Author Topic: Engineers  (Read 260 times)

Offline terryg

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Engineers
« on: 08.11. 2020 09:52 »
Reading the above I can’t help remembering that a ‘fitter’ is one thing but an ‘engineer’ is someone altogether different. A person with a broad knowledge base and an approach that analyses problems and designs and develops reliable solutions.

At least, that’s my personal experience having worked with some first rate engineers.
Terry
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Re: Engineers
« Reply #1 on: 08.11. 2020 19:27 »
G'day Terry.
Problem is most "engineers" these days come straight out of Uni and have never laid a hand on a spanner. I believe a mechanical engineer should at least do a fitter & turners apprenticeship first.
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Offline RDfella

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Re: Engineers
« Reply #2 on: 08.11. 2020 21:10 »
Totally agree musky. When my son was at uni studying mechanical engineering he used to phone me nearly every day, asking 'dad, how do you do so & so?' My consistent reply was 'I'm paying for you to be taught that' and his was 'yes dad, but they don't know'. Those teaching knew nothing, but nothing changes. 'Twas the same in the 60's when I was at tech college. I already knew more that the guys teaching. The old saying 'if you can't do it become a teacher and if you can't do that be a consultant' is so true. Can't beat experience or, as a fellow drinker at the club I frequented in the 70's used to remark - 'who knows best - the guy with the qualifications or the chap who's been doing the job for 30 yrs?' Sadly, today qualifications are everything - but in most cases are meaningless.
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Online chaterlea25

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Re: Engineers
« Reply #3 on: 08.11. 2020 21:18 »
Hi All,
Agreed Musky, the best "Engineers" I worked with had done a full apprenticeship
A high % of my apprentices went on to qualify as engineers, I still keep in touch with quite a few of them although its been 10 years plus since I left work

John
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Re: Engineers
« Reply #4 on: 08.11. 2020 23:15 »
G'day Fellas.
Not wanting to divert this thread.
I'm kicking myself now. When I was a 3rd year apprentice I started doing the Mechanical Engineers Cert at tech. As I was almost finished the tech part of the apprenticeship I was exempt of a few subjects. But as a 19 year old bikes, booze and broads got in the way and I dropped out.
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Online metalflake11

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Re: Engineers
« Reply #5 on: 08.11. 2020 23:21 »
G'day Fellas.
Not wanting to divert this thread.
I'm kicking myself now. When I was a 3rd year apprentice I started doing the Mechanical Engineers Cert at tech. As I was almost finished the tech part of the apprenticeship I was exempt of a few subjects. But as a 19 year old bikes, booze and broads got in the way and I dropped out.
Cheers

I'm hoping you are kicking yourself for wasting three years studying when you could have been boozing, riding, and chasing floozies?.....

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Online Jules

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Re: Engineers
« Reply #6 on: 08.11. 2020 23:37 »
Similar thing happened to me Musky, except I managed the transfer, I always felt that the hands on grounding then the learning was a great way forward, back then.....however, these days there is so much simulation ilo practical testing, that the learning experience becomes vital for accurate simulations and the hands on secondary, although the hands on is still an important aspect to be able to  recognise the bad simulations ie crap in, crap out....
as in everything though, I think a good balance is the right answer.
As for todays teachers RD, I think, again, that things have changed incredibly. I do agree with your comments from earlier days but my daughter teaches at primary and high schools and the expectations on her are really "out there". She has to manage and control multiple personality kids and their curriculums and its really showed up through the COVID crisis with working and teaching from home, she amazes me quite honestly....

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Re: Engineers
« Reply #7 on: 09.11. 2020 10:43 »
IT actually cuts both ways
Engineers who have come up from the shop floor tend to stick with what they know like glue so change is very slow and innovation tends to stand still .
All of those desktop dyno programes that allow you to design & run an engine in simulations on your computes came from graduate engineers .
The man from the shop floor would have you building 300 different modifications of parts to fit to the test engines then measure the results .
Twenty five years latter you get an engine with 2 more Hp that has cost an astronomical amount to develope and will never pay for itself.

The problems are quite varied
People think a graduate engineer instantaly knows the answer to every problem when in fact that is not what they are taught.
They are taught HOW to analyse a problem , WHERE to seek answers and What to look for that may go wrong .
And as different branches of engineering diverge people fail to understand that a Production Engineer is not a Mechanical Engineer is not an Automotive Engineer is not a Marine Engineer etc etc etc .
While a mechanic can be an engineer, an engineer is not a mechanic .
And the worse culprits are CPA's who upgraded to an MBA and because most accountants can be sat in front of almost any spread sheet & under stand it ( unless you swap the axies ) they seem to think than any engineer can walk into any plant and have a complete & full understanding of everything there before morning tea then fix whatever the problem was before lunch at no cost and have the lost production made up by tea .
And these are the clots who end up being managers.

Then there the educational instutions themselves who are under pressure to pop out graduates, as & when required for minimal cost while maintaining enrollment numbers high enough to justify the entire school remaining active so the standard of the undergraduates being offered a place in all but the most prestigious universities has dropped like a stone .
Even worse down here we have all those 4th rate Dawkins universities that used to be first rate CAE's graduating first rate & highly regarded Diploma students now churning out 4th rate graduate engineers to be employed by the 4th rate managers with MBA's in order to cover their backsides from retribution by the board of directors when everything goes pear shape because "They got a graduate engineer onto the problem when all the time what they really needed was a deceint machine setter or a better than average fitter .
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Trevor

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Re: Engineers
« Reply #8 on: 09.11. 2020 10:54 »
Well I'm time served from the mid 70s, including completing ONC and HNC on day release. I was made redundant within months of passing the HNC and then moved into electronics manufacture - high tech circuit boards on government contract. Then I really sold out and turned to computers and programming.

