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Technical HAMBer engineers

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by King ford, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. mountainman2
    Joined: Sep 16, 2013
    Posts: 311


    Always need to keep in mind that 50% all doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc finished in the bottom half of their class. o_O
    King ford and Clay Belt like this.
  2. SwampLedge
    Joined: Jul 3, 2012
    Posts: 10


    This sums up the situation with elegant simplicity.

    I’m now retired after 39 years in the engineering field, concluding as the Chief Engineer for a major industrial products company, primarily in the power generation field. BSME and PE license. I supervised hundreds of engineers and hired more than I could count. I saw too many applicants with an engineering degree who couldn’t tell me why they entered engineering other than because a relative told them it was a good field. Not to knock other pastimes, but these applicants usually told me their interests were golf, softball, physical fitness, etc. I always looked for candidates with a passion for hands-on mechanical activities, and found some great ones.

    In high school I was the only student who was in the advanced auto mechanics class and AP Math (calculus). Got a whopping $25 “scholarship” from the local auto store that awarded it annually to the top auto mechanics student. The practical knowledge I gained from building cars through my high school and college years saved my butt after graduation when the mechanics at the power plant where I worked “tested” me by complaint about “mongrel threads” and bad metallurgy on a copper manifold. In the case of the threads, I asked for a 5/8-11 die and showed them the threads would clean up. On the manifold, I asked if I could use the guy’s torch, cleaned and prepped the joint, and soldered it up.

    I had a lot of respect for the guys in the company who came up through the ranks as tradespeople or machine operators and lacked the degree, and I learned to be tactful when they screwed up. One example of this is when a non-engineer promoted into an engineering role authorized a design change to a spring that led to failures because he thought adding coils would make the spring stiffer.

    My heros in engineering were the guys who had a strong grasp of fundamentals complemented by practical experience and commercially available hardware. I could go on but have already typed too much.

    Clay Belt, Ziggster, fiftyv8 and 2 others like this.
  3. Desmodromic
    Joined: Sep 25, 2010
    Posts: 427


    My ex-wife was a marine engineer, went to the California University of Naval Technology.
    King ford, alanp561, RMR&C and 2 others like this.
  4. patsurf
    Joined: Jan 18, 2018
    Posts: 262


    does the diploma come with a string attached?....and rolled up
    King ford, Clay Belt and alanp561 like this.
  5. Desmodromic
    Joined: Sep 25, 2010
    Posts: 427


    Hey, don't sound so unappreciative. Back then, it probably paid for all your books!

    (I went to a highly regarded university that charged $800 first year tuition, now are up to around $60,000. Good God, am I that old?!?)
    Clay Belt, SwampLedge, pitman and 2 others like this.
  6. Normant93
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 141


    when I was in the Corporate Finance world, I did a lot of "financial engineering" does that count? o_O
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  7. 36cab
    Joined: Dec 2, 2008
    Posts: 611


    Just out of high school I worked in a factory and I got to know the guys working in the R&D shop real well. They were great guys and built me lots of car parts and racing go-kart parts. I was in their shop once and an engineer came down from the offices and wanted them to build a prototype using the chain driven gear set he brought with him that had a small 8 tooth and large 20 tooth gears. The R&D guys told him the gear ratio was wrong for what he wanted to do and that he should go with 8 tooth and 18 tooth gears. he came back an hour later with the same gear set but he had filed off two of the teeth on the 20 tooth gear!
    Clay Belt, alanp561 and rockable like this.
  8. railcarmover
    Joined: Apr 30, 2017
    Posts: 237


    "pregnant whore to a basketball game" can fix anything but the crack of dawn and broken hearts..
    King ford likes this.
  9. GeeRam
    Joined: Jun 9, 2007
    Posts: 315


    I guess that was a good few years ago though?
    I'm a registered Structural Engineer here in the UK, and from that description, I think he's talking about the route I took to registration (I don't have a degree) but, sadly, that method of training had all but disappeared in the UK by the late 1990's......and not for the better.
  10. It was; this job was in the early '80s and this guy had been out of school for a few years.
  11. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 4,886

    from CO & WA

    I thought that I wanted to be an Architect as a kid because I liked drawing etc.
    It did not happen and as I look back now over a life time of experience in construction and civil engineering where at times I had to deal or be involved with them, I now realise that I was never going to be an Architect as I did not have the ability to come up with impractical ideas and make like everybody else was missing the point, make a big fuss about every thing and carry on about nothing.
    Oh and spend other peoples money to come up with expensive ideas in a effort to win a prize in architectural circles.

