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Re: Engineering News Record Editorial of 6-2-10

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        Christopher Wright wrote This really makes a fairly good case against corporate practice of engineering. It makes an excellent case against engineering practice in a corporation whose purpose is anything other than providing engineering services. When someone's livelihood depends on meeting production goals, it's silly to expect a choice for anything other than production, particularly anything as murky 'the good of society.'
 
        There is another way of making it work when the practice of engineering supports a company whose livelihood depends on meeting production goals. It is to be small enough that the owner and the engineer both know a fair number of the other employees actually doing the work. This still allows companies with revenue >$100,000,000. I know, I work at one. Our owner will not allow anything unsafe, and we engineers want those folks on whom we depend to implement our designs safely to go home at night. We engineers are almost always a bottleneck for product flow, and though everyone complains about it, no one rejects it.
        I have often remarked that my employer of 25 years (can’t match you, Chris) is a contractor where it is easy to be a good engineer, because the value of good engineering is recognized. And that is a self-centered perspective, the value of good work from marketing through delivering the owner’s manual is recognized by everyone.
        Jim Getaz
        Winchester, Virginia