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Thread: To all engineers out there: What is it with everyone claiming your title?

  1. #61
    I have worked with many companies with many engineers of different backgrounds. Some even professionals.

    At one point in time about 100 years ago, my trade, I was considered an engineer. During wartime my trade was kept so hush-hush and even buildings we worked in had some of the highest security and secrecy . They wouldn’t even let us volunteer to be on the front line. I was trained in metallurgy, shear forces, tensile forces, physics and mathematics , Drawings, blueprints, interpretation of drawings using North American standard and European standards. I’m forced to work in metric and in imperial and be able to convert at the drop of a hat. I’m required to know electrical, hydraulics, pneumatics machining techniques and reaction. I’m also required to weld Tig, mig and Oxy-acetylene. I can identify most Metal material. I am required to heat treat and aneal. I’m required to know coining and coining radiuses. I’m also required to know Rockwell hardness and how it applies to material and it’s effects.

    Most mechanical engineers never dip in this deep and are able to produce the product required. Most mechanical engineers show a little bit of respect and call people like me a UL engineer. I personally think it’s a joke. UL stands for unlicensed. But time after time I was always pulled into the engineering meetings. The P engineers didn’t like when I said it can’t be built like you want it!

    I am no engineer.

    Galileo was not an engineer, but I would consider him one.

    The architects of the pyramids, I would consider them engineers as well.

    Gustave Eiffel, what makes him an engineer?

    I do find it a little bit funny that professional engineers study, some of the worlds greatest engineering feats in early ages but would never consider architects of the time professional engineers.

    My personal favourite is Newton (Sir Isaac Newton). I would consider him an engineer of his time. If engineers don’t agree, why would you ever be trained anything sir Isaac newton had stated? I figure once it leaves a statement, and becomes a law, with this particular person, would he not be, be considered an engineer?

    How many modern-day engineers have created laws of physics?
    Last edited by Matt Mattingley; 02-18-2019 at 12:55 AM.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm McLeod View Post
    ... Caveat emptor. Its up to the 'customer' to determine if the person is properly qualified (and titled).
    ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hennebury View Post
    I, like many, enjoy problem solving:

    a big part of that is studying, predicting, experimenting, analyzing failures and redesigning. But surely this is also considered "research into the fundamental principles that govern the physical world around us" ?


    Failure teaches many valuable lessons.( I am well schooled in this department.)


    Problem solving is two parts; 1. imagination: to conceive of a solution. and 2. Engineering, to figure out how to make it.
    My belief is that many of us do this regularly on an amateur level.


    I happen to agree with you that people should be judged by what they achieve.
    By today's commonly defined roles, "research into the fundamental principles" is done by a scientist (pardon my previous lack of clarity).

    And if I may assume your engineering is done in a home shop, say in regard to a dining table for the wife?? (this IS SMC.)
    Did you calculate the column load and deflection in the legs?
    How about the bending moment in the apron when GREAT Uncle Rasmussen - both of him - falls asleep at dinner? (don't want any spilled wine.)
    Surely you calculated the shear in the tenons? (Everybody knows the shear modulus of oak, right?)
    And the required cantilever beam strength in the top's over hang?
    After all this engineering (no real degree requirement, just some basic math and materials knowledge), you started construction?

    Me? I'd just use info from my previous shop experimenting. I remember what broke, and make that stronger. I size stuff to look good, or (
    ) just grab a board (massive strength overkill) off the rack at the BORG. Cuz' I am in the shop to be a craftsman, not an engineer.

    Call yourself whatever you wish. Caveat emptor.
    Last edited by Malcolm McLeod; 02-18-2019 at 7:28 AM. Reason: typo
    Molann an obair an saor.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hennebury View Post
    ...
    Problem solving is two parts; 1. imagination: to conceive of a solution. and 2. Engineering, to figure out how to make it.
    ...
    Both of these are so important but there may be a 3rd part - making and testing and actually solving the problem! Over the years I've seen some carefully engineered "solutions" that were impractical to build or simply didn't work as designed, perhaps without extensive modifications. Is that part of engineering?

