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Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

  • 1.  Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-03-2019 10:38 AM
    I love beautiful design of the built environment! Buildings, bridges, parks, even well done pipes in a subway system can be something beautiful! On a recent visit to London I was reminded that many "architects" of times long ago didn't consider themselves to be architects at all. People like DaVinci (came to London looking for engineering work) and Christoper Wren (whom began as a science professor) fancied themselves to be scientists or engineers foremost yet later were well known as architects of the time.

    I have a bit of an affinity for hand sketches of the built environment and it strikes me as interesting that both Wren and DaVinci were also talented artists.

    I wondered:
    How many of the ASCE members enjoy sketching or art and would you consider yourselves to be creative?

    Has the current society (by way of education, litigation, social expectations, etc.) pushed engineers away from the artistry of engineering or is it still alive and well?

    Do engineers, whom have a passion for understanding how things work, also have a passion for creativity and design?

    I'd love to hear your thoughts!


    ------------------------------
    Jesse Kamm PhD, PMP, A.M.ASCE
    Senior Vice President of Construction Management
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-03-2019 01:21 PM
    I consider myself to be creative even if my artistic talents do not measure up.  I rely on CAD rather than hand sketches.  There is still beauty in straight lines.

    Yes, there is nothing in education, regulations, or community expectations that encourages creativity in engineering.  It has grown worse since architecture and engineering became two practices.  Even those who promote STEM programs realized that they missed something and wedged the A back in to call it STEAM.  Your calculations or design should tell a story from the load point to the support.  How can you do that without literature?

    It is the responsibility of mentors to encourage creativity and give young engineers room to work from a blank page and not a cook book.  It is important that those child-like characteristics do not get shot down in college and early on in their careers.

    ------------------------------
    Chad Morrison P.E.,M.ASCE
    Professional Engineer
    Greenville RI
    (401)231-4870 EXT 2207
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-03-2019 03:29 PM

    Jesse,

    I have a funny example of how creativity can be misinterpreted in the engineering world. One of my colleagues, a scientist at a consulting company, had some time on his hands during an oversight job at a client's treatment plant that involved a lot of waiting. We were also tasked with painting a bathroom at the same site. So he used his spare time to paint it (very nicely) himself. However, the manager has decided that the 'fancy' paint job might create an impression that we are wasting the client's money, so the colleague had to repaint over in a basic-ugly shade of green.

    On another note, it seems that visual and the structural aspects are more separated in the US than in Europe. I may be wrong on this, but my general impression was that the architects in Europe are also trained as engineers (at least more so than here).



    ------------------------------
    Natalya Sokolovskaya P.E.,M.ASCE
    Wynnewood PA
    (323)382-6176
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-05-2019 10:24 AM
    Thanks for the example Natalya.

    Quality is conformance to requirements.

    And for those who provide the service or product, your example reminds us that
    the client remains the first, and last 'expert' as to defining the requirements.

    Cheers,
    Bill
    p.s. While you see a "basic-ugly shade of green," you client apparently saw a way to communicate to their client a cost-effective solution.

    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-05-2019 10:40 AM
    Natalya noted there may be a difference between the US and European way of looking at the design disciplines. I'm very interested in exploring this further. Perhaps this is a public policy issue? Or perhaps simply personal preference?

    So many variables go into licensing and separations of duties policy that it's near impossible to untangle. In the US, because of the very strict pathways to becoming an engineer and an architect, it's very impractical for anyone to be both a licensed engineer and a licensed architect. I'm not sure the idea of STEM or even STEAM promotion help. Some scholars have expressed similar sentiments See Chronicle of Higher Ed Column .

    As a funny aside, my son and daughter go to an engineering magnet school where all the buildings are named after scientists, not engineers. I pointed this out to my son whom in turned pointed it out to his teachers whom frustratingly dismissed it and said it's all the same thing. -Ummm....no it's not!

    Nonetheless, I'm interested in pursuing these lines of research further if any fellow scholar practitioners are interested in partnering. Please feel free to reach out.

    ------------------------------
    Jesse Kamm PhD, PMP, A.M.ASCE
    Senior Vice President of Construction Management
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-04-2019 08:57 AM
    It's all about communication: "let me sketch you a thousand words"; "would you please sketch me a thousand words?" is my motto throughout my career.

    "Text only?" "Sorry, I can't join this cycle of misunderstanding! Find another engineer!"

    It served me well: 47 years of Engineering practice without a single misunderstanding.

    Further, sketching focuses your ideas. Some of the greatest engineers I worked with, believed that if you can't express ideas on the back of an envelope, then you don't have a clear idea of what you are doing.

    ------------------------------
    Neil Kazen, M.Eng., M.Sc., P.Eng.
    FASCE, FCPCI, FEC,
    Retired Structural Engineering Manager, Transportation Division, SNC-Lavalin
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-05-2019 12:58 PM

    Neil,

    OK, I'll take the bait.

    Your hypothesis:
    "47 years of Engineering practice without a single misunderstanding."

    First, to be clear, I do believe you believe this from "Your side of the table."

    However, with no disrespect intended, as a simple QA function I ask, How do you know?

    i.e., How do you know that those who worked with or for you over 47 years on "The other side of the table" over the years
    would share your view?”



    Cheers,
    Bill
    p.s.   e.g., You mean you NEVER had to say, "No, that's not what I meant."

    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-05-2019 04:49 PM
    William,
    It's neither a bait nor a hypothesis.
    It's simply a straightforward record: words can be misunderstood but a professional sketch is clear (scribbling has no place here). when we communicate by sketches, particularly, around the table, all parties add their notes to the sketch right away. It can be as simple as a question mark, or a suggested modification by adding a line etc. We do that all the time, especially while coordinating with other disciplines, more particularly with Architects.

    The final sketch with collective additions by all concerned, speaks for itself. It's pretty typical way of coordination between different disciplines, it's common in the corporate culture that I worked in most of my life.

    It might be more tricky knowing the feedback when the sketch is sent to job site for construction. Luckily, we do have robust site inspection by our firms. One particular project I feel good about because it made the point perfectly clear was Greater Toronto International Airport (1999-2005). While working under tight schedule, I had to rely on my early sketches for construction, while the CAD is catching up. I was afraid of some misunderstanding along the way. Luckily, several layers of site inspection (by the Contractor, by our design firm inspector, and by the Airport Authority... remember, this a very high profile project) showed perfect satisfaction by all. Not a single misunderstanding in 5 years of  of it's concrete construction.
    I guess that answers your question: how do I know? By 3 layers of site inspection. It's a matter of record confirmed by several parties, that I used later to further my career.

    It was even more crucial in my retirement project ("ECLRT", transit line across Toronto with 15 underground stations +++) . In order to win this largest project in Canada, against much larger American competition, we had the hard task of unifying 5 mid-size Structural Engineering Canadian firms. Our "Structural Focus Group" (unifying 5 firms) had extensive coordination meetings with sketches by everyone. Those who can't sketch properly have no place. The creativity that came from that group was phenomenal: we introduced several new ideas to the industry  in North America. Thanks to all, we won decisively. David defeated Goliath; a big win for Canada,


    ------------------------------
    Neil Kazen, M.Eng., M.Sc., P.Eng.
    FASCE, FCPCI, FEC,
    Retired Structural Engineering Manager, Transportation Division, SNC-Lavalin
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-04-2019 08:58 AM
    In addition to being a member of ASCE, a licensed engineer in a couple of states, and a professor, I enjoy observational drawing and particularly enjoy drawing the objects in my environment when their design intrigues me. I've taken advantage of my campus's requirement for students to take a first-year seminar to develop a course where I ask students to use observational drawing to study the objects in their everyday lives.  We use Don Norman's book, The Design of Everyday Things, Lidwell et al.'s book, The Pocket Universal Principles of Design, and Amy Herman's book, Visual Intelligence, as our primary texts. I also have students listen to multiple episodes from the podcast 99% Invisible.  But the primary activities in the class revolve around having the students make multiple sketches each week and write about their observations. At the end of the semester, my students comment on how the course has significantly changed their understanding of basic design principles and how a practice of regular sketching combined with reflecting on their observations through writing and has increased their understanding of the objects, buildings, and spaces that they encounter in their daily lives.

