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RE: Engineering Education & Professional Practice

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Couple of things I found out after I graduated from Cal Poly in 1960 in
Architectural Engineering with a structural option:

1.	The AE Poly grads were about two years ahead of any of the engineers
coming out of the schools here on the West coast.
2.	The employers were able to make money on us almost immediately.

As the late George Hasslein said:  "It isn't that Cal Poly is so good, it's
because the other schools are so bad!"

Neil Moore, S.E.
neil moore and associates



At 08:53 AM 12/12/2001 -0800, you wrote:
>I cannot remain silent on this issue...I was taught many of the things you
>list below, Christopher.  I learned dimensional analysis in JC chemistry
>(Delta College in Stockton), as well as problem solving technicques and
>organization (in physics), communication and innovation (JC engineering
>materials).  At Cal Poly, we were required to do actual building designs for
>lab projects (ARCE '82) and draw details in our structures classes
>addressing things like load path, as well as learn things like specification
>writing and architectural detailing etc.  I guess I am fortunate to have had
>some excellent professors and having had the opportunity to attend Cal Poly
>SLO.  So, they can and in some cases actually do train engineers for at
>least some of the real world stuff. 
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Christopher Wright [mailto:chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com]
>Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2001 8:24 AM
>To: ?
>Subject: Re: Engineering Education & Professional Practice
>
>
>>I don't expect to ever find a graduate from a any structural engineering
>>program that is trained for the kind of structural engineering that I do:
>I don't expect a new graduate to be trained for any real world 
>assignment. Students learn the sorts of things they'll need to train 
>themselves to be engineers. Students rarely learn anything about 
>innovation, people skills, communication, logical validation, organizing 
>an approach, budgeting time and effort, distinguishing between an issue, 
>a problem and a question, all the things we had to learn from mentors or 
>by cleaning up after blunders. Such things just don't happen in schools 
>because it's necessary to learn a lot of first principles before you can 
>learn how they fit into a real world design project.
>
>This is no criticism of education, it's just a fact that educators have 
>one job, engineers have another.  
>
>I enjoyed your experience with mentoring, Nels. It's a good post and 
>students on the list should take notice. One of the good things about my 
>co-op experience was getting into a mentoring system before I figured I 
>knew too much. All I had to do was follow instructions and not be too 
>much of a pain in the ass. Then if I had a question someone was always 
>willing to help, from a machinist who patiently explained the difference 
>between a 1/2 inch pipe thread and a 1/2-13 UNC to the engineers who 
>taught me about dimensional analysis and patched up my sketchy 
>understanding of thermo.
>
>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
>
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