    JKJ

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hennebury View Post
    So it seems that you are trying to say that everyone that calls themselves a runner is claiming to be a marathon runner and that is simple not true.
    That is absolutely not what I'm saying and I cannot see how you can possibly think I am.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm McLeod View Post
    By today's commonly defined roles, "research into the fundamental principles" is done by a scientist (pardon my previous lack of clarity).

    And if I may assume your engineering is done in a home shop, say in regard to a dining table for the wife?? (this IS SMC.)
    Did you calculate the column load and deflection in the legs?
    How about the bending moment in the apron when GREAT Uncle Rasmussen - both of him - falls asleep at dinner? (don't want any spilled wine.)
    Surely you calculated the shear in the tenons? (Everybody knows the shear modulus of oak, right?)
    And the required cantilever beam strength in the top's over hang?
    After all this engineering (no real degree requirement, just some basic math and materials knowledge), you started construction?

    Me? I'd just use info from my previous shop experimenting. I remember what broke, and make that stronger. I size stuff to look good, or (
    ) just grab a board (massive strength overkill) off the rack at the BORG. Cuz' I am in the shop to be a craftsman, not an engineer.

    Call yourself whatever you wish. Caveat emptor.
    I would like a civil discussion if possible.

    Mike mentioned running, if you want to use running as an analogy it would be the equivalent of elite registered marathon runners banning every other runner from being allowed to call themselves runners. So you can only refer to yourself as a runner if you are a certified marathon runner.


    Or how about banning woodworkers from calling themselves woodworkers, unless they are elite certified from some collage.

    The fact is, if you do woodworking, at any level, you can legitimately call yourself a woodworker.

    If you run, you can call yourself a runner.

    If you do engineering, not so much.

    I think that lots of people do what should rightfully be called engineering, once again, not necessarily in any remote relationship to what a trained professional would do. I just think that engineers shouldn't have exclusive right to the terms.
    Professional engineer for you, and hobbyist/ amateur/ whatever, engineer for those who enjoy the process of designing and building. Hobbyist engineers would have no expected level of competency, but be judged by what they accomplished.

    And yes i do work from home.
    I call myself a woodworker, because i do woodwork, i have no training in that either. I would stack my woodworking skills up against anyone, anywhere, with any amount of training, from any institution.
    I have a had no training in any field since leaving school in 1970.
    I also do metalwork, and own a lath, milling machine, surface grinder, tool and cutter grinder, surface plates, measuring equipment, welding and heat treating, do mechanical design and 3D modeling, i have a flatbed plotter and a laser,I rebuild machinery, remanufacture parts, spray welding shafts, and precision grinding. I conceive of, design and build automatic machinery, i design and build sequential motor controls systems for automated machines, Electric, pneumatic and hydraulic. I have designed parts for engineering companies. For one i reprogrammed their large gantry router, and reground their tooling to make the machining operation go from 20 hours to 4 hours and produce a better quality finish. For another i redesigned a cable safety switch for use by a high tech company in a room where they stored cobalt, (which i happen to think was pretty cool.) I also designed tooling and countless jigs, and also some nice joinery work for the wife's table.


    These are a couple of joints that i designed; vertical pedestal and an angled pedestal.
    Let me know if you can find anyone that has developed and built stronger joinery, engineers included. Get back to me on this one.

    My-Pictures0006.jpgProfil95.jpg


    In my opinion there is a lot of engineering in regular day to day woodworking.

    I produced these business card boxes and creditcard boxes.