    ------------------------------
    Mary Roth, Ph.D., PE, M.ASCE
    Professor and Department Head, Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Lafayette College
    Easton, PA 18040
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-05-2019 10:30 AM
    Dr Roth,
    I think your seminar sounds absolutely wonderful! I'm not familiar with the resources you mentioned but I will certainly be picking up copies to digest for my own enjoyment. Engineering types often insist (myself included) on getting it "right" on the first shot and when we don't, it usually frustrates us to the point that we put it aside and mumble "perhaps it's not for me". After all, a calculation or a gadget either works or it doesn't - design/art... not so much. The subjectivity is frustrating. When I sketch a wrong line or get the perspective off (which I do often) I can eventually learn tricks to fix it. This was my journey with sketching and likely the same with many of your students. Not everyone is a brilliant artist...but I believe it can be learned with practice.

    Some of my favorite sketches tend to be what I'll describe as scribble sketches. (Artist and interior architect Adam Luke Hawker has perfected this method: http://www.lukeadamhawker.com/ From a far the lines appear to be straight but in reality have natural scribbles in them when you look closely). I suppose this is to say that I'm learning to let go of the need for perfection from the onset.

    Even structural detailing can be beautiful - a steel gusset connection, a bolting configuration..it's like cuff links on a suit...it can make all the difference. It can be functional while also being an admired piece. Engineers be encouraged and take pride - Your design work isn't lost on the general public.

    Keep up the good work Dr. Roth!


    ------------------------------
    Jesse Kamm PhD, PMP, A.M.ASCE
    Senior Vice President of Construction Management
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-10-2019 03:05 PM
    The value I place on sketching in my engineering and utility management career is not as fanciful, culturally based or technically detailed that many have posted. However, during my entire career I have been called "the whiteboard guy".  I am a water/wastewater treatment process engineer, and do not do detailed design.  Nonetheless, I have found it of great value to sketch treatment processes on a whiteboard during planning, evaluating or while explaining them to subordinates or clients. Later on, as a Utility Director, I continued to use the whiteboard (that was always in my office and conference room) to graphically express ideas for strategic and master plans, sub-unit objectives, and as a sort of manual GIS when doing utility/land planning.   I also use the whiteboard to plan PowerPoint presentations. I think more clearly and in a more organized way when I sketch things out on a whiteboard.   This was not an acquired practice, it just comes naturally to me.  I wonder if sketching details and ideas is a genetic characteristic of many engineers.


    ------------------------------
    Bevin Beaudet P.E.,M.ASCE
    President/Owner
    Bevin A. Beaudet, P.E., LLC.
    West Palm Beach FL
    (561)373-4442
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-05-2019 10:37 AM
    Jesse,

    Thank you for creating this discussion. It has already stimulated some thoughtful sharing

    I offer some of my thoughts about your topic in "Art For Engineers," which is available here:  Art for Engineers: Encouraging More Right-Mode Thinking
    Helpingyouengineeryourfuture remove preview
    Art for Engineers: Encouraging More Right-Mode Thinking
    Engineering educators are encouraged to experiment with instruction in visual arts to see if the experience supplements already powerful left-mode thinking with more complementary right-mode thinking. This whole-brain approach may enable aspiring engineers to be more creative and innovative during their formal studies and later in professional practice, to their, their employer's, and society's benefit.
    View this on Helpingyouengineeryourfuture >



    Also, my article "Can Creating Art Make You a Better Engineer?" was published in the March/April PE.

    We are born curious and creative -- watch an infant -- and then it is often "taught out of us" during our formal education. Rarely does engineering education give explicit attention to how the brain works and its role in creating/innovating.

    ------------------------------
    Stu Walesh PhD, PE
    Consultant - Teacher - Author
    219-242-1704
    www.HelpingYouEngineerYourFuture.com
    Author of: Introduction to Creativity and Innovation for Engineers (Pearson, 2017)
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-05-2019 10:51 AM
    Dr. Walesh,
    I just looked up and read your March/April ASCE article. Well done, sir! I suspect it takes a bit of nerves to include your own art in a published work as an engineer - but you've done well.

