Introducing myself

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by GonzoEngineer, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. GonzoEngineer

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 8, 2007
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    Just checking out the forums and thought I might join in here.

    I am a 59 year old father of five kids, semiretired. Have been in Electronics for over 35 years, and my specialty is designing pulsed power sustems for
    plasma research.

    To me, anything below 10KV is low voltage and anything below 500KW is
    no fun.

    Also prowling for future employees for a new start up company here in Mansfield, Massachusetts. If anyone wants more information just send me a PM. I found the best talent is the person who starts out in electronics at the hobby level and knows how to root out solutions on their own.

    The forum looks good, simple and precise. Look forward to knowing you guy's and sharing tips and knowledge.

    Cheers......
     
  2. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
    214
    Welcome to the AllAboutCircuits forum GonzoEngineer, we can always use a new talent here in the forum.

    Please make yourself at home and enjoy interacting with our little community of electronic engineers and electronic enthusiasts.

    Have Fun,
    hgmjr
     
  3. GonzoEngineer

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 8, 2007
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    Thanks......I also like to mentor the younger folks in the fine art of electronics.

    Todays hobbyist is tomorrows Engineer.....but to tell you the truth, a good technician is more valuable than an Engineer.
     
  4. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
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    My experience as an engineer is that the two talents complement one another. There is a unique synergy that can develop between an engineer and a technician working together. When the chemistry is right, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts and great things are accomplished.

    hgmjr
     
  5. GonzoEngineer

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 8, 2007
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    Very true.......I started out many years ago as a Technician when I got out of the Army after Vietnam....and I progressed to being an Engineer by that same synergy.

    The best Engineers I worked for helped to teach me....and the worst Engineers just wanted me to keep me from learning more than they knew.

    Now I am the Engineer.......and I need the Technicians to support me. I am willing to teach them all that I know before I retire. I will educate them better than any college can.

    A good Technician is worth more to me right now than a degreed Engineer.

    And I will give them more money too....because they work harder, and know how to breadboard a circuit properly.

    There is an old saying that Scientists dream up something, but Engineers build it.......but the Technicians really do all the work.....and those are the people I want to hire.

    I interviewed a EE once and asked him to design a simple op-amp circuit. He came back with a good Spice design.....but when I asked him if he knew how to actually wire it up he had no idea what parts to even order or even how to breadboard it......and knew nothing about using a soldering iron.

    I need the guy's that can take a scribbled drawing and go to the bench and solder it together.
     
  6. recca02

    Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2007
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    welcome mr gonzo,
    i beg to differ
    i used have the same point of view but then
    i soon realized that technicians have their own problems.
    they may be able to do the wiring but lack in depth of knowledge.
    they also lack in creativity.


    i know eng at beginners level do fail when it comes to practical aspects of things but they can easily get good grasp of thing.
    knowing theory behind a device or ic is much more harder and important than knowing its pinout diagram.
     
  7. GonzoEngineer

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 8, 2007
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    Not the ones that I have hired........

    and creativity can be inspired when you are working on cutting edge technology.

    And the depth of knowledge is up to the teacher.

    I think your definition of a Technician is much different than it is here in the United States.......are you talking about Electronic Technicians or just assemblers?
     
  8. recca02

    Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    1,211
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    i wasnt exactly referring assemblers but i guess you are right it might just be different for different places,field etc.
    i have seen a whole power plant run almost exclusively by engineers which actually required only a few of them and in comparison to other plants which employed a lot of technicians it was way much better.
    just as u have a point that creativity can be inspired and knowledge depends on teacher(i think its the course though) the same applies to engineers.
    u might have had met some really good technicians but i have met engineers
    quite the best in their field.
    in my country the engineering courses are such that u wud expect a good engineer to know almost everything about any field not only his own.
    the techies that i met knew a lot about their field (electrical) even more than me but they even fail to explain the simplest of phenomenon that requires digging deep into the concepts and basics.
    the point i want to bring out here is not about superiority of one over other but that we must realize importance both.
    you have met good engineers yourself werent u awed by depth and versatility of their knowledge.


    edit: i just realized something more obvious. much more than courses offered and teaching it depends on the individual who takes up these field.
    in my country most of the top students pt for engineering/medical and other fields are given less preference and hence we get better engineers and doctors than person form other field.
     
