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Re: Design Checking - Here and Now and Future of Engineering

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And there we have the biggest problem.

Untrained (as engineers) people doing the FEM modelling!!! It is almost impossible to ensure that a complex FEM model you have not generated yourself is correct. The time required would be more than that needed to create the model in the first place.

About 15 years ago I heard of companies using draftsmen doing modelling for Staad runs for multi-storey buildings because they were better at it than engineers and cheaper per hour as well. It got to the point that no engineer ever looked at the design, because the draftsman transferred the design results straight to drawings and then the engineer signed the drawing. The computer had done it all so it must be right and the draftsman new how to detail so no problem.

Unfortunately, too many people seem to think that software is replacing the need for engineers to design. It is really just the opposite. They are complex calculators and require even more engineering knowledge and effort because of the amount data generated and the complexity of the results. FEM is good but only in the hands of the most experienced engineers. Instead we give it to the least experienced because they are better with computers. Too bad they do not know what they are doing and will never learn.

At 04:18 AM 16/12/2006, you wrote:
My own provocation for the question:

I raised this question, because I think that a company could emply younger people to do drafting, modeling and BIM.  There are many young students just out of high school that cannot afford to go to University to study, and they are caught in limbo.  They may end up going to Army or Navy or MacDonalds, if they don't get a decent job.  Many youngsters are wonderful with computers, love computer games, but they can't put any of it to work, because there are corporations that do not absorb such smart children without the foundation to begin University.

So, I can very well imagine, that we could put these students to learn CAD and FEM modeling, and even BIM, they would earn a wage that suits a youngster in this position, not an engineers wage.  And then the best role that an engineer with skills could put forth, is a variety of checks that would ensure the overall design of the structure.  I think we could put many people to work that need jobs, and still keep the flow of work and design for engineers.

I live in a small country.  I have been here two years.  I have seen it as a microcosm.  There are many people here, because of the size of the island, that they take up employment with their families, learn the ropes, and then design and build.  There are many people that have degrees, but surely some of them are more qualified than others.  But it brings up the point, that this is a way to generate work, and to generate results.  I think overall, in the US and in different parts of the world, there truly needs to be people taking a step back, and looking at things a little more slowly.  Life does not need to be so fast.  Many people are left behind because of it.  And there are many things that are not necessities.  We truly need to find what is truly necessary, and then move to make decisions.

I can truly imagine people reaching down into the schools, into the youth, stepping back to help our children grow better, instead of leaving a vast number in daycares just 3 months after birth, to be monitored with a 5 to 1 to 10 to 1 or worse kid to adult ratio, put in front of TVs to learn.  Life needs to change.  There are ways to do it.  And we as engineers can learn new methods to accommodate our youngsters.  We have the tools, the intelligence, I say we make some shifts.

I enjoy the proverb "It takes a village to raise a child".  It is profound.

On 12/15/06, Syed A Masroor < masroor(--nospam--at)> wrote:

From: "Jordan Truesdell, PE" < seaint1(--nospam--at)>
> BIM  for projects less than $5M is probably money flushed down a toilet.

I have a Merrit handbook from 1970 which explained that if the design fee is
less than a million dollars, the use of a computer will not be viable!


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