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In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

  • 1.  In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-05-2021 08:17 AM
    It is very important what freshman university students think of engineering. It is in their first semester that they grasp the knowledge of what is coming their way. What do you think are three/four key components that every engineer should be taught? For example, the engineering design process is a basic skill that in my opinion students should learn.
    What do you think ?

    ------------------------------
    Dima Hassanieh A.M.ASCE
    CEE Labs Assistant Manager
    American University of Beirut
    Beirut
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  • 2.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-06-2021 06:39 PM
    Communication skills are key.  Whether are working in the private or public sector, your clients (developers, public works directors) may have different thought processes and working assumptions than you.

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    Yvonne Pawtowski P.E., M.ASCE
    ENGINEER
    Gray and Osborne, Inc.
    Arlington WA
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  • 3.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-07-2021 09:26 AM
    Here in the United States, most undergraduate engineering programs are somewhat standardized and include some general engineering process, writing and speaking, and general "science and technology in society" subjects. But one thing I think isn't addressed with appropriate emphasis or breadth is critical thinking. Based on my experience/observation, there wasn't enough attention paid to skepticism, criticism, and generally questioning any and all assumptions. The "why" was often left behind, and many students and even professors settled for "what."

    In "real life," I would argue that it's almost my superpower to ask questions. Many people don't ask basic questions, and few people ask detailed and thoughtful questions. These questions are the problem-solving equivalent for me of having a very high resolution camera to look at things. If I just take what is presented to me as fact, and don't drill down deeper, I lose a lot of the finer detail in the big picture. I think that critical thinking is a universally applicable and incredibly important skill, certainly as much in science/technology/engineering as anywhere else.

    Cheers

    ------------------------------
    Ari Daniels, P.E., M.ASCE
    Outland, LLC - Owner/Principal
    Center for Watershed Protection, Inc. - Water Resources Engineer
    Monterey, Virginia, USA
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  • 4.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-09-2021 10:41 AM
    @Ari Daniels, completely agree here. Critical thinking is not necessarily something that can be learned out of a book. My personal experience is that the student design groups and teams elevate this capability in the student by offering some practical experience in a controlled environment while they take their journey through university. Having participated in ABET accreditation in my past, I can say those programs that had the student design concept better prepared students for the critical thinking skill set as well. ​​

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    Gary Hines P.E., M.ASCE
    Frisco TX
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  • 5.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-09-2021 11:06 AM
    I wasn't in a debate club in grade school, but I feel like a debate club is a place where a student might learn critical thinking and "proper" discussion methods, logical fallacies, etc. The Heterodox Academy does a great thing as well.

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    Ari Daniels, P.E., M.ASCE
    Outland, LLC - Owner/Principal
    Center for Watershed Protection, Inc. - Water Resources Engineer
    Monterey, Virginia, USA
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  • 6.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-08-2021 10:55 AM
    Q. "It is in their first semester that they grasp the knowledge of what is coming their way.
    What do you think are three/four key components that every engineer should be taught?"

    1. The greatest fear will be, or is speaking in public.

    Join a Toastmasters Club and faithfully participate.

    2. Join and/or participate with the Beirut Society of Women Engineers.[2]

    And "Yes," men as well to gain socio-cultural understanding of their near-future engineering partners.

    3. Join the local student chapter of their engineering specialty. Go to their first meeting

    as well as to the meeting with the local sponsoring engineering chapter.

     Be certain to bring cards you can hand to others with your contact information.

     Join a committee and participate.

    e. Prepare a semester-long calendar that shows classes, blocks out pre-class and post class time-segments for both important and urgent matters. Do the urgent matters first each day.

     

    •      SYNOPSIS: Become the master of your career plan, semester-by-semester.

    Revise your plan when "Life shows up unexpectedly."

    Never forget that students don't fail, their experiments do.

    Learn the lessons of each failure, drill down to understand what you will do to get back on track.

    And move on.

    Stay Healthy!

    Cheers,

    Bill

     

     

     

     

     

    [1] https://www.toastmasters.org/Find-a-Club/01436618-pro-toast-club

    [2] https://swe.org/membership/international-membership/

    [3] http://www.asceaub.com/

    [4] https://www.ul.edu.lb/faculte/branch.aspx?branchId=65#



    ------------------------------
    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
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-08-2021 02:25 PM
    Assuming that your students are interested in being practicing engineers; here's a suggestion for an approach I haven't seen emphasized  in a university, myself (I know some schools do so; good for them).

