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RE: Engineering Education Reply to Bill P.

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Bill,
Computers are new and complicated to the majority of engineers and
architects. I found that the majority of graduates were tired of
computers and wanted to emerge themselves into the business of
engineering. While expected to solve the problems relied on computer
programs, new engineers put computer technology second to building
business skills.
I believe that we have less than 20% of our profession (licensed or
unlicensed) who are computer literate. Those of us who have been around
since CPM or slow mainframes take it for granted. But put a computer
into the hands of an engineer without the historic education, the most
we can expect is that they understand e-mail and how to communicate on
this level.

I remember when John Kariotis interpreted the output of finite element
models for URM design. John did not input the model, he interpreted the
results. 

I think you take this for granted - the majority of our profession is
computer illiterate and believe that they can get through their years in
the profession without having to learn the new technology.

Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 8:46 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: Engineering Education

I loath the term "CAD Training" because I associate it with those
thrilling
days of yesteryear, when the focus suddenly shifted from the work
actually
being produced, to how to use the tool (CAD).

The rising generation grew up with computers. There is no need for "CAD
Training" any longer, because the software is both cheap and easy to
use.

What is needed is a return to DRAFTING, and a shift in focus BACK to the
actual work being performed and away from the obsession with how to use
the
tool.

Computers are no longer "new technology." They are old hat, and we need
to
recognize that and get beyond the "how to use the tool" mindset.

BTW, not implying that's what you are doing, personally, but the
disappointing failure of CAD to live up to the hype from fifteen (even
twenty!) years ago has much to do, I think, with a loss of skills that
used
to be common with the "board draftsman." Too many of the youngsters (and
even the not-so-young) have never been given the opportunity to learn
the
principles behind what they are trying to achieve.

We still pretty much use Euclidean geometry, even if represented by
pixels
instead of graphite. We should never have lost sight of that.

William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company
Katy, Texas USA

-----Original Message-----
From: David L. Fisher [mailto:dfisher(--nospam--at)fpse.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 10:12 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: Engineering Education

Well Mike, I invest at least one year (sometimes more) waiting for them
to
be truly productive.

During that time, they learn how to:

- Draft (very few have any REAL CAD training...) 



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