words.

Through the interviews I've done, I've managed to pay attention and do my own research. I learned that in about grade 7. Along the way I've also learned that if I put my mind to it (and do the research), I can do anything. I was fortunate enough to have teachers who taught and encouraged thinking "outside the box" before the box was invented! My dad, a lumberman all his life, also encouraged me to have an open mind and used the experssion "how hard can it be?" when I got bogged down. The members of this forum are also teachers in the same vein even if they don't realize it.

The up shot of this is that while I find some engineering facinating, I know I will never be an engineer, I don't have the interest or the discipline needed to complete the course work. I do use (and post to) this forum when I feel I have something to contribute. I still do my own leg work and I often turn to this forum for both information and in some cases, entertainment.

Like many of the more rounded engineers, I am starting to be able to pick out the students, posers and those who take the mickey when posting. If and when I ask a question it is because I have found more than one answer to what I want to know explained logically and I need a clarifiction on what the "industry standard" is from those who are working in the industry, not the PR type from the front office.

Being honest is always the best way, but it can be frustrating when others don't follow the same rules.

Cr

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#57

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 10:57 AM

"Degreed Engineer" = "Educated Beyond their Intelligence"

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#58
In reply to #54

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 11:01 AM

And often will not have, nor use, the exact current phrase or term, or won't be familiar with the latest (<studly buzzword program here>(Lean 6 Sigma and ISO 9001 come to mind) or have experience with it, and will be turned away by the interviewing manager, who is not, himself or herself an engineer, and couldn't identify one by his/her engineering skills. Those who are good at book learning usually are also good at terms and terminology, while those who "learned by doing" may have "doohickey" in their vocabulary, and interviewers such as these, for whatever reason, hire based on words, rather than abilities. Maybe its just job overload, too many interviews, not enough time. Or maybe its stupid reliance on credentialling of one sort or another.

On the other hand, I have a friend who is very senior management for the US Navy (Civilian) who calls things doomaflotchies and therbiggles, in meetings, and most of her coworkers just say "yep, that's her, but we know what she's talking about, and so does she, so let's get on with it."

And she has two Masters in program management in engineering, and is working on her Doctorate. But she's also extremely intelligent AND smart (street smart, life smart, work smart, etc.) so she's probably not proof of anything we've said here.

Micah

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#59
In reply to #53

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 11:03 AM

You rate a GA too for some neat comments about your experiences, thanks.

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#60
In reply to #58

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 11:07 AM

Yes she is, she is probably worth 10 "Engineers!"

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#61
In reply to #57

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 11:09 AM

With all my posts behind me, I'm probably the least likely to disagree with you, but I do. And engineering degree does serve, as does a PE license, and as noted by myriad others, to tell an interlocutor what you have studied, and what he or she might be able to expect you to know. It also, as noted by one of my bosses in the past, shows that you had the personal discipline to stay the course, and complete it.

Of course, all of that said, neither a PE or and Engineering Degree prove what you do, in fact know. Conversely, the lack of either of those does NOT mean you don't have discipline. It only means that if you do have it, it will show elsewhere, as it was applied elsewhere.

The bottom line is that the only way to know if you have an engineer on your hands is not by his or her titles or certificates (I love me walls abound with paper, which is good for wiping ones nose with [no crude jokes please], but only if you soften it considerably, first), but by the quality of work he or she turns out. And that, you only learn after hiring, or by going to his or her references to see what he or she has done, and how it has gone.

And that, in turn, requires honesty among managers. Which is another story, but is the biggest failing point in the whole process.

Micah

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#62
In reply to #60

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 11:11 AM

And manages them pretty well, too. Though I have to say from her stories, when she did the same for the USMC, they probably came closest to breaking her out of character. Drove her nuts, they did.

Micah

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#63

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 12:09 PM

I agree with others who think this problem stems from misunderstandings of the term "engineer". The term is different throughout the world, and this forum has people from all over the place. Being lazy is probably the main reason we see questions you know the person should know. Sloth... one of the seven deadly sins!!!