    Preface: I doubt many of these are practical for their "first semester" because the students are getting oriented; but I think this would be good to do "soon".

    A) Have experienced engineers come to say an ASCE student chapter meeting and present what they found important on a project nearby;
    B) Same folks describe their understand how the engineering disciplines interact with each other: Soils Engineers, Hydraulic Engineers, Road/Highway, Bridge / Structural,
    C) Have a real course in plan preparation;  what the heck does a decent set of plans include?
    D)  Contract documents: learn what is the role of the plans, special provisions, standard specifications; learn why little things may have big implications for contracts.
    E) TAKE A CLASS IN CIVIL3D!  TWO CLASSES WOULD BE BETTER STILL. I believe this is the second most important thing for a young engineer today.
    F) Most Important: Work on a construction project for every summer you are in school.  Get hot and dirty; see how real construction occurs.

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    Scott Onishuk P.E., M.ASCE
    Director
    Santa Barbara CA
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  • 8.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-08-2021 04:52 PM
    The art of engineering is a problem solving art. Fundamental to that art, and the first step in the Dima's "design process" is identifying the objectiveS (capital S because there are usually many) of the problem solving activity and the ways in which progress toward meeting those objectives is to be measured. Almost as critical is the task of identifying constraints.Together, objectiveS and constraints (O&C) define "What you are trying to do." Experienced engineers can (usually) do this intuitively, without even realizing it, because they are familiar with the class of problems they often solve. But even for experienced engineers, a formal identification of O&C is vital when working on a unique or unfamiliar problem. Beginning engineers must learn how to identify O&C, and what metrics to use (or to create). Time to teach beginning engineers (of all ages) how to figure out "What they're trying to do." The rest of the engineering curriculum can teach them how to actually do it.

    Hint: Case studies - how the client presented the problem, how the engineer determined and quantified or displayed the O&C, how the engineer communicated with the client (often a two way process) to determine the actual O&C, and how the design met the O&C would be very helpful. In addition, learning how to USE optimization techniques (e.g. how to USE linear programming - as opposed to the theory behind linear programming - how it WORKS) can be very helpful in this regard - objectives and constraints must be clearly defined to use the techniques, and the implications of missing or misstating O&C can be explored. Both could be combined in a single 1 semester course, IMO. Potential title: The Art of Engineering 101. I can envision 200-900 level courses as well.

    Daniel P. Sheer, L.M ASCE, retired
    Founder and President of HydroLogics, now a part of Hazen and Sawyer.

    ------------------------------
    Daniel Sheer P.E., M.ASCE
    President
    HydroLogics Inc
    Columbia MD
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  • 9.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-08-2021 08:21 PM
    Every first year student must know analytical geometry (civil engineering students) differential and integral ag
    Software skills must be sufficient

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    Alex Thomas R.Eng, M.ASCE
    CochinAlexThomasR.Eng, M.ASCEIndia
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  • 10.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-09-2021 08:45 AM
    I did not designate a major (Civil Engineering) until my sophomore year (we took mathematics, physics and electives in freshman year that could be applied to any engineering or scientific paths), so considering that was my "first" year on an engineering path, one of the most memorable courses was a series of lectures by local professional practitioners - PEs, Construction Contractors, Municipal and State authorities, lawyers, insurance executives, etc. - along with an outstanding professor who was engaging - that gave us all brief glimpses into the "real world" of those working in field.  In later graduate courses, a similar course was offered for Construction Management students and it had the same effect - the speakers had world-wide experience and was a great introduction to a fascinating career!  The nuts and bolts of detailed engineering, calculations, computers (batch processing back then!), problem sets, collaborative thinking, communication with others and technical preparation started at that time as well, but "real" stories and events stick with us!

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    Michael Kozinetz Aff.M.ASCE
    Construction Manager
    Murrells Inlet SC
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  • 11.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-09-2021 10:40 AM
    Everything we see is connected with civil engineering building bridges roads water supply we can think of it .
    It's told me by a senior engineer 
    Alex Thomas MIE REng MASCE 





  • 12.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-10-2021 04:04 PM

    Well, the basic courses which are in mathematics and physics.