    I'm thankful you've pursued this line of scholarship. Perhaps I will pick up the mantle and continue this line as well. Happy sketching.


    ------------------------------
    Jesse Kamm PhD, PMP, A.M.ASCE
    Senior Vice President of Construction Management
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-05-2019 05:01 PM

    "I mentioned earlier, sketching as effective communication between engineers."

    But here I present my painting, of my city of birth: Akka (or Akko) based on its records at the year of my birth (1946 Palestine). It's immense fortifications caused the retreat of Napoleon Bonaparte during his campaign through Egypt. It was a glorious city that later fell on bad times.

    In this painting, I show the way it was in 1946 before the fall."

    It relates to the thread in that:

    - It represents an Engineering marvel that blocked Napoleon's advancement.

    - It's my work of art.

    - It's nostalgic



    ------------------------------
    Neil Kazen, M.Eng., M.Sc., P.Eng.
    FASCE, FCPCI, FEC,
    Retired Structural Engineering Manager, Transportation Division, SNC-Lavalin
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-09-2019 11:21 PM
    Thanks for sharing your art Neil. I really like it! I also really like how you were able to capture the history and the practicality while introducing your own perspective. I think I might take one of my recent "for fun" sketches and infer some historical context into it too.

    ------------------------------
    Jesse Kamm PhD, PMP, A.M.ASCE
    Senior Vice President of Construction Management
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-08-2019 02:07 PM
    Thank you for presenting this topic as I am afraid that hand sketching is becoming a lost art- in construction as well as design and I have seen similar comments recently. I know of no better way to convey ideas and needs to field personal- whether it might be a change in the process or something new like minor fabrication. This is communication at the best, where face-to- face verbal and graphic elements are utilized. There is also a relation with this and the mostly unknown art of taking field measurements- where prior to actually taking the measurements, a sketch (that can be readable back in the office) of everything to measure is first made. I am now retired from the construction industry and the ability to make good sketches was a must for my career. Chad- sorry to differ, but it is somewhat of a generational thing.

    ------------------------------
    James Worrell
    Mostly Retired
    PE, RLS (retired)
    Raleigh NC
    [jimworrell@...]
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-08-2019 04:59 PM
    In defence of sketching vs texting. I used to suggest to a colleague to take a sketch, any sketch, then describe it by text, to the best they could. Now give the text to 10 colleagues who have never seen the sketch. Ask each of them, separately, to describe what they understood of it.  You will be surprised of the divergence of their understandings.

    I've never seen a case where all 10 colleagues understood the same thing.
    Is this how we build our engineering?

    On the other hand, a good sketch is a physical picture, with details and notes, of the real thing.

    If still in doubt, why not perform that experiment yourself!

    ------------------------------
    Neil Kazen, M.Eng., M.Sc., P.Eng.
    FASCE, FCPCI, FEC,
    Retired Structural Engineering Manager, Transportation Division, SNC-Lavalin
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-09-2019 01:11 PM
    Sort of going back to the original question, I think we have become too specialized. In the day of Wren and DaVinci, you hired the best person for the job. That person was expected to have all the needed skills. Now we are subdivided to an extent where no person is expected to have all the required skills for a job. This works for multi-million dollar projects that can afford to build a varied team to cover all needs. It is hard for smaller projects to cover all bases with a limited budget. Our whole system is set up on specialization and finding a single person with all the skills needed for a small project is nearly impossible. The education system trains us for a narrow field and every specialized field jealously guards its specialty against encroachment by any other related field. If an engineer puts three blades of grass in a design, the landscape architects are outraged. Do your own infiltration testing and the geotechs and the soil scientists are mad that you took their slice of the pie. Hard to hire them all though to design a rain garden for a church parking lot though...the budget for a large coalition just isn't there.

    There is a tension between engineers and architects to some extent. We build ugly things that work well. They build pretty things that don't always work so well. Part of the reason there is truth to these stereotypes is that our education trains us that way. Engineers are trained on function to the exclusion of form. Architects are focused on form, possibly to the exclusion or at least detriment of function.