    I said I worked in engineering and construction, my first job was in a Civil Engineers office as a cadet draftsman, and I felt that this profession could be my calling and I developed a healthy respect for a good percentage of engineers during the process, mostly because I saw it as a opportunity to doing stuff that I liked, as I am very much a hands on kind of guy.
    However I quickly worked out that while working with Engineers that many were just there because they were told it was a honourable profession, a lot had no idea and generally I saw that most ended up in offices rarely seeing the light of day and largely writing reports and processing progress claims as well as attending meetings.
    All necessary but just not my cup of tea.

    I got a Mining Engineer living next door to me and he did not know what the angle of repose was for soil!!!
    The last say 10 years of my work life I worked as a consultant/contract employee in construction and trouble shooting solutions to solve tasks required by Design Engineers.
    I worked in both Construction Contractors and Civil/Structural Engineers offices and saw first hand why I was glad I was not an Engineer in the sense of the word, I saw a large percentage of their work as mostly boring and many lacked real life skills to be effective.
    I've discovered many Engineers who can not draw or design, can not use simple surveying equipment, have no idea of processes in manufacturing, crane lifting or logistics.
    I personally felt that had I become an Engineer it would have impeded my creativity and ability to adapt and deal with issues out of left field...
    MMM1693 and Fordors like this.
  12. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,191

    jimmy six

    Mine includes a 19/32's. Chrome X tools from the 30's. From my father.
    Clay Belt and Moselli like this.
  13. Rich S.
    Joined: Jul 22, 2016
    Posts: 291

    Rich S.

    Lowel Tech. In the 70’s. Nicknamed the poor mans MIT. It’s now U-Mass Lowel. They had shops on campus. In addition to the core courses and the physics and chem . labs. They had us make a plumb bob on the lathe, copy a golf club head using wax molds, stick weld, etc. it gave you a feel of what’s after the blue print. I wonder if colleges do that today?
    I’ve had this since Junior High

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Moselli likes this.
  14. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,504


    I would have to dig, but I have a 27/64ths.
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  15. johnold1938
    Joined: Apr 19, 2009
    Posts: 364

    from indiana

    engineers are the ones who put it on paper and guy's like me have to fix it!
    fiftyv8 likes this.
  16. Nostrebor
    Joined: Jun 25, 2014
    Posts: 822


    I don't have a degree, but have worked my whole career in a field involving structural engineering. Commercial building construction and plant manufacturing. I started at a drafting table, worked through project management, moved to estimating, and now manage the sales department for the same company. 30 years this year.

    I spend a lot of my day telling architects and engineers how to use our materials on their buildings. It's pretty weird to be doing that with no degree, but... 30 years.:D
    fiftyv8 likes this.
  17. JBinMD
    Joined: Feb 16, 2019
    Posts: 1


    :raises hand: Ooh, ooooh, I have a driveshaft related question. I've been doing some research for my first restoration project that I will be starting soon and I've seen many people say that the static driveshaft u-joint angles shouldn't be over a certain amount (like 3 degrees or something), and also that the u-joints should NOT be in a perfectly straight line, but nowhere on earth could I find what the minimum or optimum u-joint angle should be. Please share it if you know what it is. TIA!
  18. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    It took a 20 second search on the web........"minimum maximum u joint angle" is the first one at the top of the search page:

  19. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,746

    from Hampsha

    3 degrees is recommended, equal and opposite for each end of driveshaft. The min. angle that would continously pump lube thruout the 'caps' and keep from brinnelling the inner pin. Best of my memory here. (Also cancels any velocity change, by being equal and opposite.)
  20. As a kid, I always took my toys apart on Christmas day to see how they worked, broke half of them.

    After high school, my parents divorced = no money for college. So, I worked as a laborer on construction sites in downtown Baltimore, went to work in the day/took night classes...took me 14 years to get my Chem Eng. degree. (slow kid). I found that Engineering school tries to teach you HOW to think. Both my grandfathers were mechanics at various points in their lives, highly hands on intuitive types. My father was an antenna engineer for NASA. He always fixed everything in the house, never had a repairman in for any reason. He stick welded about 100 ft of steel stairs, handrailing and structural steel for stairs up to our deck and around the house from bar stock

    I've always had HUGE respect for welders/trade folks/ machinists, etc....and car guys. Some engineers I've worked with can't pop the hood on their cars, they are lessened in my view. I'm the only one at work who does my own repairs, whether it be HAMB car, routine fixes, the garden tractor, the clothes dryer...once a former boss said :"you're a tinkerer"..I said :THANKS! she said: "I didn't mean that as a compliment.."