    The colleges and universities need to bring back 3 semesters of engineering drafting.  In my experience, depending on the year some engineers graduated, they may be at a disadvantage in being able to read design/construction plans.  Some can't even draw technically when in the work forces. This "sub-engineering" work is important in the constructions of project and becomes part of legal documents later on.  The students needs to be told these matters.

    The students needs to be taught how to apply those basic principles in matters of design and construction.

    The colleges and universities need more engineering instructors which have more field experiences from the outside rather than those who stayed in academia and have no working experiences.



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    Manuel Tamayo P.E., M.ASCE
    Sacramento CA
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  • 13.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-17-2021 12:04 PM
    There are a couple of things I believe are missing from the US Engineering education: the first really needs to happen the first year - there needs to be a class where there are fun things which illustrate all the things that come from engineering. And, Some sort of actual project for the students to create. There needs to be things that are a 'gotcha' moment for young engineering students to see the potential and rewards from engineering.

    And this segues to the second item. There needs to be an illustration/study of the great engineering feats of the past; or even as simple as looking at the products from industrial engineers (Dieter Rams, Jonathan Ive, Raymond Loewy, Henry Dreyfuss) at the inovative bridge designs (Joseph Strauss, Santiago Calatrava, John Roebling) Great Buildings (Eero Saarinen, many others) at the amazing biomedical devices now being developed and similar individuals/engineering in other fields. And, lets get imagination into solving engineering problems.

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    Richard Christ P.E., M.ASCE
    Ret. Principal
    Rocky River OH
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  • 14.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-22-2021 09:16 AM
    Don't get discouraged if you flunk your first math course.  Just take it over and you will get a good grade and it will not affect your overall grade point average very much.

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    John Ulmer P.E., P.Eng, S.E., M.ASCE
    Professional Structural Engineer
    Parker CO
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  • 15.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-22-2021 09:16 AM
    The first year engineering student should study the history of war, why cultures and civilizations fail, art history or art course such as free-hand drawing or sketching, a course in the philosophy of science, and a course in logic.

    ------------------------------
    Richard Geekie P.E., M.ASCE
    Hydr Engr
    University of Kansas
    Shawnee KS
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-22-2021 09:18 AM
    English !!!
    And the Arts and Humanities.
    Say what????
    During one's career, one will interact with many different people of many different backgrounds, experiences, heritage, values, and perspectives.
    Throughout human history, people have communicated through art, which reflects the understandings and perspectives of the time of the art.
    The humanities reveal how the different people you meet can or could think and therefore clue one how one should or should not interact with them.
    And English.  As editor of a newsletter for several years, some submitted articles were excellent, others left me thinking: 'don't they teach freshman English anymore?'
    The point is that no matter how good an engineer one is, if you can't successfully get your ideas and thoughts across to others, it doesn't matter how good an engineer one is.
    The freshman year is the foundation.
    If the above isn't learned and grasped, the foundation is built on loose sand at the beach of a tempestuous sea.

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    Karl Sieg P.E., M.ASCE
    Sieg & Associates Inc
    Venice FL
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  • 17.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 04-05-2021 03:11 PM
    Karl,  I so concur!  2 of my top 10 favorite undergraduate courses were NOT engineering; Understanding the Visual Arts and Psychology.

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    Edward Thometz P.E., M.ASCE
    Area Bridge Maintenance Engineer
    Newark CA
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  • 18.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 04-05-2021 04:30 PM

    Engineering, like medicine, is practical applied science.  Engineering physical science, Medicine physiological science.

      Action – Reaction.

    But in Civil Engineering, we get to apply not only the physical sciences but the social sciences.

    Most of what we do is governed by public policy, much of it paid with public money.

    And what we do is used by people.

    So what do we need to know about people who control or influence what we do, and will use what we design and build?

    Psychology – organisms functioning.

      Stimulus – response

    Sociology – groups of organisms functioning together.

      Stimulus – response, with many variables.

    Anthropology – how people and societies functioned in the past.

    Political Science – how groups of people work together to complete a task.  Yes, science.  Not a liberal art.  Given a set of circumstances, stimuli, people and groups of people will respond in a predictable way.  The social sciences are in their infancy compared to physical sciences.  Figure Archimedes thousands of years ago.  Figure BF Skinner, only 75 years ago.  Much we don't know yet, but critical to the success of the work civil engineers do.