  9. cumesoftware

    Senior Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    1,330
    10
    No, it depends on the technician. Actually, at the light of my experience you can find a very competent technician as well as you can find an engineer with no practice at all (an incompetent one). For instance, most engineers that teach in the universities here in Portugal, have lots of theory but no practice at all.

    In electronics, practice is more important than theory. Nevertheless, theory is necessary and a little of knowledge might help.
     
  10. recca02

    Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    1,211
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    here we go again on a never ending argument abt theory and practice/practicals,
    most of the practices are small modifications or repetitions of great works and research done purely on the basis of theory ,here i refer to great engineering marvels which were based solely on research done in those areas.
    like big industrial units set up now are mostly based on some previous successful project, huge industries run on the designs made considering thermodynamics principles/cycles the understanding of whic only comes from thorough study which u wud come across in an engineering curriculum ,
    from what i know most of these basics are not covered in other fields,
    this is one reason why i expect an engineer to come up with something more innovative than any one else who is more aware of only the latest practices of their trade.
    its only my point of view and i do not aim to impose it on others.

    _____________
    everybody is entitled to my opinion
     
  11. GonzoEngineer

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 8, 2007
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    I had a young, 2nd year EE Student working for me once. He was very proud to show me his test on an Op Amp course that earned him an A+.

    Then he asked me to show him what an Op Amp looked like. He had never hooked one up and actually observed how it actually worked. The course was all paperwork and no lab work. He had no idea of the various packages available, and had seen only one data sheet on a device that I stopped using years ago.

    Anybody that has ever hooked up an Op Amp knows how much they learned in just a day with a soldering iron and components in hand. And that experience stays in your brain forever.

    I had another job candidate that I asked to design an Integrator. He came back with a nice spice model, and when I told him to build it he just stared at me and said, "Don't we have technicians for that?"

    If I were to advise a young kid out of High School about how best to learn electronics I would tell him to join the Military. Nobody in the US teaches electronics better than the military. The root basics and theory I learned in the Army were more valuable than all the courses I took in college after I got out.
     
  12. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    6,960
    144
    Hi GonzoEngineer,

    Welcome to All About Circuits! For the moment I will stay out of the technician/engineer discussion, however if I am being honest I subscribe to the view put forward by hgmjr - that they compliment one another. My experience, although certainly not as much as many here at AAC, is that engineers can't do it on their own, and neither can technicians. Those engineering businesses I have worked in that have succeeded the most, are those that have had the righ blend of engineers, technicians and scientists.

    Dave
     
  13. Gadget

    Distinguished Member

    Jan 10, 2006
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    And a touch of imagination and lateral thinking.
     
  14. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    6,960
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    It goes without saying. I am involved in sessions here in the UK aiming to try and get kids involved in Engineering as opposed to the "easier subjects" (read into that what you will). On of the misconceptions that I find is that young people feel engineering is a dull, follow the rules kind of subject, whereas in reality it is a very creative, artisic and stimulating subject. Sadly it is "sold" in terms of rigourous maths and hard-core science, and whilst this is important, it is not the be-all and end-all.

    Dave
     
  15. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
    282
    My latest Electronics Design magazine would agree with that. There's something like 6000 EE jobs unfilled because there are just not enough people getting the training.

    I've always been interested in hardware of any sort. But I don't know more than one person who has any such interest. When I was much younger, lots of kids at least got under the hood (bonnet) of a car and did some level of maintenance. That interest seems to have just gone away.
     
  16. GonzoEngineer

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 8, 2007
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    Quite the contrary........one of my best employees this year is a young kid who just graduated from high school....and is going to U Mass this fall for an engineering degree,

    He is just working the summer......but he has blown my socks off with his expertise, and desire to learn.

    I found him at the robotics club at the local high school. These kids are out there....just like us many years ago.....but you have to know where to find them!:)
     
  17. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
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    I'm happy to hear it. Be fun to find someone around here who wanted to learn electronics/anything but tractors.
     
  18. recca02

    Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    1,211
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    what's special abt tractors?
     
  19. GonzoEngineer

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 8, 2007
    46
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    When I asked him how much he wanted to be paid, he said......

    "I don't really care about money....I just want to learn more about electronics!":)

    That's when I knew I had a winner....unfortunately he goes to back school the end of this month:(
     
  20. nanovate

    Distinguished Member

    May 7, 2007
    665
    1
    You still paid him a fair rate, right? Those are the kind of people you want to nurture and keep. I am sure you'll agree that it will pay off in the long run. When someone is genuinely interested about a subject they will put in that extra effort.

    John
     
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