Engineers are intrinsically 'right-wing'.

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MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:23 am

DeltaV wrote:
MSimon wrote:
choff wrote:In 'The Dilbert Principal' engineers are said to see the world as a 'sub optimized system,' something I think all navy nukes would probably agree with.(pun intended)


Where do us surface nukes fit in?


Dilbert is a (land) surface nuke:

Image

[I also once worked for the pointy-haired boss]


I once had an engineer boss (with a real degree from a real college) tell me that the pulse currents in a capacitor input power supply caused no additional heating over the DC current drawn (considered as an RMS AC current). He was a pointy haired boss.

I paid no attention to him and designed it the right way. i.e. got a xfmr AC rated for 2X the DC current drawn (rule of thumb approximation).

This same boss insisted that I design a 1 bit computer (using a Motorola 14500 IIRC) instead of using a $400 KIM-1. I did do that. Even used a kind of NVRAM that used 3 or 4 power supply voltages. It was a croc. But it worked.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

chrismb
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Postby chrismb » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:29 am

I rather think that the best bosses for engineers are probably those with some vision of application, not ones with engineering knowledge. Just one of those management dichotomies. The other big dichotomy is that the best managers do nothing; at least, they do nothing when things are going well and work hard when things are going wrong. Bad managers are the inverse; they do lots of stuff when things are going well (to mess it up) and do nothing when things are bad.

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:22 am

Actually, I think that lung cancer is more related to genetics than environmental effects, including smoking.
I used to be a smoker (I quit a few years ago), never a heavy smoker, but I did quite enjoy it. I still think that I was easier to be with when I was still smoking (it was a quick way to calm my nerves).
Still, I do think that not smoking is better than smoking. You dont have to push your luck.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:58 am

Skipjack wrote:Actually, I think that lung cancer is more related to genetics than environmental effects, including smoking.
I used to be a smoker (I quit a few years ago), never a heavy smoker, but I did quite enjoy it. I still think that I was easier to be with when I was still smoking (it was a quick way to calm my nerves).
Still, I do think that not smoking is better than smoking. You dont have to push your luck.


That may be but schizophrenics smoke a lot. It helps. And the taxes are literally killing them.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:12 pm

Cigarettes are even more expensive here and we have percentually a lot more smokers than the US has. Since, according to you, people are generally richer in the US, they should have an easy time affording that little luxury.
The high taxes here did help reducing the amount of smokers in the population, btw.
As I said, I used to be an avid smoker, I am glad I am not anymore.

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:38 pm

On the engineers versus scientists thingy:
I dont know how it works in the US, but in Austria, if you study at the technical university you dont get a PHD. You get the title "Diplom Ingenieur". I am pretty sure that this is simillar in most Germany speaking countries. So german technical physicists or chemists are in fact engineers, though they have a university degree and there are professors at these universities too.
I wonder how many of the "physicists" that were working on the Manhattan project, were actually such "Ingenieur" engineers.
So I do really think that you can separate the two that well. It is ultimately the same thing.
Both should make use of the scientific method, btw.

choff
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Postby choff » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:16 pm

I remember at one time that genetics researchers claimed that schizophrenics were immune to certain types of cancer.
CHoff

DeltaV
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Postby DeltaV » Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:03 pm

chrismb wrote:I rather think that the best bosses for engineers are probably those with some vision of application, not ones with engineering knowledge. Just one of those management dichotomies. The other big dichotomy is that the best managers do nothing; at least, they do nothing when things are going well and work hard when things are going wrong. Bad managers are the inverse; they do lots of stuff when things are going well (to mess it up) and do nothing when things are bad.

That matches what I've experienced, too.

The best managers may not be all that technically astute, but they have a clear vision of the end product, and they give their engineers the freedom and resources to accomplish it.

The bad managers will micromanage to the point of absurdity, often giving the engineering work to accountants and the accounting work to engineers. Their main concern is political impacts to their career, screw the product/customer/physics/etc.

I was once hired by a mega-corporation to investigate frequent in-service failures in a life-critical system. On the first day, my pointy-haired boss (the second of three during my career) told me the failures were due to a certain sensor (he was very emphatic about that), but they couldn't reproduce the failures in simulation. Starting from scratch, I was able to simulate the failures with more accurate models of the plant physics, combined with a "perfect" sensor model. So the sensor wasn't the problem, it was that the controller design was too sensitive to system nonlinearities. In the course of this investigation, the modeling software normally used at this company mysteriously stopped working (on my computer only). Their IT people were clueless, and I eventually had to use trial software downloaded from the web to complete the work.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:51 am

DeltaV,

I have never been sabotaged by a boss (at least that I'm aware of).

But I did have a boss with a Degree In Mechanical Engineering try to tell me that it was possible to make a rubber diaphragm pressure sensor (low pressure) with no hysteresis.

I suggested adding a bit of AC (it was a Hall effect sensor to read distance moved) to the design (a coil near the magnet) to eliminate the hysteresis. He didn't like that idea. He never got that sucker to work right.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.


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