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  • Should a Mechanical Design Engineer know everything about everything?

    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by Archimedes, Apr 26, 2012.

    1. Surfer

      Surfer New Member

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      4. The Mechanical Engineers Handbook. 4 vol. set. By Kutz
       
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    3. Archimedes

      Archimedes Active Member

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      That looks like an interesting resource.
       
    4. DerekT

      DerekT Member

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      All excellent responses you can take comfort from.
      Sadly, may consultant engineering companies don't have the right resources in all fields and recognise some of those they currently have, are 25 year plus veterans who have cross discipline experience enough to get projects over the line. Such companies are lucky to have that talent on board and exploit it. It probably saves them a lot in resource cost.
      You seem to have the right attitude, but I would say, recognise the boundary of exploitation and when to step away for something better I terms of salary and reduced stress.
       
    5. MSHOfficial

      MSHOfficial Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Honestly, you’d be god if you know everything about everything. Normally a good engineer knows his job, knows the deepest loop hole in what he deals with. But not about everything. So if the design is failing, a good engineer would know exactly to do to stop the part from failure from stress for example.

      This can be achieved with years of experience and knowledge. Working in a smaller company that designs parts would be a good approach. This teaches you everything, the documentation, the stress analysis and almost everything. Sometimes even manufacturing and assembly.

      Then when you move on to a bigger company and start narrowing your field, this will be the best for getting deeper knowledge into your work.
       
    6. tmark938

      tmark938 Moderator EngineeringClicks Expert

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      The term "jack of all trades, master of none" springs to mind. Focus is the key to getting results and maintaining high levels of efficiency. Personally I dont agree with the idea that an engineer should know something about everything.
       
    7. Bill Toulas

      Bill Toulas Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Engineering disciplines usually overlap or combine to form new specialization fields, so depending on where an engineer is engaged, he/she needs to maintain an in-depth understanding of other, adjacent, or even distant engineering fields. For example, an Environmental Engineer should possess a high level of knowledge and understanding of chemical engineering, energy systems, geotechnical and soil engineering, science of materials, and fluid mechanics. There are many examples that I could include here, but you get the point.
       
    8. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Yeah, I believe that you can still pretty much be a Jack of Trades and specialise particularly in something as well.
      With the internet these days it's pretty easy to learn about new topics and areas that you need reinforcement in too.
       
    9. tmark938

      tmark938 Moderator EngineeringClicks Expert

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      The point I was making is whether letting others, who specialise in certain areas, help on your project releases better use of your time to tackle issues involving your skills set. Sometimes, it can also be useful to have outside eyes looking at a new project (obviously ensuring confidentiality).
       
    10. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Yeah, that's a really good point. Maybe someone else can do a better job more quickly, if they're more experienced in that area. That's the benefit of having a large team!
       
    11. tmark938

      tmark938 Moderator EngineeringClicks Expert

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      If it takes you twice as long to do a task, compared to an expert in that field, it is often a false economy to spend your time doing this. I often think of a mechanical design project as a production line, each element of the project is completed in isolation and then everything comes together as it gets further and further down the line. Individual elements can also be removed, adjusted and re-added at various points.

      As with any business project, efficiency is the key to keeping costs under control. Now managers, that is totally different, it can be useful for them to have a range of general experience.
       

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