There could possibly be a feedback method of punishing people who obviously come on this forum for others to constantly do their work for them, but that might ruin the happy neighborhood we have going on here.

If somebody is asking questions you know in your bones are work they should be doing, you can choose not to help them. If its something you assume they should know, this may not be true and may stem from difference in education and possibly memory. Lets keep it a happy happy time!

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#64
In reply to #63

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 12:19 PM

Hear, Hear. I'd prefer to help them out, even if it seems a dumb question, rather than to leave them ignorant of something they need to know. And often you get questions from bright HS students that, if answered with care, and patience, will lead to the next engineering professional. I had some teachers when I was just a kid (elementary school, in fact) who, despite me, found some value, and took hold of my education, in ways that have served me, and allowed (maybe even, in a pay-it-forward sort of effect, COMPELLED) me to do the same all of my life, for others.

And the personal rewards in helping others are so immeasurable, that if you have to ask "what do you get out of it" I can only tell you to try it for yourself, stick to it for at least a year, and see.

The joy I get from helping far outweighs anything I could get from a paycheck.

Not that I'm turning down my paycheck.

Micah

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#65
In reply to #37

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 12:22 PM

Especially when they post under the name of "Guest" and aren't getting any email notification that there's been a response in that thread.

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#66
In reply to #50

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 12:26 PM

Then you have your stay at home housewives who are called "Domestic Engineers."

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#67

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 1:07 PM

It's true that many simple questions are not made by "engineers" (either with a diploma or not).

AFAIK, DaVinci hadn't a formal degree in engineering, nor in medicine, nor in arts.... And what about Archimedes?

A degree is just a paper (I've got some) which sometimes can give some confidence on the educational level. (Even some months ago we were taking about a "diploma mill" uncovered by US authorities, I usually receive at least a couple of daily e-mails offering me to "purchase" a MSc, PhD...)

If a question seems a child homework we are free to answer or just change to another thread. What's the problem?

Kind regards

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#68
In reply to #15

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 1:22 PM

"Formulas for everyday items like NaCl, she didn't know". I would hesitate a guess that whatever high school she attended didn't do a very good job of basic science education. I have 2 sons in 3rd and 5th grade, and my 5th grade son is doing math and science level work that I didn't have in high school (in the 1940s). I recall a 9th grade science class where the teacher had us write down the heaviest element we knew of. Most kids wrote lead or iron. I wrote down uranium and plutonium, and the class was never the same agaim. The teacher boosted up the science info a bit higher! In Massachusetts, kids now have to pass a MCAS exam, including math and science, to graduate from high school.

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#69
In reply to #66

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 1:23 PM

I call mine the "Domestic Goddess". She laughs and goes on doing her job. Which is a full-time, never-ending, fairly thankless (except for mine and the kids, anyway) job.

I couldn't do it.

Micah

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#70

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 2:45 PM

CR4 The Engineers Place for News and Discussion – show your E card at the door

If someone has a question or an issue to resolve that is outside of their discipline, then you don't want them to ask here on this forum because they will sound stupid? And if they sound stupid they don't deserve an answer?

I don't mind sounding stupid when I really don't know what I'm talking about. I'm not one to go on bla bla bla technical terms or work to make myself sound interesting or intelligent. Too many technical people are posers and they are full of crap! If you can't explain it in simple terms then you really don't know what you're talking about.

And why would someone spend hours sifting through the advertisements on Google to find information when a typically friendly answer from peers here could point them in the right direction. What if they don't know the terminology to initiate a proper search in the first place?

I probably post some stupid questions. And I shake my head at some stupid questions by others. But I don't rant about it on the forum.

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#71
In reply to #66

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 3:04 PM

Gee that sounds a lot like my position......go in and clean up everyone elses stuff because they choose not to.

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#72
In reply to #70

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 3:30 PM

THANK YOU. Succinct and well said.