    Even within engineering, we are very subdivided, I am lucky to be of the generation that had both drafting and CAD going through college. We rely heavily on CAD technicians who do not understand the systems they are designing, and also do not understand drafting. Almost no entry level people even know to align a valve symbol with the pipe. Sketching is a language we are possibly losing to some extent as the knowledge of various symbols and what they mean are no longer taught on the same level that they were prior to about 2000. The drafting knowledge that CAD is based on is no longer taught. Each discipline has it's own notation, symbols and conventions that other disciplines are not taught. Even within stormwater where several disciplines are competing for turf, LID, LEED, state BMP manuals, etc. are all written with different terminology for the same things and I constantly run into people who only understand one version of this terminology. I think we need to go back to having less specialization and more breadth to the training we receive  so that we can communicate better and do a better job.

    ------------------------------
    Ron Zagrocki P.E.,M.ASCE
    Engineer
    Aliquippa PA
    (717)580-5736
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-09-2019 10:02 AM
    Hand sketching is essential for taking field measurements, no argument there.  Typically, I will already have a printout of the drawing of what I am checking and can add notes

    Something else that has been happening recently is I often receive photos from the field.  I am then able to use bluebeam to scale and measure directly from the photo.  It is scaling and needs to be taken for what it is worth.  The ability to for an ironworker to instantly send me a photo of what they uncovered in an existing building is pretty amazing!  I can quickly ask for the more specific information I am looking for, like weld size or plate thickness.

    ------------------------------
    Chad Morrison P.E.,M.ASCE
    Professional Engineer
    Greenville RI
    (401)231-4870 EXT 2207
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-09-2019 11:22 PM
    Chad,

    That reminds of my years in the Precast Concrete industry. When inspecting construction sites, I take closeup photos at perpendicular view , with a right-angle scale placed within the view. The two-directional scales are to allow for correction due to possible inclined angle.
    Together with the little site- notebook, I could recreate a detailed picture when I'm back in the office. As you said, the weld width could be determined and authenticated to a mill. Such reports proved very useful in claims, putting me on solid ground.

    ------------------------------
    Neil Kazen, M.Eng., M.Sc., P.Eng.
    FASCE, FCPCI, FEC,
    Retired Structural Engineering Manager, Transportation Division, SNC-Lavalin
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-10-2019 09:34 AM

    Neil:

    Sorry to go off on a tangent, but you mentioned a growing interest of mine -- precast concrete.

    If you care to share, what do you see in the future of large-scale 3D printing becoming very important in the precast concrete industry? 

    I am finding R&D projects in which large-scale 3D printing with various forms of concrete is being used to "print" houses, bridges and components of them, components of other structures, decorative panels, etc.


    Stuart G. Walesh, Ph.D., P.E.
    Consultant - Teacher - Author
    Tel: 219-464-1704
    Cell: 219-242-1704
    Website: www.HelpingYouEngineerYourFuture.com
    www.linkedin.com/in/stuwalesh






  • 22.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-11-2019 10:39 AM
    ​Stuart,

    Thank you for bringing up this topic. I believe it has a big future but with matching material research. The mass production and construction objectives of precast concrete, in Europe, go back long time ago; well before 3-D printing. Now, 3-D printing fits those objectives best, but the material has to adapt to it: placing reinforcing bars is not good fit for 3-D printing, but fibreglass-reinforced concrete (other fiber-reinforced?) would be more fitting. The new material needs to take tensile stresses in a homogeneous way.

