Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

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

RE: Engineering Education Reply to Bill P.

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
You are correct... I was worried that my productivity level as a drafter
would hinder my chances to get to do design engineering. But I was
straightforward when interviewing that I would not stay there at the
rate they were paying unless I got to do calcs within a 6-8 months. They
kept their promise and it worked out.

Also, CAD drafting gets boring after a while and isn't really much of a
challenge. But it is a nice break from doing calcs, and calcs is a nice
break from doing drawings. Its good mentally to break the monotony as
apposed to during purely numbers or drawings all day every day.

Also, I'm not sure how it is in Saudi Arabia, but here, you don't see
too many drafters with engineering degrees from USA universities. So,
although my parchment didn't say UC Berkeley or Stanford, I did have a
degree in Civil Engineering from an pretty good ABET school. So I was
confident I would get the chance somewhere. I have worked with many
drafters who have engineering degrees from the Philipines, Mexico, and
India. These are usually a cut above (because they usually have some
concept of what they are drawing) the high school educated, junior
college certified cad operators that are working as structural drafters.
Over many years, they may eventually understand what they are drawing,
but by then they have probably found something that pays better with
more job satisfaction than simply transposing a hand sketch into the
computer.

At my last employer, I was assigned the task of hiring a cad person.
After a month long search, we decided to go with someone RAW and train
them.... I had a little cad test for the interview. I had my boss sketch
up a steel detail and give it to me to draw in the computer. I finished
in 45 minutes and had a minor typo. So after I printed it out and caught
the mistake, I'd say 50 minutes. When I tested about 35 people who came
in for interviews, the fastest time was 1hr 50 minutes - with numerous
mistakes (not to scale, incorrect geometry, wrong fonts, typos...) Some
from people claiming to have 10-15 years of structural drafting... it
was really depressing and we were advertising around $24-$26 per hour if
I remember correctly...

-gerard
Lodi, CA

-----Original Message-----
From: Syed Faiz [mailto:sfaiz(--nospam--at)saudioger.com] 
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2003 2:34 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: Engineering Education Reply to Bill P.

GM:

I am impressed; appreciated & keep it up!! 

I agree with you as I have always found knowledge of CAD a great help in
operating as a Structural Engineer. 

CAVEAT: you were lucky you were able to (as you did)
metamorphosize/transition from a CAD man to a Structural Engineer. But
don't you think there is a big risk out there; you might get stuck up
and continue to be a CAD man (for life), never able to return to
Structural Engineering? Like you say in the cinema/movie circles, "once
a VAMP, always a VAMP". 

Regards,

Syed Faiz Ahmad; MEngg, M.ASCE
Senior Structural Engineer
Saudi Oger Ltd
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


-----Original Message-----
From: Gerard Madden, SE [mailto:gmadden(--nospam--at)maddengine.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2003 10:01 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: Engineering Education Reply to Bill P.


>From what I hear and have seen, most good cad drafters wised up and got
into IT where they could make a living with their computer skills...

I guess I got lucky. When I graduated from college (1995), the economy
wasn't too hot and you needed a MS degree from Berkeley or Stanford or
SE license to get a job doing engineering (according to the job ads in
SEAONC newsletter). I had none of these to say the least...

So I decided to get my foot in the door by doing detailing. I had off
and on exposure to CAD in college doing senior projects and
surveying/sub-division planning projects. I had a couple of stints with
contractors doing steel detailing and within a year I became super fast
at CAD. Then I got hired at a structural firm with the promise of 6
months later, if I worked out, I'd be doing engineering. Well, it worked
out and I got my foot in the door. At the time, I thought this was a
shitty way to go about things, but in retrospect, this was the most
valuable thing I could have done. Working with steel detailers taught me
how important constructability was and clarity of drawings. In my first
6 months of drafting for an engineering firm, I gained the detailing
knowledge that seems so hard for many young engineers to grasp. Some are
great at numbers and can do a time history analysis of 10 story
building, but can't draw how to bolt a beam to a column. I understood
what I was drawing, so it made things easy for me. Soon, the engineers
would just give me forces and tell me to make the connections work. I
was laying out roof and floor framing plans from preliminary
architectural plans. When I transitioned to an engineer, I eliminated
the need for a drafter on my projects. I could do it faster myself
rather than hand sketch out something for someone else to copy into the
computer at a slow pace.

I cannot stress enough how beneficial this was to my career. Not only
did I become extremely fast at CAD (I would put my money up against
anyone that I could draw any detail faster than them and correct on the
first try... not to brag,,,), but I learned the constructability side of
engineering. I maintained my engineering skills during this time by
going to grad school part time at night. So when it was my turn to bat,
I hit a homer.

If times are slow and you can afford to work cheap (not that much
cheaper than most salaries straight out of school for engineers), I
would suggest any young engineer to do as I did. Within 6 months to a
year, you'll make yourself a desired "tool", someone who can operate a
cad station and actually understand what they are drawing. The speed
will come eventually.

Also, I use cad quite a bit to import geometry into 3-d models for
structural analysis. It's a great way to get those node locations
accurately with all these crazy shaped buildings the architects are
coming up with.

My Dos Pesos,
-gm

P.S. - If you use paperspace for anything other than a plan with a
matchline or 3d drawing, please see the light and learn to XREF. Don't
draw text and leaders in paperspace !!! Also, don't use digitizers, pull
down menus, or icons - use the keyboard young skywalker.


******* ****** ******* ******** ******* ******* ******* ***
*   Read list FAQ at: http://www.seaint.org/list_FAQ.asp
* 
*   This email was sent to you via Structural Engineers 
*   Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) server. To 
*   subscribe (no fee) or UnSubscribe, please go to:
*
*   http://www.seaint.org/sealist1.asp
*
*   Questions to seaint-ad(--nospam--at)seaint.org. Remember, any email you 
*   send to the list is public domain and may be re-posted 
*   without your permission. Make sure you visit our web 
*   site at: http://www.seaint.org 
******* ****** ****** ****** ******* ****** ****** ******** 

******* ****** ******* ******** ******* ******* ******* ***
*   Read list FAQ at: http://www.seaint.org/list_FAQ.asp
* 
*   This email was sent to you via Structural Engineers 
*   Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) server. To 
*   subscribe (no fee) or UnSubscribe, please go to:
*
*   http://www.seaint.org/sealist1.asp
*
*   Questions to seaint-ad(--nospam--at)seaint.org. Remember, any email you 
*   send to the list is public domain and may be re-posted 
*   without your permission. Make sure you visit our web 
*   site at: http://www.seaint.org 
******* ****** ****** ****** ******* ****** ****** ******** 


******* ****** ******* ******** ******* ******* ******* ***
*   Read list FAQ at: http://www.seaint.org/list_FAQ.asp
* 
*   This email was sent to you via Structural Engineers 
*   Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) server. To 
*   subscribe (no fee) or UnSubscribe, please go to:
*
*   http://www.seaint.org/sealist1.asp
*
*   Questions to seaint-ad(--nospam--at)seaint.org. Remember, any email you 
*   send to the list is public domain and may be re-posted 
*   without your permission. Make sure you visit our web 
*   site at: http://www.seaint.org 
******* ****** ****** ****** ******* ****** ****** ********