And a GA to you, sir!

Micah

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#73
In reply to #71

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 3:32 PM

ssshhhh, not so loud. I have to sleep here tonight, too!

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#74
In reply to #35

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 3:47 PM

When you say bike, are you referring to the ones with pedals and training wheels?

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#75
In reply to #70

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/15/2009 3:58 PM

That's a good point about googling.

However there is an advanced search tool with google that allows you to be more specific with what you are looking for even if you don't know the exact terminology. Just mentioning something related can lead you to a more accurate listing from within the body of the information you're looking at.

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#76
In reply to #8

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 7:06 PM

europium

I gave you a GA

With all the good ratings you received on this thread alone, Out of curiosity, I wonder how many that gave you a GA are a degreed engineer.

I for one am

phoenix911

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#77
In reply to #8

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 7:37 PM

What is evident to me from your post is not so much your professional qualifications as your haughtiness. I wouldn't hire you for that reason alone.

You nailed that correctly. Quite frankly, I worked with a number of card carrying PEs and I have to say I have not been impressed.

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#78
In reply to #1

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 8:16 PM

(and more, learning a lot in the process)

Interesting observation- same reason I don't mind helping some of these guys do their research for them, no matter what they call themselves...But I generally am not as willing to share what I'ver learned with the morons as you are. Good for you- you are a better man than I...

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#79
In reply to #5

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 8:26 PM

A historical note. When I earned my PE in Texas, the exam was not required. College degree, four years of documented apprenticeship under a Registered PE, and, I don't remember exactly how many, but some peer recommendations. The Texas PE was then transferable to many other states (California excluded for sure, maybe some others). All the PE ever did for me was put me in line for law suits. A couple of the best people doing engineering level work that I have ever had the pleasure to work with had no degree, but many years of experience and self-study- these are the ones I would prefer to consult when I faced a mental block to a solution I was seeking...

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#80
In reply to #10

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 8:34 PM

europium.

OK, as you ask, i hereby call you a pragmatist. And I did not need a psychic to decern that for me. GA from me...

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#81
In reply to #7

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 8:47 PM

We all know what "BS" stands for. Now for the follow-on- "MS" = more of the same; "PhD"- piled higher and deeper...

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#82
In reply to #81

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 9:26 PM

Now don't forget "post doc," i.e., "fence mender."

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#83
In reply to #73

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 9:33 PM

No contingency plan, eh? Well, just in case she hears, throw an electric blanket in that doghouse along with a couple of beers and a good book. You'd be amazed at the difference it makes.

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#84
In reply to #80

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 10:04 PM

That's 1-900-a-pragmatist. Pragmatic psychics are on the line now, knowing you'll call...

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#85
In reply to #77

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 10:49 PM

I've probably worked with more than the ones that come immediately to mind, but two really strike a chord. One was an arrogant contractor who spent all his time talking about how much time he spent on his sailing yacht to work off his "tax liability". He didn't get much done, and he didn't impress me at all. Apparently he didn't impress my boss, either, as his contract was terminated very early.

The other was a former Army Artillery Officer, who had become a PE after earning his EE. Since he was ESL (English as a Second Language) and his military service was in another country's army, he had the double whammy of having to learn English while completing his EE. He was solid professional in everything he did, he was more than willing to work alongside of, advise, and accept advise from, anyone who was willing to treat him with respect, and he and I became exceptionally good friends, until we lost touch about 10 years ago. HE was a great example of an degreed professional engineer, and PE.

Pedro Faberlle, where are you? Stand up and take a bow.

Micah

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#86
In reply to #83

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/15/2009 10:52 PM

Books always in my back pocket. The dog is shaggy. I'll be warm enough. Just smelly come daybreak. Maybe she'll let me in to take a shower.

Micah

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#87
In reply to #15

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/16/2009 12:26 AM

..It's called lying.

Actually it is called fraud. Lying for profit.

Brad

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#88

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/16/2009 1:19 AM

Hi all,

It is nice to see both sides of the story being fought - but lets face the facts.