    As to historical background of mass production of housing units, that was a European Precast concrete technology long time ago:
    - That system was used, in the mid 1960’s, to build a new town next to Tabqa Dam on the Euphrates River in Syria. A Hungarian engineer introduced a fully integrated precast concrete, mass production, plant to that area. That system became a must read to every new engineer in that country. Since, he was my Professor, who supervised my Diploma Project; I was hooked on precast concrete since then.
    - A similar system was used, in the early 1970’s, to build a new town near the oil fields at Hassi Messaoud, in Algeria. Its chief engineer was my supervisor at an international engineering firm in Lebanon. It was a pity that I just missed working on it.
    - Habitat 67, or simply Habitat, is a model community and housing complex in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, designed by Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie. Habitat 67 is widely considered an architectural landmark and one of the most recognizable and spectacular buildings in both Montreal and Canada. (picture below)

    When I came to Canada, I was lucky to be “adapted” by the guru in precast concrete, the late Thomas Ecsedi. However, to my surprise, there was nothing close to any of the above; there was nothing like Safdie’s anywhere in sight. Design was based on more project-specific basis. There was some repetitiveness of units, but not without individual differences here and there, to fit the overall structure. In some cases, precast unites were just one-of-kind master-piece such as the example below, AARP Headquarters-Gate 2, Washington, DC (by Pre-Con, Ontario). I grew to like this North American way of Precast Concrete.

    Now, we are back to square one with 3-D Printing. Is North America ready for its kind of Architecture?
    That’s beyond me.


      AARP Headquarters 





    ------------------------------
    Neil Kazen, M.Eng., M.Sc., P.Eng.
    FASCE, FCPCI, FEC,
    Retired Structural Engineering Manager, Transportation Division, SNC-Lavalin
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-12-2019 09:06 AM
    Neil:

    Thank you for sharing some of your precast concrete experience and, mostly new to me, information about mass production of housing units.

    Similar mass produced housing is now being proposed for developing countries using on-site large-scale 3D printing.

    As you indicate, one of the challenges is to do R&D on new kinds of concretes suitable to the 3D printing process.

    Your experiences remind us that, almost regardless of our engineering field, we can learn by looking outside of the U.S.





    ------------------------------
    Stu Walesh PhD, PE
    Consultant - Teacher - Author
    219-242-1704
    www.HelpingYouEngineerYourFuture.com
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-12-2019 04:34 PM
    Stuart,

    Thank you for initiating this thread.
    I hope we will hear from more people about 3-D printing, R & D new related material, and mass habitat where needed the most.

    ------------------------------
    Neil Kazen, M.Eng., M.Sc., P.Eng.
    FASCE, FCPCI, FEC,
    Retired Structural Engineering Manager, Transportation Division, SNC-Lavalin
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-09-2019 11:22 PM
    I'm a big fan of bluebeam for the reasons you've mentioned. I use an Ipad Pro and the apple pen coupled with Morpholio Trace (a digital version of canary trace paper) and Concepts (an artists/industrial design drawing tool) alongside bluebeam in the field and on consultation visits in front of clients. It works beautifully for interactions on the fly with clients and trades. I also use an app called Geomeasure for property sizes, Rough building takeoffs, and google earth. With these tools, within just a few minutes I can create a sketch that looks nearly as good as most presentation concept drawings. I can screenshot the site, or insert a photo, reduce the opacity of the photo to bring my sketches forward and then draw all over it in scale by hand or with computer accuracy if I choose depending on the application and precision needs.

    ------------------------------
    Jesse Kamm PhD, PMP, A.M.ASCE
    Senior Vice President of Construction Management
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-10-2019 02:52 PM
    In officer training in the US Army, I learned that "conformity is the key" (yikes!). As an engineer in construction, I adhered to my own adage, which was "Simplicity is the key". I found it difficult to work with people who could make any task or problem must more complicated.

     Jesse- I found it difficult to continue reading your multi-program listing due to the lack of simplicity. A sketch is so simple with only your brain and pen and paper working. I can see little personal satisfaction in working with such an array of programs. Maybe I am a victim of my own generation.

    Chad- In my career, the notion of having a sketch prior to going out to make field measurements was a rarity (but it would have been nice). This is a reminder of the huge diversity within Civil Engineering- which to me is worthy of much admiration.

    ------------------------------
    James Worrell
    Mostly Retired
    PE, RLS (retired)
    Raleigh NC
    [jimworrell@...]
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-11-2019 04:36 PM
    Does doodling count? I found that doodling is a natural by product of the thinking process for me. My meeting minutes and old lecture notes are chockfull of unrelated doodles. Contrary to what it looks like from the outside, doodling actually helps me concentrate.

