Young Engineers Blog

May 10, 2011 - 16:05
They’re emblematic. They’re sources of pride. They’re personal 3.5” x 2” flags that summarize company, title, and contact information. The business card: If this piece of pocket sized card-stock were a piece of real estate, your reputation would be its tenant. Every castle needs its monarch. In the age of kings and feudal lords, the King’s Champion was the representative of the monarchy—king, queen, royal family, regal reputation. The Champion would represent the royalty in tournaments, feats of daring, and sometimes, even for certain rights to a kingdom in dispute. Regardless of the...
March 1, 2011 - 09:16
Today’s blog posting is brought to you.... By Chris Knutson, P.E. With completion of the recent U.S. and China summit, increased media attention has been focused on the need for expanding bilateral links between the two countries. The shift from a strong linkage between the U.S. and Europe to one with the Far East is only a change in longitude. It has not changed the fact that to continue both growth and the ability to influence our nation’s future, the U.S. must be engaged in the world. And, we must actively accept the challenge to stay engaged outside our borders and embrace...
February 16, 2011 - 13:41
Centuries before engineers like Joule and Carnot contributed to the early stages of modern engineering problem solving, monarchs were already using an ancestor of engineering analysis to defeat enemies and expand empires. The use of logic and rational thought has threaded across disciplines of mathematics and philosophy for centuries, when such endeavors were applied to analyze everyday phenomena. Engineering analysis can be expressed as the addressing of society’s desire for progress by decomposing a larger problem into its smaller, constituent parts. Consider Alexander the Great who...
December 21, 2010 - 08:02
As Thinking Engineers, we declare that we will apply the engineering thought process not just to technological advancement, but to the overall betterment of the Self. We are individual contributors to the greater public good to which we all belong. Engineering is a way of thinking. We are observers of the world, a unified body of critical, analytical thinkers, applying the knowledge diversity of the profession toward improving the quality of life for everyone, everywhere. This is to be done without a sense of feigned superiority or exclusivity, but instead with compassionate drive and...
December 2, 2010 - 09:24
Several years ago a friend who had majored in industrial engineering, or “IE,” at one of the discipline’s premier institutions, Georgia Tech, mentioned to me how irritating it had been when other engineers would refer to his major as “imaginary engineering” because of the perceived lack of analytical rigor relative to other engineering fields. Back then, the two of us had been occasional karaoke tag-teamers who sang a mean cover of “Tonight, Tonight” bySmashing Pumpkins, and during our jam sessions, we’d often openly commiserate on how different engineering disciplines were at ends and...
October 13, 2010 - 09:01
Saint George clearly meant business judging by the size of his spear. From any other angle in the courtyard where I was standing, this gigantic statue appeared to simply represent the classic tale of Saint George slaying the dragon—except that upon closer inspection, where I was expecting scales or a writhing pointy tail, the dragon’s body was instead formed from the colubrine segments of a dismantled nuclear missile, suspended in frozen disintegration. This is "Good Defeats Evil” by sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, given to the United Nations as a gift from the Soviet Union in 1990. Two...
August 11, 2010 - 08:32
Recently at a dinner in a “small” Chinese town of just under three million people, I sat around a table with colleagues representing seven countries, speaking Mandarin Chinese, English, French, Korean, Flemish, German, Russian, and Dutch. Given that a coworker and I were born and bred well south of the Mason-Dixon Line, arguably the two of us also spoke “Southern.” This same group was composed of the following academic backgrounds: mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, one doctorate in materials science, one doctorate in physical chemistry. These diverse...
June 28, 2010 - 10:42
Hello from ashinkansenbullet train, tearing through the Japanese countryside at 300 kilometers per hour. The thorough network of public transportation in Japan continues to embody the aphorism that time waits for no one and that these rockets-on-land will not hesitate to leave you and your laptop bag quivering in the supersonic dust. With regards to the global economy, Japan, like the rest of the world, is facing its share of large-scale changes. Unemployment, while still half of that in the U.S., has reached historical highs for the country; there has been a change of regime with the...
May 19, 2010 - 08:05
Dear Recently Minted Engineering Graduate, I use the term “minted” not lightly, but as an indication of value and of stability. Just as the strength of a currency defines the economic stability of a country, the strength of your skills, having successfully completed an engineering program of study, defines the stability of our important profession. Congratulations. Graduating with a degree in engineering is no easy feat. According to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you have joined the only 1.6 million total working Americans who hold engineering degrees. In a country...
April 19, 2010 - 16:12
In March of 1970,Chemical & Engineering News(C&EN) presented the concept of a CORElator: certain scientists with the technical background to expand and apply their skill-sets across multiple disciplines. In 2003, then editor-in-chief of C&EN Madeline Jacobs revived the concept in the wake of the dot-com crash. She reintroduced the CORElator in a contemporary context as an individual who, “related his or her core knowledge to other specialists and to the broad questions facing society. The challenges that faced humanity in 1970 were profound—and they are no less profound today...

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