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

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OK, guys, may be it is too late of a time - at least for me.
What I was trying to say was that one has to be able to design a structure without FEA to be able to design it right (or at all) with FEA.  In other words, understanding of Physics and Mechanics of Materials is an imperative prerequisite to any use of FEA for design purposes.
In other words, I was in complete agreement with Chris (as I am most of the time).
Good night (Bill, just let me know, and I will send you a slide rule manual privately).
Steve Gordin SE
Irvine CA
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, December 15, 2006 7:52 PM
Subject: Re: Design Checking - Here and Now and Future of Engineering

Don't twist Chris' words. What he is saying is that you shouldn't entrust complex analyses to those who aren't qualified. That includes a number of licensed engineers in the case of finite element analysis IMHO.  The old computer adage of Garbage in, Garbage out applies and structures being subjected to such analyses usually present significant public safety issues. 
It is important for us to teach the younger, and yes, the older generation, how to competently do such analyses, not simply give them the problem and walk away.
What Chris did describe is a mentoring attitude that is highly commendable and necessary for protecting the quality of the engineering profession so that we truly serve society as a whole in a competent, capable manner.
Bill Cain, S.E.
Berkeley CA
In a message dated 12/15/2006 7:43:15 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, mailbox(--nospam--at) writes:
In other words, any computer-aided design should not be entrusted into individuals who cannot do the same with a slide rule only.  Most probably, although not necessarily, the latter will just take more time - if one knows what to do.    
Steve Gordin SE
Irvine CA
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, December 15, 2006 7:25 PM
Subject: Re: Design Checking - Here and Now and Future of Engineering

On Dec 15, 2006, at 6:42 PM, refugio rochin wrote:

> Children are brilliant if you allow them to be. It takes hard work to
> see this, but it pays off in the end. A little bit of effort goes
> along way.
Don't preach to me about children. I have 3 grown-up and 4
grandchildren. I was one once. Without a doubt my grand-daughters are
the cleverest, most charming people who ever drew breath. Neither can
my kids who share 6 languages 4 degrees, 1 phi beta kappa 2 cum laud
and have lived in 4 different countries. Yeah, I am bragging, but
smart, educated and experienced as they are they still can't set up FEA
or run a response spectrum analysis. That takes education and
experience, which they all have, but just not in the fields where
they've learned to make use of normal mode theory or define out a load

I love children and puppies and I believe everyone deserves a chance in
life, not just because I'm a bleeding heart tax-and-spend liberal
democrat, but because I got plenty of breaks myself. I was in the co-op
program in school and I worked alongside engineers, most of whom were
very generous with their time when I had questions. In turn, I helped
more than a few younger engineers along in return over the past 45
years. What I did not do was show what I splendid fellow I am by giving
people work they weren't qualified to handle. Anyone who does not know
the requisite physics isn't qualified to do anything with FEA. Setting
up, validating and  trouble shooting a finite element model may look
simple, but it isn't. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)   | this distance" (last words of Gen.
.......................................| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania

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Bill Cain, S.E.
Berkeley CA