Good Engineer

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Shruti Santhosh, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. Shruti Santhosh

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 24, 2012
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    I would Like to know how we could become a good Engineer? What all should be take care while learning Electronics? Where should we concentrate more on?
     
  2. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    For starters, don't post a new thread on the same topic.
     
  3. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
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    That only makes him a good forum member. However, if he listens to you in all other regards, he will be a good engineer. :D
     
  4. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
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    There are a few threads on this topic. Try the search to find them.

    To start the discussion off, I'll keep it simple. Good engineers have three things going for them generally. They know fundamentals, they have experience and they have creativity. All ingredients could be discussed at great lengths. The creativity part is hard for me to quantify, but the others are straighforward to mention.

    Fundamentals include, electromagnetic field theory, power systems, signals and systems theory, feedback control theory, knowledge to apply mathematics, programming skills, anolog electronics design, digital electronics design, classical mechanics (statics and dynamics), general problem solving skills, knowledge to use modeling tools (Matlab/Simulink, SPICE, etc), general physics (relativity, quantum, particle physics etc).

    Experience is somewhat independent of the above (although fundamentals are integrated in always) and involves system design and contruction, experimentation and testing, reliability validation, customer interactions and product support, working with teams and working independently as needed, oral and written communication and documentation of all aspects of the above.

    On the creativity aspect ... if you need to ask too much about this ... the answers won't make sense. However, if you are here asking how to be good, you are likely all set in this area. The key thing about creativity is that the more you know, the more your creativity can do. The creative mind uses all things it knows and all materials available to find the solution. But, even a creative mind can't use something it doesn't know about. Often, it's not critical to know everything well (although you should know many things well), but just having a basic knowledge of many things will allow your creative mind to determine that a path is likely to lead to something good. Once you identify the path, you can learn the details needed to tread that path. Some paths end up being dead ends, but creativity is all about exploring possible solutions in order to find the good way.
     
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  5. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
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    ^- Great post!

    I would add a couple other things. A good engineer is curious. My old boss would say that he would never hire an engineer who wasn't curious. Also, good engineering requires life-long learning. When you graduate college, your education is only benginning. I've noticed a distinct pattern in my career; as soon as I learn a new software package, programming language or any other skill or technique, I find immediate use for it.
     
  6. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    All good points. My guidelines for a good engineer are three things:

    1. Why?
    2. How?
    3. What for?
    Another way of putting it is:

    1. Why? - Science
    2. How? - Engineering
    3. What for? - Social Good
    1. Why? - Science

    This is knowing the basics well, as Steveb has already pointed out.
    In order to have confidence in what we are doing we have to have a strong background in the fundamentals: Mathematics, Physics, General Science.

    2. How? - Engineering


    Again, this is in agreement with Steveb. You have to put into practice what you know by learning from experience, your own as well as that of others, using sound engineering principles and guidelines. Good engineering is not witchcraft. There is a sound methodical approach.

    Creativity I would include in this section. Good engineers are problem solvers. We have the analytical skills to study a problem and look for solutions. One of the dangers is going down the well beaten and perhaps safe and comfortable path. We must be willing to look outside the box and to seek and embrace new ideas

    3. What For? - Social Good


    More importantly, professional engineers must uphold the highest level of integrity. Engineers have an important role to play in society, much more than bringing technological innovation. Engineers must be able to recognize when a given practice or behavior is leading society down the wrong path. Engineers must be able to put the public good above financial gain. Engineers need to play a stronger role in the political and economic process that drives society.

    And one final word - Communication.
    Engineers are notorious for having poor Social and Communication Skills.
    Learn to be an effective communicator.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  7. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    Along with the rest I would like to emphasize Mr. Chips' final word - Communication. You need good communication skills, both oral and written. If you can't effectively communicate with others then your ideas, even if they are good ones, may be ignored. Learning to write and speak effectively takes work and it shouldn't be ignored. Take any courses in public speaking and technical writing that you can. (And, other than over the phone, don't ever use text-speak in you communications, such as in emails. It's a turn-off to many and indicates a certain laziness or desire to cut corners.)
     
  8. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Thanks for the support.

    And one more plug.

    Join a Toastmasters Club in your town or city. There are 270,000 members in 13,000 clubs across the globe.

    http://www.toastmasters.org/

    You will not regret it.
     
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  9. debjit625

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 17, 2010
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    Believe in yourself (quoted from beauty contest)......

    Never get electrified.

    Girls....
     
  10. BillB3857

    Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2009
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    Don't be afraid to learn from the technician that has to make the stuff you design really work. Likewise, he depends upon learning from you. Share your knowledge!
     
  11. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    In other words, don't become a highfalutin engineer who thinks a technician's job is demeaning.
     
  12. BillB3857

    Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2009
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    most exactly!!
     
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