    And the ability to communicate effectively from a foundation of humanities and English (or the language of the place where the civil engineering occurs) is important if not essential to whether a civil engineering effort will succeed or fail.






  • 19.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-22-2021 10:48 AM
    Problem solving

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    Vito Rotondi P.E., M.ASCE
    Westmont IL
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  • 20.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-22-2021 11:54 AM
    Problem solving.  Ha Ha.  That's what engineers are trained to do.
    I often use this description:
    From the first calculus problem solved on the first day as a freshman in a baccalaureate degree program, to the last problem of the last advanced undergraduate elective in the 4th or 5th year of that program, one works hundreds, maybe thousands of problems.
    One may never see a problem like those in their life again.
    BUT, what they've done is train their mind in the problem-solving process.
    It's actually kind of simple:

    First:  Define just exactly what IS the problem?
    Second: Don't try to solve the problem.  Just gather all the information you can about the problem.
    Third:  Identify alternative ways to solve the problem.
    Fourth:  Evaluate each and all of the alternatives.
    Fifth: Pick the best one (solution).

    No matter what one does for the rest of their lives, this foundational process will serve well.
    Remember, the CEO of ExxonMobil who went on to become Secretary of State, is a civil engineer.  He is one of many examples.

    An advanced engineering degree without the Bachelor's degree in engineering (not engineering technology) is functionally worth very little.

    The Dean of the college of engineering my first term addressed all the freshman engineering students.  You may have heard this one before.  He said to 'look at the person on your left, and the person on your right.  Two of you won't be here at the end of the year.'
    No one said it was going to be easy.
    But if one focuses and applies oneself and works/studies really hard, the benefits will far far outweigh the costs over the rest of one's life.

    ------------------------------
    Karl Sieg P.E., M.ASCE
    Sieg & Associates Inc
    Venice FL
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-22-2021 01:58 PM
    You are correct. Except they do not go one step beyond. They are not trained to look at problems holistically. There are many variables in the problem. For example, to a young structural engineer, the solution is most likely minimum weight. To the experienced engineer that is most likely not the case. Simple example. Low weight but many pieces. High fabrication and erection cost. However, experience tells you that the bottom line cost is what the driver may be. Heavier pieces, fewer pieces, easy fabrication, fast erection, faster schedule. This is a simple example.
    Depending on the fabrication contract, you know that heavier pieces are lower price per ton. I have saved many underbudgeted projects, buy providing guidance to designers on how to make the decision to go to heavier members, thereby reducing per ton cost, and erection time.

    That is the practical side of engineering. Not just running calculations. Anyone can run calculations, it's the thinking in how to solve the problem that matters to a customer. Almost all the time the driver is cost. Designing it right is a minimum requirement. Designing it economically and functional takes talent.

    ------------------------------
    Vito Rotondi P.E., M.ASCE
    Westmont IL
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-22-2021 08:19 PM
    In response to Karl Seig.

    Karl, we agree an basically everything in your note. What we may not agree on is what it takes to train someone to adequately perform the very first step. In my view, that first step, defining the problem, is an art, and that art needs to be taught. And, because it's an art, it needs to be taught differently than most of the rest of the engineering curriculum. It needs to be taught by studying examples. It needs to be taught by teaching technique, not which brush produces what effect on a painting, but rather things like:

    the general structure of a problem - objectives, constraints, and context and what is which
    what tools can be used to define objectives and constraints
    what techniques facilitate communication with a client to identify objectives and constraints and how to use them
    what kinds of objectives are common, even if unstated by the client
    what kinds of constraints are common, and how can they be identified

    I believe that it would take at least a multi-credit course just to teach would-be engineers to be competent in taking the first step in your problem solving scheme. I also believe that such a course would enhance the value of all other engineering courses by providing large scale context for how what is taught can best be used.

