Are you going to be a Design engineer than this article may help you to start youÂ career.
In general, the design engineer is required to satisfy the needs of customers (management,Â clients, consumers, etc.) and is expected to do so in a competent, responsible, ethical, and professional manner. Much of engineering course work and practical experience focuses on competence, but when does one begin to develop engineering responsibility and professionalism? To start on the road to success, you should start to develop these characteristics early in your educational program. You need to cultivate your professional work ethic and process skills before graduation, so that when you begin your formal engineering career, you will be prepared to meet the challenges.
It is not obvious to some students, but communication skills play a large role here, and it is the wise student who continuously works to improve these skillsâeven if it is not a direct requirement of a course assignment! Success in engineering (achievements, promotions, raises, etc.) may in large part be due to competence but if you cannot communicate your ideas clearly and concisely, your technical proficiency may be compromised.
You can start to develop your communication skills by keeping a neat and clear journal/logbook of your activities, entering dated entries frequently. (Many companies require their engineers to keep a journal for patent and liability concerns.) Separate journals should be used for each design project (or course subject). When starting a project or problem, in the definition stage, make journal entries quite frequently. Others, as well as yourself, may later question why you made certain decisions. Good chronological records will make it easier to explain your decisions at a later date.
Many engineering students see themselves after graduation as practicing engineers designing, developing, and analyzing products and processes and consider the need of good communication skills, either oral or writing, as secondary. This is far from the truth. Most practicing engineers spend a good deal of time communicating with others, writing proposals and technical reports, and giving presentations and interacting with engineering and non engineering support personnel. You have the time now to sharpen your communication skills. When given an assignment to write or make any presentation, technical or nontechnical, accept it enthusiastically, and work on improving your communication skills. It will be time well spent to learn the skills now rather than on the job.
When you are working on a design problem, it is important that you develop a systematic approach. Careful attention to the following action steps will help you to organize your solution processing technique.
- Understand the problem. Problem definition is probably the most significant step in theÂ engineering design process. Carefully read, understand, and refine the problem statement.
- Identify the known. From the refined problem statement, describe concisely whatÂ information is known and relevant.
- Identify the unknown and formulate the solution strategy. State what must be determined,Â in what order, so as to arrive at a solution to the problem. Sketch the component or system under investigation, identifying known and unknown parameters. Create a flowchart of the steps necessary to reach the final solution. The steps may require the use of free-body diagrams; material properties from tables; equations from first principles, textbooks, or handbooks relating the known and unknown parameters; experimentally or numerically based charts; specific computational tools etc.
- State all assumptions and decisions. Real design problems generally do not have unique, ideal, closed-form solutions. Selections, such as choice of materials, and heat treatments, require decisions. Analyses require assumptions related to the modeling of the real components or system. All assumptions and decisions should be identified and recorded.
- Analyze the problem. Using your solution strategy in conjunction with your decisionsÂ and assumptions, execute the analysis of the problem. Reference the sources of all equations, tables, charts, software results, etc. Check the credibility of your results. Check the order of magnitude, dimensionality, trends, signs, etc.
- Evaluate your solution. Evaluate each step in the solution, noting how changes inÂ strategy, decisions, assumptions, and execution might change the results, in positiveÂ or negative ways. If possible, incorporate the positive changes in your final solution.
- Present your solution. Here is where your communication skills are important. AtÂ this point, you are selling yourself and your technical abilities. If you cannot skillfully explain what you have done, some or all of your work may be misunderstood and unaccepted. Know your audience. As stated earlier, all design processes are interactive and iterative. Thus, it may be necessary to repeat some or all of the above steps more than once if less than satisfactory results are obtained.
In order to be effective, all professionals must keep current in their fields ofÂ Endeavor. The design engineer can satisfy this in a number of ways by: being an activeÂ member of a professional society such as the American Society of MechanicalÂ Engineers (ASME), the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and the Society ofÂ Manufacturing Engineers (SME); attending meetings, conferences, and seminars ofÂ societies, manufacturers, universities, etc.; taking specific graduate courses or programsÂ at universities; regularly reading technical and professional journals; etc.
An engineerâsÂ education does not end at graduation.
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