    ------------------------------
    Natalya Sokolovskaya P.E.,M.ASCE
    Wynnewood PA
    (323)382-6176
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-12-2019 07:10 AM
    I definitely doodle on phone calls, meetings, and during travels. My former dean and AVP of the college and an accomplished structural engineer used to doodle during meetings too.  Must be something about the act of graphically representing the subject of interest that appeals to the technically oriented.

    ------------------------------
    Jesse Kamm PhD, PMP, A.M.ASCE
    Senior Vice President of Construction Management
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-13-2019 09:50 AM
    Please let me share an idea regarding the effectiveness of doodling, sketching, white boarding, etc.:

    My brain studies tell me that vision is, by far, the strongest of our senses. Why? Because it connects to more parts of our brain than hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling, and balance.

    This fact suggests that if we want to understand something, try to draw it, no matter how crude. If you can't draw it to the satisfaction of you and your brain, study it more, ask more questions, etc. and then try again to draw it.

    If we want to explain something, use images with limited text.

    We should think about the power of images, interacting with our powerful vision sense, the next time we think of preparing an all-text, bulleted slide.

    ------------------------------
    Stu Walesh PhD, PE
    Consultant - Teacher - Author
    219-242-1704
    www.HelpingYouEngineerYourFuture.com
    Author of Introduction to Creativity and Innovation for Engineers, Pearson, 2017
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-12-2019 07:11 AM
    Hi Natalya,

    Doodling in minute notebook are almost a must for me. It helps focuses my mind and, like formal sketching, it speakers a thousand word ... to me personally.

    ------------------------------
    Neil Kazen, M.Eng., M.Sc., P.Eng.
    FASCE, FCPCI, FEC,
    Retired Structural Engineering Manager, Transportation Division, SNC-Lavalin
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 31.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-12-2019 10:33 AM
    I must admit that I am a hopeless doodler. Many co-workers have made comments- and not all good.​

    ------------------------------
    James Worrell
    Mostly Retired
    PE, RLS (retired)
    Raleigh NC
    [jimworrell@...]
    ------------------------------



  • 32.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-12-2019 05:45 PM
    James,

    Your doodling is intended only for you.
    It's none of their business.

    ------------------------------
    Neil Kazen, M.Eng., M.Sc., P.Eng.
    FASCE, FCPCI, FEC,
    Retired Structural Engineering Manager, Transportation Division, SNC-Lavalin
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 33.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-13-2019 07:39 PM

    Hi Jesse, excellent thread!

    I like to share with you that I love to do some sketches before prepare CAD drawings (enclosed you will see the type of notebook I use). Interestingly, I am reading an excellent biography of Leonardo da Vinci; having a broad knowledge of engineering, architecture, biology and "soft skills" are essential to innovation.

    I believe that some high schools and engineering faculty are not giving enough importance to how to express the ideas (how to draw, how to write, how to speak, in engineering).


    Regards,



    ------------------------------
    Andres Guzman Ing.,M.ASCE
    Associate Professor
    UNIVERSIDAD DEL NORTE
    Barranquilla
    573004284680
    ------------------------------



  • 34.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 07-15-2019 10:26 AM
    Hi Andres,
    Walter Isaacson is a very good biographical author. I recently read his book on Einstein on a long flight delay. Now I'll have to pick up the "DaVinci" book you mentioned. I suspect I will enjoy it greatly!

    ------------------------------
    Jesse Kamm PhD, PMP, A.M.ASCE
    Senior Vice President of Construction Management
    ------------------------------



  • 35.  RE: Sketching/Art in Engineering Professionals of Today

    Posted 11-09-2020 09:05 AM
    I feel my creativity comes out in various forms, not just structures. I wrote my first children's book and fancy that an outlet for my creative energy as well... A few years ago I, together with other engineers in Jamaica, hosted an evening of Art where all the pieces were by engineers - photos, paintings, sketches, even the performing arts as we had poets, dancers singers and...needless to say, a lovely evening!

    ------------------------------
    Kamille Jackson R.Eng, M.ASCE
    Kingston
    ------------------------------