1. If it is not your discipline - what are you doing working in it?
I am very confused with this? Every project I have been involved with has been a multi disciplenary project - they have to be. You have civils, mechanical, chemical, electrical, c&i etc etc etc. They each have their part to play. As C&I I have no interest in the civil part except for space requirements and the legal aspect (firewalls etc). The same goes with mechanical - I am only ineterested in the pipe size material etc.

The point I am making is that we do have a portion where we will overlap between disciplines - but that portion is applicable to your work and requirements. I speak for myself when I say that I do not know their work in detail - and I have no wish to. I find my discipline stimulating and challenging enough.

What I don't understand is why an electrical engineer (for example) would want to know in detail, the titration of x, y, z or how to size the tubes in a heat exchanger? This does not make any sense to me.

As a PE in SA you may take the responsibility of signing off the design. If you sign out of your discipline and something happens - you are in for some serious fine and jail time.

I am also confused with this thing of designer and engineer. As an engineer you are the designer. How else would the work get done, or your idea materialise. You have to do the maths to solve the problem, and you have the idea in your head. Sure, you have CAD operators - but they can do nothing without that idea that is in your head.

I also have nothing against engineers that I call QBE(Qaulified By Experience). Over the years I have worked with many of these types and have learnt a great deal from them. For that I say thank you.

I agree that we must pay back for the good fortune that we have had. Who else will teach the newer generation? But at the same time they should want to learn. As the old saying goes - you can lead a horse to the water, but you cannot make it drink.

I think this is a very emotional topic for most of us, degreed or not. I remember when I started out it worked like this: Study, get degree, graduate, work for four years as engineer in training, get PE after the four years, become junior engineer, become senior engineer, become lead engineer, become chief engineer, become engineering manager. I have not seen this for many years and I do not think it happens any more. This is a shame as I do not believe in this fast track thing that seems to be happening today. Another thing I find very sad is that the majority of engineers sit on either side of the boundry i.e. they are either retiring or they are graduates - there are very few in the middle. I believe that this is a problem as there is not enough time for the older generation to carry over the knowledge and experience to the newer generation. As I say, this is my experience here and where I have happened to work. I wonder what this situation is like for the rest of you?

Anyways - to those engineers (degreed, or not) - only you yourself will know whether you can use the title or not and whether it is justified or not.

Have a good one!

Cheers

Craig

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#89
In reply to #81

Re: Engineers, take notice

01/16/2009 6:00 AM

Love the humor!! Great.

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#90
In reply to #88

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/16/2009 6:18 AM

Firstly, let me say I respect your point of view, I have no problems with it at all.

BUT!!!

I am a "NOSY" Engineer, I take a deep interest in almost ANYTHING Electrical, Mechanical or Electronic........I have very many varied hobbies........I enjoy working with almost any tools, both large and small from Lathes and Millers to screwdrivers......

I have met many Engineers who are just as crazy interested in everything as I am, if not in some cases even more crazy interested!!

These people and I get on fantastically.......each one prepared to mention things, sometimes to his own detriment, of stuff that went well or sometimes not at all.......

These are my "Engineers" whether from Uni, DipTech or whatever........

I always tried to learn as much as possible of things that directly impinged on my own work as I found that not understanding it allowed some people to "pull the wool over the eyes" of less educated persons!!! Which is why I got quite deeply into programming many times in my life......to mention only one thing...I could then make searching questions at the appropriate point!!

I can only say that my job was never in the least boring!!!!

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#91
In reply to #88

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/16/2009 9:46 AM

Craig,

I appreciate your point of view but I have had a very different experience in my career to what you describe here.

"If it is not your discipline - what are you doing working in it?"

Many companies do not have an engineer from each field of study. Working in an engineering position (whether you are an engineer or not) eventually turns multidisciplinary in many companies. For example, in my last position I was tasked to design and over see the build of all aspects of an electro-mechanical forming machine. I did all of the design work, calculations, tool design, development of specifications and drawings up to the controls (which I wrote the requirements for and spec'ed the components).

