View Full Version : Presentation Research!

12-17-2011, 09:56 PM
I need help answering the following questions from engineers and non-engineers alike! So please please ask your friends/family/coworkers - I'd love it if I got both engineer and non-engineer answers - thanks!:

1) Are you an engineer? If so, what kind?
2) What do you think engineering is?

12-17-2011, 11:05 PM
1) I am not an engineer.
2) An engineer drives the train.


12-18-2011, 01:03 AM
1) No.
2) Running large scale garden trains.

12-18-2011, 01:03 AM
1./ In its broadest context many people could be considered engineers. I don't consider myself as being an engineer although its possible I could hold a job that describes me as such.

2./ I tend to view an engineer as being a subject matter expert in a particular field who specializes in design, construction and problem solving. So engineering is the production of an item or process that has been specifically defined by an engineer or group of engineers.

Jeff T.

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
12-18-2011, 01:21 AM
1) I can't legally call myself an engineer, since that requires certification. So I call myself a circuit designer and programmer instead.

2) Engineers (of the electronic persuasion) do circuit design and programming. (Hey, wait! That's what I do!) Because they've passed stringent exams and received certification, they can also contribute to and sign off on projects that require certification and serve as expert witnesses in a court of law.


12-18-2011, 01:37 AM
1) I am an engineer. The environmental/civil kind.
2) From my perspective, engineering is a creative endeavor that seeks cost-effective solutions to problems that affect our lives.

12-18-2011, 02:29 AM
1) Are you an engineer? If so, what kind?
2) What do you think engineering is?

1) I have a college degree in it, does that count?
2) Engineering is what I do when I'm not doing art, when I'm not doing science, when I'm not taking care of bodily functions, not thinking about the meaning of life, not performing sexual rituals, not asking questions on this forum, or otherwise not being a nuisance.

12-18-2011, 02:54 AM
1) Quality Engineer... insane statistics and stuff! http://prdweb.asq.org/certification/control/quality-engineer/bok
2) What is an engineer? So many interpretations, but my favorite: Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes.


12-18-2011, 04:24 AM
1) No. A scientist who works with engineers.
2) Engineers are methodical problem solvers. My experience is that Engineers tend to focus on hows then whys... ...while the Scientists tend to focus on whys then hows...

12-18-2011, 05:29 AM
1) Are you an engineer? If so, what kind?
2) What do you think engineering is?

1) yes, Software Quality Engineer
2) In general - engineers "make stuff". More specificically, engineers design based on requirements, and built based on the design. My function is to ensure that the requirements are documented, and are reasonable; and the design is documented, addresses the requirements, and is reasonable. I make a paper trail for the engineering development process.

12-18-2011, 05:48 AM
1) Are you an engineer? If so, what kind?
2) What do you think engineering is?

1) Yes, Locomotive
2) Well according to most people an Engineer is responsible for the most unnecessary noise pollution, of course. CHOO CHOO :)

12-18-2011, 06:24 AM
I am not an engineer.

An electrical engineer is someone who designs a prototype product which looks like a "rats nest" of wires and it works perfectly. Then he "cleans it up" into a nice neat looking finished product, then it smokes when power applied or no longer works. And he does this again and again with various products, never giving up!

An engineer I once met, who owns a large structural engineering firm, thinks engineers are legal professionals who handle lawsuits all the time from anyone who slips and falls in a building their firm designed!

My neighbor, who used to work in a school of engineering, thinks engineers are people who can't spell.

12-18-2011, 09:34 PM
Thanks for the great responses thus far, I'm currently collating all of the ones I'm getting here: http://www.tymkrs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=124

12-18-2011, 11:10 PM
retired telecoms
one who puts science into practice; or who maintains systems; or who implement systems, one who dismantles EVERYTHING; who tinkers, wonders,dreams....

12-19-2011, 08:23 AM
1. Yes I am, at least it says so in my employment contract.
I'm the kind of engineer that does a lot of things for a lot of people so they can do a lot of things. (like make a call without a cord in central Africa)

2. A "real" engineer is a man/woman who can think outside of the box and come up with new or improved solutions to help mankind in different ways.


12-21-2011, 08:43 PM
I ran across this engineering flowchart while careening around the interwebs...


Mike Green
12-21-2011, 09:01 PM
1) My training and experience is as a computer engineer although I'm no longer employed in that capacity. There was no graduate degree in Computer Engineering offered at the time at my university, so mine reads Applied Science which makes some sense.

2) I think of an engineer as someone who designs things that he/she expects to build or have built. I like your definition from message #8.

12-21-2011, 10:26 PM
1)I'm a fourth year engineering student
2)Engineering is the ability to build something by applying science (rather than experience or luck).

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
12-21-2011, 10:39 PM
Engineering is the ability to build something by applying science (rather than experience or luck).
Ah, the delusions of the young! :) As you get older, you'll come to appreciate the role experience plays in engineering.