    There's 8 types of learning styles (LEFT/RIGHT) brain: then visual, auditory, tactile (hands on), and kinesthetic(large body movements). Most college is left brain visual. If you can adapt the material to your strongest style, then it comes easily/imprints better. Differential equations = kind of a struggle....Unit operations lab = easy like a hot knife through butter for me.

    Finally -as I curse out some auto engineers, I realize many times they were forced to compromise on their best design due to cost cutting, space limitations, deadlines , corporate mandates, or other design groups interfering or overriding the initial design.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
    pitman, Ned Ludd, LBCD and 2 others like this.
  21. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 526


    Funny, my dad cussed engineers when he worked on cars and told me to always consider the mechanics once I started working. Of course engineers consider the mechanic, just as they consider service life, loading, environmental effects, weight, cost, regulation compliance and a host of other things.

    The best engineers I've ever worked with are generally two types. They were either into cars or building things before they went to college, or they were non-degreed mechanics who worked their way up. They were great designers and problem solvers because they had been there, done that. Like ol' Doug who used to work for me, who only had 8 full fingers.

    There's still hope. I have this young engineer who works for me that was on the SAE baja team in college. He learned to fab and TIG weld as he led the chassis build. He's building an old F100 now. The kid spends a lot of time in the shop with our techs building prototypes. You can probably guess who got the biggest raise in my group last year.
    Clay Belt likes this.
  22. Warpspeed
    Joined: Nov 4, 2008
    Posts: 497


    Biomedical engineers only get to work on "stuff" they are never let loose anywhere near patients. I know this because I once worked in the biomedical section of a large teaching hospital. So just relax my friend, its the doctors you need to really fear, not the engineers.
  23. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 786


    A college degree just means you have a certain base level of knowledge, not that you know how to use it.
  24. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,745

    from Berry, AL

    Yep, there's a lot of college educated idiots running around! You can't teach common sense, you got it, or you don't, all the book learning in the world won't help if you don't know how to apply it to the real world.
    Clay Belt and Rich S. like this.

  25. You'd need find the kid who's in after school math club and then runs home to get out in the garage and work on building his own go kart or some more worthy form of tinkering.
    Clay Belt likes this.
  26. mrrilla
    Joined: Apr 21, 2006
    Posts: 49

    from Vail,AZ

    Masters Degree Mechanical Engineer for a large Defense Contractor doing design, analysis build and test. 18 years experience and going
  27. A lot of engineering students today are pressured into the field by parents and HS counselors, especially girls; there has been a tremendous push to increase the numbers of females in engineering fields. Many (most?) of these kids have little to no interest in machinery.

    I agree with this and when a female does have an interest in even aerodynamic engineering they are told by their HS guidance counselors "That is not what you want". I have worked with several Engineer Student Co-Op's and while some were genuinely interested in learning some were on the verge of changing their Major as they either didn't like the field or found it too hard and were failing. At Cub Scout Day Camp last year I spoke with the 14 year old daughter of our Scout Executive one evening after the days activities. I just spoke with her at another Scout Function this past Friday. Her counselor is still adamant that she doesn't want to pursue a engineering career and needs to go into accounting which she hates and loves aerodynamics. She is still a straight A student now a sophomore carrying a 4.17 GPA due to her taking advanced classes against her counselor's advice. I steered her to a few PE's, Eagle Scouts, and they are guiding both her and her parents. The girl loves mechanical engines and I told her about, OT here NASCAR and the women that were very well respected and intelligent engineers in their field and they are flourishing there.
    pitman likes this.
  28. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,342


    I think there is only one kid in robotics (which I help with) and auto shop. I'm working on him... :)

    Seems most of the kids in robotics (an after school club/team) are in the "academic" side of things, and one neat thing about this program is that I get to teach so many of these book smart kids, how to actually design and build stuff to perform a task.

    And driving my fun old cars to meetings might get them to think about playing with old cars using old technology, but I doubt I've managed to pull that off, yet.
  29. Shutter Speed
    Joined: Feb 2, 2017
    Posts: 614

    Shutter Speed

    Jim, you're giving these youngsters their MOST important education!

    Keep it up. Their gonna remember you long after school's out! Art
    51504bat likes this.

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