As a Mechanical Designer I had to teach myself many aspects of engineering beyond mechanical. And I am proud to say that the design has been touted as their best machine to date and is being used globally.

Engineer v.s. Designer – again my experience differs. As a designer I have worked with engineers constantly. Generally they have been put in the position of project manager and have been involved in customer communication and development of requirements etc. Certainly there have been good engineers that I have worked with that have had some good input into a design. But for the most part the design has been the creation of the designer. And the engineers I have worked with were glad to have it that way because they were too busy to deal with the detail and nuances of design.

BTW. A CAD operator is not a designer. Just as a designer is not an engineer. Just as an engineer is not a designer. That said… I believe there have been posts on this topic before so I won't go on…..

I keep quoting my experience. So to list a few places I've worked as a designer….. GM Truck, GM Diesel, GM Defense, Alcoa (automotive wheels), Johnson Controls (seat division), New Flyer (transit bus), Dofasco (automotive structures), etc…..

Am I an engineer? By most definitions I guess I am. I do the job of an engineer. But I do not carry the liability of an engineer and I do not "stamp" documents. So no, I do not call myself and Engineer (capital 'E'). I do "engineering" work. And I am currently and "engineering" manager. But I am a Designer (capital 'D').

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#92
In reply to #91

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/16/2009 10:50 AM

BTW. A CAD operator is not a designer. Just as a designer is not an engineer. Just as an engineer is not a designer. That said… I believe there have been posts on this topic before so I won't go on…..

Well, a designer can and may be a CAD operator, and a designer can and may be an engineer, not to mention that engineers certainly can and may be designers. That said, I think you may be constricted in your thinking.

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#93
In reply to #92

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/16/2009 11:03 AM

Don't get me wrong. If I had gone on.... I would have stated just you you have. And more. I was just trying to stay on topic.

I've seen, and expereinced myself, projects where the engineer, the designer and the CAD operator are the same person. Add a deadline and that is where the grey hair and long evenings start.

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#94
In reply to #93

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/16/2009 11:38 AM

"I've seen, and expereinced myself, projects where the engineer, the designer and the CAD operator are the same person."

Back in the mid-80s I had a consulting firm in Massachusetts and for a time I was the Owner, CEO, CTO, CFO, Engineering, Purchasing, Marketing & Sales, Shipping & Receiving, Custodial Services and Chief Stamp Licker.

During the holiday season I'd send Christmas cards to my clients, signed: "Merry Christmas from all of us!"

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#95
In reply to #93

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/16/2009 11:49 AM

Been there, done that...

12 years self-employed - designing, draughting, building, wiring, programming, testing, installing, commissioning, maintaining ....

I call myself a design engineer. Don't care whether the words begin with d e or D E, or whatever combination. I have no paper qualifications in either discipline, just 33 years in the game, after 5 years at University studying physics (I have some paper to prove that part).

I am a designer and an engineer, because that's what I do.

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#96
In reply to #95

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/16/2009 12:09 PM

Been my experience in the high tech world that physics majors make the best and most successful practicing electrical engineers.

BTW, in that world a PE is virtually useless based on my experience. I've always kept my PE current against the possibility of having to find work outside Silicon Valley. But it meant nothing there.

Ed Weldon

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#97
In reply to #95

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/16/2009 12:15 PM

John:

I've noticed in my studies of history, that here in the US, most of the "important" inventions of the last 40 years have been "in a lab at <name your company> so-and-so found that <whatever> and the result was the <invention>. Note that it doesn't occur very often here without an infusion of money. OR, it occurs, but we never hear about it, and never get to use it, because it doesn't get developed/marketed/sold/given away/etc.

