Ask an Engineer

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Ask an Engineer - FAQ

What does an engineer do all day?

This really depends on the kind of engineer someone is. A role can be more lab oriented (testing, analysis), more design oriented (creating designs and working with suppliers), more sales oriented (talking to people and other engineers), more field oriented (doing inspections and maintaining equipment)... or much more! 

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Your First Job - Survival Guide!

This was a special edition extra with the second book, but I've decided to make it available to all :) What to do in your FIRST JOB! The advice is circa 2008 or so, so some of it is out of date, but some of it will hold up, probably!

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Ask an Engineer - The Changing Global Landscape


Bit of a different flavour this week, I thought it would be interesting to get the opinions of a panel of engineers on a much larger question about our society. Obviously, none of the panellists are experts on sociology, geopolitics or economics, but it’s definitely interesting to gather different perspectives from around the world.

Jim Asks:

Is North America in decline or is the rest of the world just catching up?



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Ask an Engineer - Are Business Classes Useful?

Viktor Asks:

Will a year's worth of classes in economics/business do me any good later in my work as an engineer?


Jim - Cement Industry, Pennsylvania, USA

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Ask an Engineer - How Do You Cope with Stress?

Dwight asks:
How do you cope with stress from work, that nearing deadline or endless todo lists? I know it's a vague question (and not really engineer related) and the answers will probably differ much from person to person but I'd like to see the different approaches everyone takes. I'm a software engineer and the work has been piling up lately and each evening at home after work I feel pretty much burned out, unable to do anything (useful).

Jim - Cement Industry, Pennsylvania, USA

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Ask an Engineer - Engineering Personality Traits


Fiona asks:

Hi, I'm a high school student who's been strongly considering engineering as a career path. I've heard for awhile now that there are certain personality characteristics that most engineers have. What would you consider these personality characteristics to be, for engineering in general and for your specific field of engineering? Thank you in advance!

Jim - Cement Industry, Pennsylvania, USA

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Ask an Engineer: What's the Flavour of the Month for you?


This month’s question is actually from panel member Jim! His response, usually first, will be last this month for that reason :)

What's the "Flavour of the Month" in your organization? -- Jim


Corporate Slang Glossary:

“Flavour of the Month” (FOTM): Launched with great fanfare, management declares that everyone shall focus on this urgent new priority until… you don’t anymore!

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Ask an Engineer: To Grad School or Not to Grad School?

This month’s question is actually a combination of two different emails that I received about the same time. Figured it would make a good question to pose to the panel! The gist of the question is below:

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