So these days, as an office wallah and frustrated engineer with no proper hands on experience since the early 80s I consider myself a fitter and project manager in the garage. I pull out and refit the larger sized assemblies and they get sent to the experts. A man has to know his own limitations.

One day when I get to step back from the keyboard coalface I should like to refamiliarise myself with proper techniques, and get some better equipment in the workshop.     
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Online BSA_54A10

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Re: Engineers
« Reply #9 on: 09.11. 2020 10:56 »
Totally agree. Never been able to understand how a machined item (eg con-rod) can be as strong and endure the stresses invoklved, as a forging. Likewise I could never see the advantage of machining rods by making then into an H section.
A H section has about 90% the strength of the full section but only 60% of the weight .
Add to that most cracks start at a surface, particularly if these is a bending moment at the surface
However it that same surface is now thinner then the bending moment at the surface s actually smaller because it is closer to the center line.
This becomes even more important if you are adding thermal stresses as well .
BSA has been using H section rods from day one
It is the same story for box sections over solid
In may cases the box section is actually stronger than a solid of the same external dimensions .
Engineers should be taught how to calculate these strengths so work out what section thickness in the walls of the box section are needed to get the strength of beam required.
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Trevor

Offline RDfella

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Re: Engineers
« Reply #10 on: 09.11. 2020 12:55 »
Trevor - I believe you misunderstood me, because I've never seen a BSA with an H section rod - at least not the way I meant it. After all, it's hardly an H, is it? I was referring to the sort made by firms such as Carrillo. They seem popular and so must work, but I prefer the more normal type.
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Online Rex

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Re: Engineers
« Reply #11 on: 09.11. 2020 21:40 »
When I were t'lad the various denominations were quite clear and unequivocal.
Engineers designed bridges, space rockets and planes and never touched a spanner in their working lives,
Technicians fixed faults on things like radar and avionics equipment,
Fitters (of all disciplines) were extremely highly skilled and kept plant and industry running
apprentices did four or five years training including day/block release at college.
Now,
engineers are the people who service your boiler or fix the washing machine
technicians are the little Thai girls who stick on false nails in every High St
fitters are people who install kitchens, carpets and windows,
apprentices are office juniors who spend a year filing paperwork on minimum wages.
Then again many people in 2020 do like to fool themselves with their chosen job titles..

Online KiwiGF

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Re: Engineers
« Reply #12 on: 09.11. 2020 22:43 »
When I were t'lad the various denominations were quite clear and unequivocal.
Engineers designed bridges, space rockets and planes and never touched a spanner in their working lives,
Technicians fixed faults on things like radar and avionics equipment,
Fitters (of all disciplines) were extremely highly skilled and kept plant and industry running
apprentices did four or five years training including day/block release at college.
Now,
engineers are the people who service your boiler or fix the washing machine
technicians are the little Thai girls who stick on false nails in every High St
fitters are people who install kitchens, carpets and windows,
apprentices are office juniors who spend a year filing paperwork on minimum wages.
Then again many people in 2020 do like to fool themselves with their chosen job titles..

I think the definition of an engineer varies between countries, e.g most engineers in nz would be fitter/turners/mechanics/technicians in the UK.

I did a UK engineering degree in the 70’s (then didn’t use it much) and back then we were required to study maths to an semi-advanced level as the “foundation” part of the course, so in the first year, 3 hours a week on integration, 3 hours a week on differentiation, 3 hours on pure maths and 3 hours on statistics, from memory.  The other 10 hours a week or so were spent on more engineering type subjects, like fluid dynamics, metallurgy, stress analysis etc.

Maths subjects continued to be a significant part of the course content until the last year of 3 years of full time study. Very few hours of study were spent on “practical work” which I guess is where the criticism comes from about newly qualified engineers being useless in the shop.

Nowadays I guess the need for good maths knowledge is reduced by existence of CAD and software applications that do the calculations for you, but I bet the students today still get the background in maths.....

I reckon the topic of engineering is so broad that most degree level engineers will specialise and learn what their education didn’t cover subsequently e.g. “on the job”, which is another source of criticism I suspect.

So a degree level engineer won’t know “everything” but at least, as a minimum, has shown that they can absorb a vast amount of information in a relatively short period of time (and remember it many months later..... at exam time), will know what they don’t know (but know where to look it up), and they will be pretty good at maths too.

PS - maths is NOT the same as arithmetic.......






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Online Black Sheep

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Re: Engineers
« Reply #13 on: 10.11. 2020 06:41 »
I dropped out of my engineering science degree. There was nothing practical in it do my intense disappointment. An apprenticship was what I really needed.
My eldest grandson is just completing his masters in engineering. This is the same grandson who when sent to screw some panels to a shed wall was taking ages and ages. On investigation, the drill he was using was in reverse...
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Online Greybeard

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Re: Engineers
« Reply #14 on: 10.11. 2020 09:25 »
I joined BT when I was 29. I got the opportunity to study for an ONC in telecommunications and later an HNC in business and finance. Very little of what I studied was of practical use to me.