In the UK, on the other hand, I am constantly reminded of, among others, Mr. Barnes Wallace (sp?) who developed the DamBuster bomb at a critical juncture in UK history, in his backyard, using a homemade water tank, with the help of his kids, from an event observed on a beach, etc., etc., a thoroughly independent, and probably amateur effort. And it seems to me that that is the history of the UK.

So, I am glad to see that you are carrying on a wonderful tradition of designing, and engineering, because its there to be designed and engineered.

I do the same, though my efforts are more modest, and I mostly do stuff that amuses me, or helps folks around me. And I have a very good job, and on desire to do those LLLOOOONNNNNGGGGG hours that are involved in starting and running my own business, so I've never pushed any of my ideas for monetary gain. Not that I have anything against those of you who do. More power to you.

But keep on iInventing/eEngineering/dDesigning/wWhatever floats your boating, regardless of those who say you can't without a degree, and a certificate, and (my favorite) the certification I define so that no one I don't want in gets in.

Speaking in Physics terms, for differing reasons, bumblebees and helicopters are both incapable of flight. But, since God and Igor Sikorsky didn't know that, they do anyway!

Micah

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#98
In reply to #96

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/16/2009 12:37 PM

That seems to be the case in my neck of the woods, as well. But over the years the One Thing I've seen that sets the Great Engineers apart from the crowd -- regardless of education, country of origin, certifications, school prestige nor any of that -- is that they all share a love of engineering. The guy/gals who are "in it for the money" (ha!), or because that's what their folks urged them to do, or whatever, don't last. Engineering is not just a job, it's a committment. To excellence, if the truth be told.

Let's face it: Engineering isn't for the under-motivated or the faint of heart. Sometimes - often - it's just plain hard work that calls for depth of knowledge, good judgement, creativity, patience, wisdom and experience. And it is the art of compromise and optimization. "If you don't love to do engineering, then find something you do love and do that." This is what I tell prospective/aspiring engineers who ask me, "Should I go into Engineering? Or Business? What should I do?"

For my part I knew I was going to be an engineer the moment my dad left a broken washing-machine water pump on the kitchen table when I was four years old. I just didn't know the word "Engineer." Bog help all those doomed wristwatches he left on the tub after his showers!

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#99
In reply to #98

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/16/2009 1:20 PM

My dad gave me a $500 57 Plymouth with a flat-head six, and three in the tree, when I was only two years younger than it was, and said "if you can keep it running, you can have it". Biggest favor he ever did me, after spending all that time and money feeding and raising me. I was 15 1/2 years old, knew nothing about cars, had no tools, and neither did he.

Well, to shorten a longer story, my foster brother broke low gear pulling MY new car into our driveway, and I had to put in a junkyard trans if I wanted to run it. I did, 6 times, but I finally got it right, and never looked back.

So, what did I learn from all that? Learn anything you can, anytime you can, because you never know what you'll use, or how or when you'll use it.

I KNEW I could do anything I set my mind to, because of my Dad and that old Plymouth. If you need to do it, YOU CAN, degrees and certs be hanged. And if you love it you will.

I worked for GTE in the Federal Systems Sector offices for 17 1/2 years, doing every kind of "housekeeping" engineering (that's whatever the guys with specialties turned down with "that's not my specialty") and enjoying learning new stuff constantly. But I watched a bunch of our degreed "engineers" (remember those "specialists"?) quit to sell Real Estate, whenever the projects got slim, or the money got tight, or life otherwise got "lemony", and I could never understand it. I didn't know then, but I do now, they thought engineering was about THE MONEY. And they didn't last. But a bunch of us hard-core fixit/buildit/solve-it folks stayed on. We didn't make as much money (Maybe) but they didn't have as much fun (Certainly).

And I'm gonna either retire, or die, as an engineer. Cause I love it. And if I retire, I've already got an offer from two Middle and High Schools to go teach hands-on, practical, applied Science. That's the only thing that could be better than Engineering, making new Engineers.

I'm with you.

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#100
In reply to #99

Re: Engineers, Take Notice

01/16/2009 1:29 PM

Bingo!

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