12-22-2011, 01:15 AM
Ah, the delusions of the young! :) As you get older, you'll come to appreciate the role experience plays in engineering.


Experience helps direct you towards a solution, but in engineering it's not suitable justification for the result. In contrast, a craftsman justifies by experience.

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
12-22-2011, 01:39 AM

That's a rather narrow view of experience. Yes, experience is important in craft and, believe it or not, despite what your professors might tell you, craft plays a vital role in engineering. But, most importantly, having experience means that you don't have to reinvent the wheel from first principles every time you endeavor on a new project.

I don't blame you for your limited viewpoint, though. College has a way of emphasizing analysis at the expense of intuition. But that's to be expected. It takes more than four years to develop intuition in any field.

One has to look no further than the late Bob Pease or Jim Williams to understand the important role a life's experience plays in contributing to an engineering profession. Hopefully, you will be lucky enough in future years to work with and absorb wisdom from someone like Bob or Jim.


12-22-2011, 01:47 AM
...Engineering is the ability to build something by applying science (rather than experience or luck).

...As you get older, you'll come to appreciate the role experience plays in engineering....

And, as you get even older, you'll come to appreciate the role luck plays in everything.

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
12-22-2011, 01:58 AM

I wasn't going to go there, but yeah. Like billiard balls caroming across felt-covered slate, it's amazing how our lives are directed by seemingly insignificant chance encounters. It takes training and experience, though, to leverage them to advantage.


12-22-2011, 03:35 AM
It's not that luck/experience is not useful in engineering. But when you build a bridge (or computer or chair) as an engineer you can't say "it works because I've built a bridge before, and look! That one is still standing!" If you can't justify with science the validity of what you made then you are not an engineer.

"Engineering is the ability to build something by applying science (rather than experience or luck)"

Those engineers with experience tend to use after the fact application of science. They have already gone through and tested the different ways of doing something, and found those that did not work. In the future, with this experience they are able to skip directly to a valid method. But it's still based on their original testing, and if asked an engineer can always justify their design with sound science. They don't use proof #10 (luck) and #36 (intuition) or any of them on this list (http://www.themathlab.com/geometry/funnyproofs.htm).

These thoughts are all my own. Professors rarely go into "engineering" philosophy (or practice or skills), and prefer to focus on things that fit better into a multiple choice exam.

12-22-2011, 03:44 AM
...Like billiard balls caroming across felt-covered slate, it's amazing how our lives are directed by seemingly insignificant chance encounters...

Not quite chance!

Coriolis's book on the physics of billiards...

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
12-22-2011, 04:04 AM
Professors rarely go into "engineering" philosophy (or practice or skills), and prefer to focus on things that fit better into a multiple choice exam.

What?!! You don't have to show your work anymore? I guess that's one benefit of skyrocketing tuition. I only paid $4000/year but, as a consequence, had to show every derivation step in an exam.

BTW, after reading your last post, I think we're on the same page re: experience. :)


That book was published in 1835, well before quantum mechanics became a tabloid sensation.


Mike Green
12-22-2011, 04:14 AM
Luck favors those prepared to notice and understand it when it appears, by means of knowledge, experience, and often humility.

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
12-22-2011, 04:31 AM
'Reminds me of golf champion Gary Player's famous quote in response to a reporter's query about his apparent luck: "Sure, I'm lucky. And the more I practice, the luckier I get!"


Peter KG6LSE
12-22-2011, 04:40 AM
I have my personal guidelines on WHO can use the "title" of engineer.
If you have a formal major degree in a ABET Accredited BS EET or EE ( 4 year ) .

Further more If you are Licensed Eng ( took the PE exam ect ) then you are a Licensed Eng .

12-22-2011, 02:25 PM
Many of us who are Professional Engineers are in regulated jurisdictions. That is, you can't use the title "engineer" or practice engineering without maintaining membership, including adherence to a Code of Ethics and being involved in continuing professional development.

As has been noted, getting professional designation includes graduation from an accredited engineering program ( ABET in the US, CEAB in Canada, others around the world), developing skills over a period of supervised or mentored work experience and be willing to take responsibility (in the legal sense) for work which you undertake.


Loopy Byteloose
12-22-2011, 02:52 PM
Well, here goes.

1. Yes, I am an engineer. I have an E.I.T. certification issued by the State of California' Board of Professional Engineers upon successful completion of their two day examination. E.I.T stands for Engineer-in-Training. After 4 years or so of work with an engineering firm, one may take a Professional Engineer's License Exam for some disciplines. For that exam, I declared a specialty of computer program on the second day -on a lark. (But I did pass and on my first exam attempt.)