    Many people make slim business card holders. Most are made of multiple pieces glued together. I made them out of one piece. Saving time and setup.
    I conceived of , designed and built an automatic machine with three routers, for part of the processing. fully automatic with a hopper feed. Atuomatically feeding a box into the carriage, clamping and traveling past two side mounted routers to do the roundovers, then a gantry router traced a template and cutout the thumb slot, then the carriage returned and the next blank was pushed pushed into the carriage and off again.
    I also conceived of an internal spring to keep the cards from falling out, it had to take up virtually no space, had to hold from one to ten cards with out making it difficult to remove them, it had to be cheap to produce and easy to install. I got a quote from a manufacturer (for my design)to produce them, they of course wanted thousands of dollars for the initial setup and $2 each spring. So I designed the spring, designed and built the automatic machine to produce them, I can produce about 1 every second, so in relative terms they are free. I also developed special router bits for a better finish on end grain, using my knowledge of cell structure and tooling. I couldn't find anyone to make them so i got blanks made and shaped the cutters myself.


    Gift_I6.jpg

    These boxes took some complicated jigs and precision set to keep the tight tolerance required for a consistent snug fit.

    boxes.jpg

    And to answer your questions no i can't calculate column load or bending moment etc. I might be able to google it if i needed it though.

    What i can do is look at something like this Nakashima table; and see a weakness in structural design.

    I can see that the table top weight and uncle Rasmussen can place a lot of cantilever stress on vertical members which will place a lot of torsional leverage on the horizontal member on the base to which it is attached. I know from my experimentation that wood is not very strong torsion-ally, so i can see that by moving the vertical members in and interlocking them with the cross members you would increase rigidity to the maximum for these components. now i cant calculate anything. but i can make a strong table. This is why i designed the angled pedestal joint.

    I put a seat and back on the test joint just for fun about thirty years ago. the joint is still tight as the day it was made.

    8149653_master.jpg Profil9a.jpg036.jpgimage_86479.jpg

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    That is absolutely not what I'm saying and I cannot see how you can possibly think I am.

    Mike
    why did you mention the women then; did you just want us to know that you know a delusion women? or were you trying to infer something in relation to this discussion?

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hennebury View Post
    why did you mention the women then; did you just want us to know that you know a delusion women? or were you trying to infer something in relation to this discussion?
    I think you're too hung up on this topic and need to let it go.

    If you go back and read my post (#59), my position is that titles have meaning and people who have not done the work to honestly claim the title often attempt to claim those titles. My story of the runner is just an example. A more egregious example is "stolen valor" where a person claims to be a war hero and did not do the deeds s/he claims. Sometimes did not even serve.

    My position is that if you want to be called an engineer, you need to get an engineering degree (or drive a train).

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hennebury View Post
    why did you mention the women then; did you just want us to know that you know a delusion women? or were you trying to infer something in relation to this discussion?
    I thought you wanted to keep this civil, Mark? Mr. Henderson is a pretty nice man. I'd be surprised if he intended anything mean or disrespectful in his responses. I certainly don't read them that way.

    It was interesting to read about the work you've done. You sound like one of the intuitive folks that just see into a problem and find solutions, no matter what their title is. Henry Ford was one of those too.

    Fred
    Last edited by Frederick Skelly; 02-18-2019 at 1:24 PM. Reason: Clarify
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    I thought you wanted to keep this civil, Mark? Mr. Henderson is a pretty nice man. I'd be surprised if he intended anything mean or disrespectful in his responses. I certainly don't read them that way.

    It was interesting to read about the work you've done. You sound like one of the intuitive folks that just see into a problem and find solutions, no matter what they're called. Henry Ford was one of those too.

    Fred
    I apologize if i have offended you Mike or anyone else; it is hard not to get emotionally involved in these discussions.

    I don't lay claim to any titles, i just do stuff, never really gave it much thought.Some times i do woodworking, sometimes metalworking. some times computer design, and i used to run when i was younger.

    I someone asked i would probably tell them what i did. I have never claimed anyone's title, never claimed anyone's job, or certifications.