    Dan Sheer

    ------------------------------
    Dan Sheer LM. ASCE
    Retired former President HydroLogics Inc.
    Columbia Maryland
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  • 23.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 02-22-2021 11:00 PM
    Here's a thought.  The premise of the question is meaningless.  A young man or woman is an engineer before they enroll at the university.  They know they are engineers. it's in their bones, their blood, their muscles. It's in the way they see the world. All the course work will just seem a natural extension of who they are, with the exception of having a bored professor, one who's lost his mojo. Yuk! Those who are smart but not born engineers will go through engineering programs and will become  great managers, assuming they have a high emotional IQ.

    Good luck to all,

    Rich G.





  • 24.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 04-05-2021 10:46 AM
    More opportunities need to be made available before or concurrent with first year studies. Agree that the Design Process needs to be understood along with some hands-on experience. I worked as a draftsman in a co-op program as a senior in a vocational high school, then continued as a design draftsman while completing a Civil Engineering Degree part-time. It took me a few years to complete the degree, but I thoroughly understood the application of coarse work and was able to work directly with Engineers, on the job. Less emphasis needs to be made in recruiting academic oriented students vs individuals who know how things are built. I never knew anything about civil engineering coming from a blue collar neighborhood, but actually applied engineering skills without realizing it. Growing up, we built a hockey rink in a field by getting a contractor to level the area, obtained railroad ties for the perimeter, old metal billboard sections for a puck stop, then obtained hoses from the fire department to flood the rink. We then built a hot house with a pot belly stove to dry the hoses out. Learned about hydraulics, ground water, freeze thaw cycles, and other construction principles before any actual fluid dynamics and hydraulics classes.  First year studies should include traditional Engineering Graphics and Design, and not just CADD and complex 3D graphics.  Conceptual sketching and visualization seem to be a lost art that is an essential part of the design process.

    ------------------------------
    Robert Kulchawik P.E., M.ASCE
    Senior Process Engineer
    AECOM Water
    Chicago IL
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  • 25.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 04-06-2021 07:50 AM
    I agree that communication skills are important for the Civil engineer needs it at various stages continuously. In addition, I believe that they must be exposed to the important role of the civil engineer in the society. An introduction to moral and ethical responsibility is recommended.

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    Arun Kumar Rao M.ASCE
    Mysore
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  • 26.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 04-06-2021 02:55 PM
    Excellent comments below.  I would emphasize that 1st-year civil engineering students should be taught (1) the role of civil engineers in society, (3) that civil engineers are held by society to very high standards of professional competence and ethical behavior, (3) the many ways that the work of civil engineers affects people's lives and the environment, and (4) the variety of career paths that civil engineers have available to them.
    ------------------------------------
    William J. Dunlay, Jr.
    Managing Member
    WJDunlay Consulting, LLC
    ------------------------------------

    ------------------------------
    William Dunlay Ph.D., M.ASCE
    Managing Member, WJDunlay Consulting, LLC
    Tiburon CA
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 04-07-2021 09:57 AM
    Thanks and I agree with your excellent recommendations.
    It would be nice if all such recommendations are collated for use by all educational institutions globally.

    Arun K Rao






  • 28.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 04-09-2021 07:02 PM

    A key concept that I present freqeuntly is important to grasp:
    From the first day as a freshman to the last day in an advanced engineering elective, one will work thousands of problems.
    Upon graduation, one may not likely ever see a problem like one worked as a university student.
    That's OK.
    What the 4 or 5 years in a Baccalaureate degree program in Engineering (not engineering technology) is doing is training one's mind in the problem-solving process.
    It's actually not a complicated process:
    1.  Define just exactly what IS the problem.
    2.  Don't try to solve the problem.
         Instead, gather all the information one can about it.
    3.  Identify different ways, alternatives, to solve the problem.
    4.  Evauate the different alternatives.
    5.  Pick the best one.

