Engineers - what type of college did you go to?

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
3,584
Engineers: What type of college did you go to? What was(were) your background(s) in?

I'm currently working on assignment at a company who from what I understand hire engineers based on who applies for the job. Engineers who have no formal training as such. I've argued electrical clearance on a 400 DC volt line and the guy seems like someone who may have been a farmer before being an engineer. Not saying farmers are not intelligent. Likely just the opposite. Being a farmer - you HAVE to know how to get things done. How to fix things that break. How to make things you need when you need them. But I'm arguing a lead clearance that he says must be kept all the way across. Whoever drew the diagram (not the one I drew and attached below) did so probably on a CAD system. You don't put dimensions in the middle of the part drawing. The projection lines don't go all the way into the drawing and inspectors and other personnel are insisting the drawing with the red arrow is a reject. I don't have an engineering degree, but I've worked with dozens of engineers and know pretty well what's going on. I've also worked as a draftsman (drafts-person) making blueprints - back when blueprints were blue. I understand dimensioning and the reason why things like this are kept off the part.

Anyway, the argument will continue. So I want to know what it took to get your engineering degree so I can pose some pointed questions and see what kind of response I get. It's my opinion that most of the people working here are former cheese herders or corn herders. Maybe a few tobacco herders thrown in.

Sally Gaud Damn It.png
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
7,938
What does your titular question have to do with what type of college someone attended? Would you be happier if the bend were simply shown as a radius = 0.040"?

I do agree that with the pad on the right, since the wire touches it, there is no clearance maintained.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
6,988
You don't put dimensions in the middle of the part drawing.
Then where would you put the 0.08 dimension? As someone that worked making things, I have seen dimensions put where needed. The left one,where the pin is shown is where the 0.08 dimension should be, or maybe the area could have a circle drawn around it and the circle reproduced out side of the main drawing to do it. But then I'm not an engineer, just fought with them for 45+ years.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
3,584
Well I just had it out today with the cheese herding engineer. He insisted the reject was legitimate. I still don't know how you have 80K clearance and still have a connection. But he wouldn't listen. I'm seriously thinking of cutting my contract short since they don't listen to the experience I have in this arena. No - I'm not an expert, but I have 35 years doing this. Blueprint reading - Drafting, working with countless engineers on countless projects, R&D and more. I've had Presidents and CEO's in my lab listening to my explanation of the defect(s) I was pointing out. They said "When Mr. R••••• says we have a problem we'll get right on it. We KNOW he knows what he's talking about." You don't get that kind of respect from cheese herders.

And this engineer was formerly a solder tech. Has no formal college in engineering in any kind of manufacturing platform. Yet because he bears a title he's given credibility. Even though he himself doesn't know how to read a blueprint. In fact, he didn't even KNOW what a "BLUE print" was. To him it was a large white sheet with black lines representing parts and dimensions as well as other pertinent notes. Never smelled the ammonia processing a real blueprint. Never even seen a large blue paper with white lines. Totally foreign to him. Same as intelligence is foreign to him.

Geez I'm pizzed!
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
7,938
1) Don't quit. Work your full contract. Every act leaves a trail, even if they tell you it doesn't.
2) Make the bend with the same radius as the clearance wire radius (0.040") and move past it.
3) Play a card game of skill with the "engineer", like Hearts.
 

ToddLakes

Joined Aug 8, 2019
2
I graduated from ACUSA College of Engineering, I received a good level of education. I think this is one of the best colleges. The training in it is quite complicated but interesting. You can ask for help with this writ service. If you have difficulties, they will always help you. Speaking of me, from early childhood I dreamed of becoming an engineer. But after graduating from college, I chose another job. In the future, I hope to return to this profession. I recommend that all students choose in advance the profession that will be in demand on the labor market. Otherwise, you may be left without work.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
3,584
1) Don't quit. Work your full contract. Every act leaves a trail, even if they tell you it doesn't.
2) Make the bend with the same radius as the clearance wire radius (0.040") and move past it.
Yeah, when I get frustrated I think this way. It's stinking thinking, I know. However, leaving a trail only means they have one more thing to bhitch about. And believe me - Sally is good at it. Spends all day hearsing and rehearsing her part. By now she knows every line by heart.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
12,407
University of Michigan (Go Blue!). State supported public university. That's not where I learned anything about PCB layout.
 