    I have considered some of what i have done as "engineering"....on my level adequate for my world and my needs. I have been quite proud of being able to sort out a problem or design. In no way is that an encroachment on a professional engineer.
    I am not saying that i am able to work on any other level than my way and what works for me. As people have done since the beginning of time, I like the challenge of sorting our problems and making improvements.
    What i am surprised by is the attacks by engineers, saying that engineering is their sole territory, and that you cannot do engineering. In any way shape or form, and if you say that you do ,then you are a liar and a cheat and are claiming their title.
    I hoped to get involved in a discussion about that point, as i see engineering belongs to everyone, an engineer is someone that does engineering. Amateur engineering is just what someone does, who is interested enough to try and design and build stuff, that's all. Its just about the approach to ones work. They have no credentials, and lay claim to no title, and are not seeking to steal anyone's job, building spaceships or bridges. i am one of many that just like to tinker and test how far i can push something, and i believe that is in some sense what engineering is about. I think that they should ease up a bit and accept that we can at some level do some engineering. I think that the term should have a broader scope than just what engineers do.



    Professional engineer is someone that has chosen it as a profession and has studied and passed. They are the ones that have built all of the things that make up our world. I have the utmost respect for the profession.

  10. #70
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    I won't be getting any degrees or driving a train.
    Last edited by Mark Hennebury; 02-18-2019 at 2:41 PM.

  11. #71
    Ha! I have a degree in mechanical engineering (passed the EIT exam, but never pursued the PE). I work for a large corporation. About ten years ago, some bright person decided that too many folks were carrying the 'engineer' title and they needed to address that. So, they declared that everyone that did not have a PE was not an engineer. This was news to those of us that considered ourselves engineers. That didn't last long. We were just short of a walkout! On the other end, I worked in hotels during college and the maintenance folks liked to call themselves engineers! There were a lot of folks in our company that held engineering titles who did not have an engineering degree. I'll not argue that! On the one hand, if they are doing the job....on the other hand...

    Personally, I don't really care. My n-1 title was 'Senior Engineer.' I got a promotion to "Engineering Advisor." I liked the old one better but I'll take the new one along with the raise.

    I can see where titles are important for the resume. I worked for a small company where my manager gave me the title of "project engineer.' Didn't mean anything to a youngster, but when I moved to a large company, it just so happened that the title meant something.

    Tony (who does NOT drive a train, but would be happy to design one!)

  12. #72
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    Excellent thread!

    Shovelman PE

  13. #73
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    Roger
    That is a wonderful machine. What is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    I've never called myself an engineer, but have done a ton of genetic engineering. Though I have a PhD I'd never consider calling myself a doctor.

    I aspire to learn to drive a (steam) road locomotive, once I have qualified at that I would consider calling myself an engineer.

    Someone calling themselves a licensed professional engineer without the appropriate qualifications would bother me, any other use not so much.

    Attachment 402924

  14. #74
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    "So, to all you real engineers out there, am I being a bit over-sensitive? I really do respect the education you've attained and the work you do. It seems disrespectful for me to claim your hard-earned title."

    Yes it bothers me because it de-values the term that took me a lot of time and money to earn. As one job interview when a potential co-worker said "oh great, another train driver". Or when one non-engineer boss told me to take the new staffer (a communications major) and "show her how to do what you do." But its not going to change. Thats the way people are.
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 02-25-2019 at 11:07 AM.

  15. #75
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    Just because you can engineer something doesn't make you an Engineer with a capital E. In our trade, we called non-degreed folks that engineer infrastructure (water, sewer, roads and so forth) designers. Many of them very talented and efficient. And often were called engineers (with a small e) But with no ability to oversee other's work and stamp plans as may be required for government approval or projects. Probably more clearly cut in the Civil field than Electrical, Mechanical or Chemical. Specialties the Civil field include environmental, construction management, geotechnical, transportation, water resources and structural. Civil engineering is often called the worlds second oldest profession!
    Last edited by Ole Anderson; 02-24-2019 at 9:40 AM.
    NOW you tell me...

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