2. What kind of engineer? I am not exactly sure. How can that be? The exam covered just about everything - Mechanical engineering, Fluid Dynamics, Electronics, Chemical Engineering, Computers, and so much more. The objective is to take this certification to demonstrate that you have a knowledge equivalence of a 4 year degree at a university engineering department. But I studied Architecture and Fine Art in university with a B.S. degree in Art.

I have done complete home design, civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and more - but I am still not sure. The truth is that all the disciplines share a common thread of mathematics and physics. It is great to learn about all of them. The thermodynamics and fluid dynamics were a bit difficult - but having the overview is really wonderful and has opened a lot of areas to being understandable.

12-22-2011, 07:44 PM
Thanks Loopy:) Given your experience - what is engineering to you?

12-23-2011, 12:48 AM
1. I have a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Penn State (and yes I am still proud of my school). Like Phil I wanted Computer Engineering but only the most prestigious universities had it. So I emphasized in digital design and computer programming. Most of 25 years or experience has been in computer programming though.

2. I had a professor once told me "The difference between an engineer and a technician is that an engineer knows where to look for the information". I feel the engineer is the one that takes the research of scientists and applies it to the development of products to enhance technology.

12-23-2011, 02:28 AM
I've always wondered who administered the PE exam to these two dudes. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_brothers)


Or who quizzed this haughty young punk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernher_von_Braun) in Raketenwissenschaft:


Not to cast aspersions on formal training, but, you know, in some cases... there comes a point...

Loopy Byteloose
12-23-2011, 04:11 AM
What is engineering to me? I wonder if I am being painted into a corner on that one.

Firstly, it is not the credential mill. I acquired the E.I.T. because there used to be more tolerance for getting certified as an engineer via proof of experience and knowledge. The E.I.T. is rather like a G.E.D. for those that couldn't get to a university, but have worked in engineering occupations. I was hoping to move on to a P.E., but employers no longer are willing to hire those that by-passed the 'normal educational route'. Many are kind selfish about letting others get a P.E. as they represent eventual competition. (It is very much a master-apprentice relationship these days.)

As a licensed general contractor, I used to provide complete plans and designs for building permits for clients a part of my services. You don't have to have a P.E. or be and architect to get designs approved for smaller scale structures, especially with stud wall construction.

I have worked in nuclear reactor construction, but in the Cost and Scheduling side of it.

And I have worked in Estimating and Negotiation for major building foundation excavations in San Francisco - including the Federal Home Loan Building on California and Kerney Sts. And a lot more.

So, to answer your question. I'd have to say most of my practical experience is in Civil and Structural Engineering. I did start studying Electronics at 12 years of age at Lowell High School, summer session in San Francisco.

Engineering is a best guess based on empirical research. We never know if something will fail until it actually does, but we can go a long way toward improving our guesses it we understand the processes and tools. It is as much an art and an acquired skill as it is a science or group of sciences.

I must say that one of the most important parts of the examination is Engineering Economics. A best solution not only is a good fit in terms of strength, durability, and safety. It has to be worthwhile to customer. And whatever we do, we all need customers.

01-09-2012, 02:36 AM
Thanks for everyone's input! The presentation that your quotes are a part of is tomorrow! If you would like to watch/join, please sign up by noon tomorrow:

The presentation is 1/9 (tomorrow) at 7pm CST.

Register by 1/9 12pm to get information on where to see it


01-09-2012, 02:52 AM
...The presentation that your quotes are a part of is tomorrow!...

Good luck!

From the presentation description:

Topic: Re-Engineering Engineering

Making Engineering Interesting. Engineers know how to do amazing things, from the simple blinking LEDs, to complex robots capable of cardiac surgery. With all of these skills, how do they prevent that glassy-eyed look from their children or partners?....

I'm guessing your conclusion includes something about marrying and reproducing via a geek?
That's always worked for me.

01-09-2012, 09:46 PM
You'll have to watch to see :) I'll mention working with the propeller too (as an added bonus)

01-09-2012, 09:54 PM
I can't watch in real time. Any chance you can post a copy to YouTube?

01-09-2012, 09:56 PM
Unfortunately I think they're just streaming it...If enough people want us (and we have time), we could record it and post it up for a tuesday/friday video

01-13-2012, 04:14 PM
Did you guys record this? Any chance we'll have access to it?

01-14-2012, 06:00 AM
It was recorded, but the person controlling the slides for the recording lagged behind me a bit, so I think we're going to record it for those who wanted to see it but missed it. I'll let ya'll know :)

01-14-2012, 12:40 PM
1. I am not an engineer, but I design equipment.
2. In my opinion, an engineer is someone that designs a strategy to complete a task, such as building a machine, a structure, a circuit, a chemical formula, a computer system, etc...


01-15-2012, 05:07 PM
1 ) Not an engineer yet(1 year high school, 2 year college, 3 year university maybe 4), just a high school 10th grader
2) I think it's some people that can come up with tihngs and improve