SLK001

Joined Nov 29, 2011
1,514
I graduated from an accredited College of Engineering from a mid-west state university. What you are complaining about isn't taught at Engineering Schools - it is mostly learned on-the-job from other experienced engineers. That said, your problem isn't really the engineering, but lies instead in the drawing that you show. The way that it is drawn now would leave any non-technical person to infer that the dimension refers to the outside lead, which it does not. The extension lines should have extended to the place where the clearance is clearly needed. In fact, the entire dimension on the outside is extraneous, since the clearance is already specified by the 0.080" gauge pin. Usually, duplicate dimensions are frowned upon on technical documents.

That said, I do feel your consternation. I fought many a battle with "quality engineers" (generally, people who moved from the production line to the "quality" department). I also must add that I never lost a battle with them. My expertise was in RF circuitry, while theirs was in circuit assembly. I was hired to rescue a flailing US Navy project. Every device that I received from assembly I had to reassemble. Our house was a MIL-Q-9858 certified house, which means that anyone who touches a soldering iron had to be certified to MIL-Q-9858 standards. My reassembly required that I "touch" a soldering iron to correct the lousy techniques of the assemblers. I was caught many times and told to stop - I basically told them to go pound sand because their assemblers simply could not properly assemble an RF circuit. This culminated into a high level meeting in a company VP's office with the top quality officials and my boss and me. I explained to the attending dignitaries my concerns and that "HELL NO", I was NOT going to train the assy girls proper RF assembly techniques - it wasn't my job. The ensuing impasse was finally broken with my boss suggesting that the company "train" me to solder to 9858 standards. I asked if I could just take the final certification test, but the QA people wanted to put me through the pain of the entire training process (it was in-house for a week). It was taught by the quality supervisor, who couldn't wait to fail me, but I shocked her so much by my abilities that she ended up telling me that I was the second best student she had ever seen. Now this sounds like braggadocious, but in my previous job, I was designing circuits for 10 GHz. If you don't have excellent soldering technique, there is no way a 10 GHz circuit will function properly.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
3,584
I want to thank everyone for their responses. Yes, the drawing is all screwed up. I've done drafting myself. I also know that CAD systems will do a pretty good job but usually no greater than the operator running the program. As for leaving a job like this - I'm tired of being away from home, away from family and loved ones. To be honest I don't want to do this any longer. Yes, I know stupid people are everywhere. Sad fact of life but they seem to be out pacing the smart ones in reproducing.

This is hardly about the drawing or whether the lead should have sleeving (which it does). It's about the electrical clearance and the clearance only. Not about where the radius begins, not anything else. And yes, those who climb the ladder have no idea what they're doing. I'm not an engineer, but have worked with a great many of them, and a great many of them were absolutely on the ball. Not this guy. Not this production inspector woman either.

It's been frustrating dealing with people who boast "I'VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR FIVE YEARS!" Or 10 or 15. I've been doing this myself since 1984, that's 35 years. And not just in electronics. Mechanical, machine shops, welding shops, aviation, naval power systems, a whole lot of areas including commercial electronics. They just can't compete when it comes to boasting about experience or even exposure. I've not done anything with RF but the closest was in the oilfield field. They use high and low pressure pulses sent backwards up the flow of mud (the fluid they'd pump to the bottom of the well to flush out the cuttings). Those digital pulses were typically a high pressure pulse that lasted five seconds and a low pulse would last 10. Data rate was - as you can imagine - very slow. I've done micro sectioning. I've held certs in IPC 6010, 6011, 12 and 13. FAA certified in wire harnessing including a myriad of crimp types and solder splices. I know the 620, even though I've not held a cert. Back when it was part of the 610, I worked extensively in it. I trained others in harnessing. And these are the things I can recall off the cuff. Oh - as a micro section tech I pulled a 10 million dollar project back out of the scrap bin. Solved a problem the engineers couldn't. Again, they refused to listen. Until I cut open a chip and proved my point. Only then did anyone listen. PROOF! Without it - good luck.

