Real Engineers consider themselves well dressed if their socks match.
Real Engineers buy their spouses a set of matched screwdrivers for their
Real engineers have a non-technical vocabulary of 800 words.
Real Engineers repair their own cameras, telephones, televisions, watches,
and automatic transmissions.
Real Engineers say "It's 70 degrees Fahrenheit, 25 degrees Celsius, and 298
degrees Kelvin" and all you say is "Isn't it a nice day?"
Real Engineers wear badges so they don't forget who they are. Sometimes a
note is attached saying "Don't offer me a ride today. I drove my own car".
Real Engineers' politics run towards acquiring a parking space with their
name on it and an office with a window.
Real Engineers know the "ABC's of Infrared" from A to B.
Real Engineers know how to take the cover off of their computer, and are
not afraid to do it.
Real Engineers' briefcases contain a Phillips screwdriver, a copy of
"Quantum Physics", and a half of a peanut butter sandwich.
Real Engineers don't find the above at all funny.
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The Dictionary: what engineers say and what they mean by it....
Major Technological Breakthrough. = Back to the drawing board.
Developed after years of intensive research. = It was discovered by
Project slightly behind original schedule due to unforeseen difficulties.
= We are working on something else.
The designs are well within allowable limits. = We just made it,
stretching a point or two.
Customer satisfaction is believed assured = We are so far behind schedule
that the customer was happy to get anything at all.
Close project coordination. = We should have asked someone else; or,
let's spread the responsibility for this.
The design will be finalized in the next reporting period = We haven't
started this job yet, but we've got to say something.
A number of different approaches are being tried = We don't know where
we're going, but we're moving.
Test results were extremely gratifying = It works, and are we surprised!
Extensive effort is being applied on a fresh approach to the problem. =
We just hired three new guys; we'll let them kick it around for a while.
Preliminary operational tests are inconclusive = The darn thing blew up
when we threw the switch.
The entire concept will have to be abandoned. = The only guy who
understood the thing quit.
Modifications are underway to correct certain minor difficulties = We
threw the whole thing out and
are starting from scratch.
Essentially complete. = Half done.
We predict... = We hope to God!
Drawing release is lagging. = Not a single drawing exists.
Risk is high, but acceptable. = 100 to 1 odds, or with 10 times the
and 10 times the manpower, we may have a 50/50 chance.
Serious, but not insurmountable, problems. = It will take a miracle.
God should be the program manager.
Not well defined. = Nobody's thought about it.
Requires further analysis and management attention. = Totally out of
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How many first year engineering students does it take to change a light
None. That's a second year subject.
How many second year engineering students does it take to change a light
One, but the rest of the class copies the report.
How many third year engineering students does it take to change a light
"Will this question be in the final examination?"
How many civil engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
Two. one to do it and one to steady the chandelier.
How many electrical engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
None. They simply redefine darkness as the industry standard.
How many mechanical engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
Five. One to decide which way the bulb ought to turn, one to
calculate the force required,
one to design a tool with which to turn the bulb, one to design a
comfortable - but functional - hand grip,
and one to use all this equipment.
How many nuclear engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
Seven. One to install the new bulb and six to figure out what to do
with the old one for the next 10,000 years.
Brandon R. Jacobsen
Eagle Design & Technology, Inc.
2437 84th Avenue
Zeeland, MI 49464
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