    I sometimes I say it gives understanding to the Dilbert caricacture. LOL
    So we have developed a distinct personality, we tend to look at everything in life as a problem to be solved.
    That's not a bad thing.
    In fact, it's a great thing.
    An employer needs engineers on staff to be able to figure out how to solve problems they've never seen before.  That requires a solid understanding of the sciences to be applied, as engineering as practical applied science.  An employer doesn't care if one had a 3.0 or a 4.0 GPA.  In fact a 4.0 GPA could indicate too much time in academia and not enough time practically solving real problems, particularly since we learn by making mistakes.  An employer DOES care about if one fully understands the physics, chemistry, biology, math, statics, dynamics, strength and structure of materials, etc.  Sound familiar?
    The engineering mindset so developed is phenomenally useful, even necessary, to subsequent career paths.  Consider that Rex Tillerson is a civil engineer who was CEO of Exxon/Mobil, who was tapped to become US Secretary of State, a position in which he quickly learned that his 'employer' was . . . well, you remember what he said.  So if one advances in one's career, perhaps earning an MBA, not from a 'diploma mill', but a real program of a top-ranked MBA university, or MD, or Lawyer, or Public Policy maker, etc., the BS in engineering is probably the most solid foundation one can have.
    It's not easy.  The Dean of the college of engineering my freshman year told the auditorium of freshman engineering students to look to the person on the left, and the person on the right - two of you won't be in engineering at the end of your freshman year. You've probably heard that before.  And he was correct.  But for the ones who remained, the 'nose to the grindstone' was worth it.



    ------------------------------
    Karl Sieg P.E., M.ASCE
    Sieg & Associates Inc
    Venice FL
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 04-09-2021 10:14 PM
    Okay!  Here's what every first year engineering should learn about engineering.   There are lots new graduates in engineering every year.  Some are very smart, some aren't.  You may be one or the other but after awhile, your are going to get bored.  That's what happens to graduates in engineering, especially civil engineering.  You may get yourself an advanced degree, but it won't do much for you.  You may get promoted, but things won't really get much more interesting, you'll probably be asked to work more hours or you may have to.  Engineering is not suppose to be interesting or creative, I mean really creative. Engineering, especially civil engineering, just gets to be the same old stuff. So, you may get married, have children, which are really the best things anyone can do.  But your engineering work will never really get any more stimulating than when you were a student.  One reason for this is that standardization of work is meant to reduce error or reduce bad things happening.  And this is especially true of civil engineering.  But your kids will become your most important concerns, along with your spouse.  And you may join groups to give your lives some meaning. And you may be a person of faith that will give your life and your family meaning.  But engineering won't give your life any real meaning, unless, at some point you can see what you do as contributing to the benefit of others.  The practice of engineering, that is, real-life engineering, is not that satisfying, but your community is, your family is and maybe your life will be because in the end, it's not about you, it's about us.

    Rich Geekie, P.E.

    ------------------------------
    Richard Geekie P.E., M.ASCE
    Hydr Engr
    University of Kansas
    Shawnee KS
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 04-10-2021 12:29 PM
    Another set of very apt recommendations. True, we must bring in the concept of getting the fundamentals right and permanently etched in the memories of budding engineers so that problem analysis and solving become easy.

    Arun K. R. Rao





  • 31.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 04-14-2021 06:05 PM
    I once had an employee, a very brilliant person, who asked me a couple of days before he was to take his PE exam to confirm that the passing score was 70%.  As a former exam proctor, I knew that that was correct and so informed him.  A few days later, after he had taken the exam, I asked him how it went and he said "fine", and he then commented that he was one of the first to finish and turn in his exam.  I asked him, did he answer ALL of the questions that he could, and he responded: "why? I only needed to get a score of 70%".  I was flabbergasted, and suggested that he should have answered more than the required minimum number of questions to give himself some margin for error.  Sure enough, his adjusted score was 68%, and he had to take the exam again!  The moral to this story: Answer as many of the questions as you can in the time allowed!

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    Lawrence Magura P.E., D.WRE(Ret.), F.ASCE
    OWNER
    Lake Oswego OR
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  • 32.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 04-14-2021 10:28 PM
    Answer questions from first principles do not learn by heart anything but learn by concepts we must know critical sections . We will have to take moments at critical sections 





  • 33.  RE: In your opinion, what should every first year engineering student learn about engineering?

    Posted 04-14-2021 10:28 PM
    I wonder on what basis your assessment of a very brilliant person is.
    But the PE license is to protect the public.
    With judgement that poor, would you want to engage th\at person as an engineer?
    If that person were your employee, would you keep that person employed given the liability that person could expose your organization to, let alone the danger to lives of people for whom our work is to serve?
    Should it even be necessary to tell someone to answer as many questions one can in the time allowed?
    It seems like the test fulfilled its purpose, doesn't it?

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    Karl Sieg P.E., M.ASCE
    Sieg & Associates Inc
    Venice FL
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