Long story short, I lost the argument even though I had sound reasoning. Stupid people can't listen. They don't know how to. They can't reason like educated and experienced people can and do. But even among some of them, listening is a difficult thing.

Thanks again to all. I have to get myself ready to go into the den again. Can't call it a lions den, lions are smart. Ants are smart. Amoeba's are smart(er than these people). It's my lot in life. If I choose to leave it's more so because I can do no good here. Only where people want and accept help am I able to make a difference.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
7,938
@Tonyr1084
Quitting a job is no big deal per se. It's a prerequisite for getting a new job, and in a sense, even if the new job is just a promotion within the same company. Lots of turnover in jobs for an individual is at best a yellow flag. I am sure you know those things.

My comment about not quitting included information that you have a "contract" with your current employer. I presumed it is time-limited or project based and maybe is to replace another full-time employee on temporary leave (i.e., a locum tenens). Now, of course one can resign from such jobs cold, and despite what terms may be in the contract, the employer will likely do nothing.

In my opinion, someone who just quit from such contracted employment would be ineligible for rehire ever, because that action left the employer in a lurch. And if a potential employer asked me about that employee, and I was allowed to answer, I would give the facts as I knew them. To me, it is a bad sign of character.

If you still feel the need to quit, you might schedule a visit with your boss/supervisor, describe the personal difficulties you are having, and ask if you are still needed. That is, try to leave on mutually agreeable terms.
 

tindel

Joined Sep 16, 2012
663
I'm not an engineer... I've been doing this myself since 1984, that's 35 years... Long story short, I lost the argument even though I had sound reasoning.
Despite how many years you've been doing this kind of work, that is how it works. At the end of the day, the engineer is responsible party; therefore, the engineer has the final call. A good engineer would value the opinions of those around them with more experience and carefully consider input received. Not all engineers are good.

The engineer may have many other inputs they are considering as well. Has the engineering already been released? How long does it take to rerelease engineering? Are there other changes that need made to the engineering? Does the engineer believe that the intent is clear enough in the engineering? Does the engineer have to make the change or is there someone else that will do the work? What are the schedule pressures on other projects? Etc, etc. These are rhetorical questions - obviously. The point is that the engineer is (hopefully) weighing all of the factors to decide what to do moving forward.

In the meantime. Relax. Take deep breaths. How far a line extends on a drawing may cause confusion in the future, but it certainly isn't the end of the world. I'd also suggest reflecting on two things: 1) Reflect on how you approached this issue with the engineer so you can adjust your approach next time if needed. 2) Reflect on why this caused you to get so upset and if this is healthy for you.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
3,584
A group of us were brought in to help get the backlog knocked down. Today we were scrounging for work. Seems we've accomplished the goal sooner than they anticipated. I don't plan on a cold leave, I will inform my direct supervisor of my decision two weeks prior to my departure. Whether true or false, I can claim marital issues that can't be ignored. And to be bluntly honest, I think I'm done leaving home for months at a time just to earn a paycheck. Besides, I've just made an inside contact at the air force base five minutes from my house. I could have full time permanent work sooner than not. I could be home every night; every weekend; make plans with friends and family. No job is worth all that. And if I never work again, retirement is not so bad. And the wife is pulling down a really healthy income. On top of all that, if something goes wrong with her job - I still have a few agencies I work for. I could easily be back on the road again in weeks. Financially speaking we're not hurting. So a cold quit isn't going to happen because I don't do that. My supervisor will have sufficient time to move someone into my spot without losing a minute of income. And the person I have in mind would LOVE the day shift.

So the end of August is just three weeks shy of the projected contract. And I've worked before where they say they're canceling the contract early. Been extended more than shortened, but regardless, I think I want to go home now. I've had my fill of hotels and restaurants.
 
Top