Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

Re: Advice on Filed Experience.

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
>It is unfortunate that quite a few Engineers who mentor those new in our
>field find it difficult to take the necessary steps to assure adequate field
>experience.
Ahhh, yes.... _field_ experience. Couldn't figure out how the hell 
experience found its way into manila folders. ;-> 

So ere's an illustration. I got involved in inspecting some large grain 
bins for suspected damage from off-center withdrawal. The inspection 
involved examination for out-of-roundness with a sort of tram to measure 
the local radius. One very cold snowy day two of us engineers and a 
technician were slogging through kee deep drifts around a bin when a guy 
wades over and strikes up a conversation leading to what we were doing. 
Turns out he worked for the contractor who assembled the bin, which came 
basically in kit form from the manufacturer. During the course of the 
conversation he allowed as how he didn't like engineers much because they 
acted like they knew it all and only listened to others of their kind. We 
explained what we were doing and chatted for a while. He was happy to 
share what he knew about putting up bins, which helped us, even when he 
found out we were engineers. He also found out that we weren't looking to 
hang him for his anchor bolt placement, which was the wrongly suspected 
cause of several other failures, and that probably made him a lot 
chattier, too. I suspect we parted on better terms than we met and I'm 
certain we were both a lot smarter as a result.

That was yet another reminder to spend time in the shop or on the site so 
I learn from people who do the work. These are the people who control 
projects--not the specs nor the drawings nor the calculation packages, 
least of all the suits strolling around 'expediting.' The last thing I 
want is for somone on the job to suspect something's wrong and keep it to 
himself because he thinks I'm an overeducated snot. The Hyatt Skywalk 
collapse might have been prevented if workers' complaints that the 
skywalks seemed soft had been heeded. 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw