Welcome to Engineers for Success

Welcome to Engineers for Success

We aim to share great information, articles, audios and Videos on Engineering Aspects that will hopefully help you in your engineering career, or help you get a better understanding of what engineers do if you are thinking about becoming an engineer.
It is an exciting field with so many disciples, so I encourage you to have a look around the site and enjoy ! -

There are some great resources, interviews and training sessions for immediate download.
Have Fun,
David Cummings -
Engineers For Success, Helping you Discover, Create and Excel.

A Good Designer and Computer Aided Drafting

A Good Designer Does Not Rely on Software

A little over twenty-five years ago, the term computer aided drafting (CAD) was only an experiment, and something that would only be a pipe dream for many. Now-a-days it is the mainstream way of life for all engineering faculties. CAD software packages can be great for all engineering disciplines, but it has to be driven with caution. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the software is only as good as the user. You’ve heard the saying- “garbage in = garbage out”… well the same is true for the CAD software package. Whether you are using AutoCad, ArCAD, TurboCad or some other design tool, it is just that – a tool.
Although it can streamline things, it cannot automate design, redesign, testing or analysis of your projects. That needs some one with head-knowledge of what to do, how to do it and how to interpolate the results.

Modern CAD programs are so much more than a computerized and automated way of streamlining the tedious tasks that a draftsman will do. Not only are they so much quicker than the old drawing pens and paper, they are super accurate and able to reiterate and redesign things on the fly. They are great analytical tools, allowing the engineer to try out different designs in a matter of minutes (or hours depending on how complex they are), and can give a real sense of progress.

BUT, everyone must be aware that just because someone has a piece of really cool CAD software, it does not make them a good designer. All it means it that that someone can produce a pretty picture. A good designer is one that can use the CAD software to get better results faster, that still make sense, and are engineering sound designs. So, next time you have a look at software and the possible outcomes, consider the user (draftsman’s skills first).

A wrong or poor design output by a computer software program is still as wrong as a hand drawn design.

engineer humour

Every now and again, you realize
that not everyone likes engineers.

Sometimes you just wish it is not that obvious.

Engineer Humour.

Cheers,

David C

What is worse than a badly written engineering report

Writing a Bad Engineers Report ?

The one thing that is worse than writing a bad Engineering Report.

No One likes writing reports. Spending hours upon hours of outlining the details of some “finding” and trying to put an element of excitement into it can be very frustrating. Engineering reports are not the most sought after literature, and are probably seen by most as just “plain old boring”. Unless it is the latest break through engineering gadget that will solve the worlds problems, most people don’t want to read them, only a couple of people ever do read them, and particularly few have to read them. Understandably, there is one thing that is worse than writing a bad report, and that is having to read one. Have you ever read such a bad report that you literally have to re-read it 2 or 3 times to get the gist of what they are trying to say ? It is then that you believe that even watching paint dry can be more exciting.

reportLearning the fine art of report writing is a must in the engineering field. There is more to it than just putting down some results in some worksheet and adding a sentence here and there. Knowing where and when to include facts, figures, summations and hard data has to documented in a systematic way that will enhance the readers interest whilst delivering the required information. The conclusions and interpretation of that data is equally important. Knowing when to reflect on certain elements and how to draw conclusions is a fine art that cannot be mistaken by your opinion. Essentially an engineering report should be ‘water tight’ and able to be reviewed by your piers who would draw the same sort of conclusions. If the report is unclear or does not draw any solid conclusions, then you have essentially not completed the report properly. However, sometimes the ultimate conclusion is that no conclusions or recommendations can be drawn with that current set of information.

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When writing a report, you need to consider the end goal, the purpose of the report and what you are trying to establish. The report should increase the knowledge base of the reader, not confuse them. Every good report is written and formatted in a systematic manner. Engineering reports should explain the problem, review the data, and conclude with meaning. The sentence structure should be factual, succinct, and avoid the use of unnecessary jargon or filler words. Although the writers goal is not to write an exciting novel using unnecessary overly descriptive superlatives, they have to keep the reader engaged and interested whilst delivering the facts and recommendations. It all comes down to writing good “proper English structure”, that flows and directs the reader through the text to arrive at the same meaningful conclusions and recommendations as you outline. Read more »

3 core skills for Civil Engineering Site Supervisors

3 core skills for Site Supervisors

You may have heard the saying, “you can be a Jack of all Trades but a Master of none”. It still rings true for Civil Engineers. While the civil fraternity encompasses a wide variety of services and sectors, you can never be the master of them all. However, one skill that you should definitely conquer is the art of site supervision. Although there are many different requirements, site supervisors need to possess the same sort of skill no matter what type of project or disciplines with the civil field. Three core skills are required to ensure a great project outcome.

1. Know your topic. If you set out for the first time to ‘supervise’ something on site, there is every chance that you practically know absolutely ‘nothing’. It is probably a good idea to familiarise yourself with the techniques, requirements and expected results before you go out onto the site. One sure way of not looking stupid, is to go out with another more experienced colleague and watch them do the inspection or supervision. Watch listen and learn. Ask lots of questions. Ask the right questions. Enquire and research your topic before you are left to defend for yourself.

2. Know the answer before the question is asked. This is a little tricky. A civil engineer must be able to offer solutions to the problems as they arise. This does not mean that you have to give your answer straight away. It is acceptable to analyse the problem, seek alternate advice and get back to them with a solution later. You do this by thinking of ‘what if’ scenarios before you get to the site. “if this goes wrong, then This would be the solution” for example. Know your limitations and don’t be something you are not. If you do not know, say so and say you will get back to them with the answer.
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3. Own the budget and time constraints. Site supervision can be full of surprises. In fact, it is rare that you will go onto a site without a problem being thrown up at you. If you know the state of the budget (time and costs available), then it makes your decision process all the more easy. If you do not know approximate costs or how much you have already spent, or how much time is left on certain activities, then you are merely guessing and uncertainty is not good. Your response should be either a certain answer, or you will certainly get back to them within a short period of time.
All three of these key points are essential if you are to be a successful site supervisor, and remember, there is no shame in no knowing and learning, but to repeat the same issue over and over and not learn is a down right waste of every bodies time and money.