Engineers

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crfriend
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Engineers

Post by crfriend »

A nice quip I like is "All men are created equal -- then some become engineers. [0]" Or, the priceless engineering answer to the ever-present "Is the glass half full or half empty?" notion, to which the correct response, of course, is "The glass is twice as large as it needs to be."

Then we have this, which captures it perfectly. Von Karman is my sort of dude.

With that in hand and mind, why is it that we could land men on the moon half a bloody century ago but cannot now build an HVAC system that won't blow cold air down your neck in February? Have we really forgotten the notion of heat-exchangers?



[0] Gratuitous Dllbert link.
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denimini
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Re: Engineers

Post by denimini »

Have you ever met a civil engineer?
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Re: Engineers

Post by Uncle Al »

:hmmm: Have you ever met an engineer who was civil :?:

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Re: Engineers

Post by Kirbstone »

B&B would undoubtedly wax lyrical on the number of different sorts of engineers there are about, but how the name 'civil' got coined, I don't know. By 'civil' engineer I understand 'structural'.

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Re: Engineers

Post by trainspotter48 »

I believe the term 'civil' was to distinguish from 'military'.

I agree that today it tends to cover construction works, whether bridges, tunnels or buildings.
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Re: Engineers

Post by pelmut »

trainspotter48 wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:04 pm
I believe the term 'civil' was to distinguish from 'military'.
Military engineers build weapons, civil engineers build targets.
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Re: Engineers

Post by Big and Bashful »

Kirbstone wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:45 pm
B&B would undoubtedly wax lyrical on the number of different sorts of engineers there are about, but how the name 'civil' got coined, I don't know. By 'civil' engineer I understand 'structural'.

Tom
Whatever do you mean? you got me thinking now:
Erm,
civil, reluctant, grumpy, lousy, efficient, structural, naval, mechanical, I suppose these are all types of! Then in the good ol' US of A they say engineer when really they mean train driver!
I suppose I could stand in a scrap yard, next to an oily lump and proclaim, "I have an engine 'ere!"

Will that do for now?
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Re: Engineers

Post by kingfish »

I always thought of an engineer as someone who does precision guesswork based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge.
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Re: Engineers

Post by crfriend »

kingfish wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:57 pm
I always thought of an engineer as someone who does precision guesswork based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge.
I love that!

The jab about civil engineers "building targets" stung a bit because I have known a great number of those in my varied career in computing -- and at least they produce works of value to the general populace.

Also, "military engineers" are frequently involved in civil works as evidenced by the US Army Corps of Engineers who oversee such projects as the navigability of the Mississippi River and the Cape Cod Canal -- and for the most part, do a yeoman's job at it. 95+% of the weapons design in the US happens at private firms hoping to make a fortune selling the things to the "gummint" at wildly inflated prices. The days of the military here spec'ing out weapons-systems and seeking bids for construction are long over.
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Re: Engineers

Post by kingfish »

crfriend wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:45 am
The days of the military here spec'ing out weapons-systems and seeking bids for construction are long over.
I think that's half right.

From what I saw as a co-op student a couple decades ago and how the air force did their systems development, they still handled the big picture at that time, and doubt they've changed. Yeah they contracted hashing the specification details out to companies like MIT Lincon Labs and Mitre, but they supervised the whole process and made the final decisions.
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Re: Engineers

Post by familyman34 »

Isembard Kingdom Brunel - Engineer

Nice photograph of the Saltash Bridge into Cornwall

http://www.royalalbertbridge.co.uk/brid ... -2015.html
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Re: Engineers

Post by pelmut »

I was privileged to be among a party of engineers allowed to inspect that bridge during repair work.
CBAT01_1335s.JPG
Taken from the top of the Royal Albert Bridge looking westwards towards Saltash (the scaffolding 'tent' in the distance is covering the work site during repairs).  The new road bridge is alongside.
CBAT01_1336s.JPG
Taken from the top of the Royal Albert Bridge looking eastwards towards the portal with the "I.K.B." inscription.
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Re: Engineers

Post by Kirbstone »

I have a daughter living in Roborough, just North of Plymouth and she enjoys a view of both those bridges from her front door. When I was courting her mother we sailed our Albacore sailing dinghy under both those bridges on the river Tamar....52 years ago, now.

I dare say, when Isombard Kingdom Brunell, that greatest of 19th Century engineers designed the Royal Albert railway bridge, the Clifton Suspension bridge (Bristol), the Severn rail tunnel, the SS Great Britain &c &c, he was far removed from Kingfish's description of an engineer.

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Re: Engineers

Post by Taj »

Civil engineers may design bridges and buildings, but Operating Engineers build them and keep them working. Without us nothing would work or last very long. When you're in the hospital and on life support remember that an operating engineer somewhere along the line is keeping that equipment, and you, alive.
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Re: Engineers

Post by crfriend »

Kirbstone wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:13 pm
I dare say, when Isombard Kingdom Brunell, that greatest of 19th Century engineers designed the Royal Albert railway bridge, the Clifton Suspension bridge (Bristol), the Severn rail tunnel, the SS Great Britain &c &c, he was far removed from Kingfish's description of an engineer.
KIngfish was being a bit facetious with that. Engineers are well known for that tendency. Recall that most of them don't work for engineers but for common Managers (Dilbert-style capitalisation there) who frequently have no real clue about how the physical world works.

Another bit of trivia about I.K.Brunel is that he, as much as anybody else, helped shrink the world more convulsively than anyone else with his magnificent Great Eastern. The ship, which sadly was and is widely regarded as a failure (because her Corporate owners didn't know what to do with her), turned out to be positively awesome as a cable-laying vessel, and laid the first several trans-Atlantic telegraph cables which shortened the distance of thought betwixt the Old and the New Worlds from a week to several minutes. Never before -- or since -- has there been such a sudden contraction of this worldly orb.
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