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Spotlight: TOP TOPIC - Brain Teasers for engineers

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Topics - 1smartengineer

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Technology / How a sewing machine works
« on: September 30, 2009, 10:12:23 PM »

Humor / Top 10 reasons to date an engineer
« on: September 29, 2009, 02:24:52 PM »
10. The world does revolve around us… we choose the coordinate system.

9. No “couple” enjoy a better “moment”.

8. We know how to handle stress and strain in a relationship.

7. We have significant figures.

6. We understand the motion of rigid bodies.

5. Projectile motion: Do we need to say more?

4. Engineers do it to specification.

3. According to Newton, if two bodies interact, their forces are equal and opposite.

2. We know it’s not the length of the vector that counts, but how you apply the force.


Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (EIT) / Tips and advice
« on: September 28, 2009, 10:06:08 AM »
I took and passed the EI exam a couple of years ago and I felt it would be wrong if I did not provide my fellow engineers with tips that I learned along the way.
First of all, the test is not hard especially if you are freshly out of engineering school. From my own experience, the key to passing the test is making sure that you,

  • fully understand the basic sciences, calculus and other classes you took in the first two years of college. Realize the test is basically to prove that you have an engineering degree and you are able to solve basic engineering questions. Also, the test is a precursor to the more detailed PE exam so it isn't too complicated,  
  • know before-hand if you will be taking the subject-specific of the general test for the afternoon portion of the test and prepare accordingly,
  • read the formula book and understand where all the formulas are located. THIS IS THE KEY TO PASSING THE TEST.

The EI test easily passable as long as you study and obey the rules above.

Click here for more on the EI exam.

What is typical pay raise (% or lump sum) once you get your PE license. I most certainly believe there is some type of compensation but I am unsure of how much to ask for. I work for a private consulting company in Florida.

What is typical pay raise (% or lump sum) once you get your PE license. I most certainly believe there is some type of compensation but I am unsure of how much to ask for. I work for a private consulting company in Florida. 

Career / Best Civil Engineering Firms
« on: September 25, 2009, 12:15:04 AM »
Every now and then you see a listing titled, Best Engineering Firm for, new graduates, project managers etc.
I have always wondered, what is it that makes a civil engineering firm better than the other company? Is it the people, their success, the collective attitude of the company's employees or is it merely observations by outsiders.
The question thus becomes, what is it that makes a civil engineering company great?

US News and World report recently published their list of the top 10 engineering graduate schools in the USA. This year’s list contain some of the usual contenders plus several other newcomers.

   1. MIT
   2. Stanford
   3. University of California – Berkeley
   4. Georgia Institute of Technology
   5. University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
   6. Carnegie Mellon University
   7. California Institute of Technology
   8. University of Southern California
   9. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  10. University of Texas – Austin

So this brings up another interesting discussion as it pertains to engineering education,

  • Do you think that having a degree from one of the top schools really makes a difference to your career prospects?
  • While on-campus recruiters may value the top schools and routinely offer the best jobs to the best graduates, once you’ve left your first job, does the school you attended still matter?

Challege your brain / What is the optimum pumping rate for this oil rig
« on: September 01, 2009, 03:20:23 PM »
Irish Petroleum has an oil platform in the Irish Sea. Their Drilling Team continuously produces 400 barrels per minute of crude, and the rig also uses fuel oil continuously at a rate of 20 barrels per minute.

Their Pumping Team has a single pipe connecting rig to shore. They use this alternately (and at the same pumping rate) to get the crude off the rig and to top up the fuel oil.

10 minutes' change-over time is needed between pump runs. There is tank storage on the rig for 10,000 barrels of crude and 2400 barrels of fuel oil.

What is the optimum pumping rate, and how long is one complete pumping cycle?

Take 1000 and add 40 to it. Now add another 1000.
Now add 30. And another 1000.
Now add 20. Now add another 1000. Now add 10.
What is the total?

Now check it with a calculator, the brain sure knows how to play little tricks on us, doesn't it?

Challege your brain / Consider a vertical wheel of radius 10 cm
« on: September 01, 2009, 03:16:23 PM »
Consider a vertical wheel of radius 10 cm. Now suppose a smaller wheel of radius 2
cm, is made to roll around the larger wheel in the same vertical plane while the
larger wheel remains fixed. What is the total number of rotations the smaller wheel
makes when its center makes one complete rotation about the larger wheel?

Challege your brain / Brain teaser - Two Ostrich Breeders
« on: September 01, 2009, 03:15:01 PM »
Two ostrich breeders, Mandy and Marcia, were talking one day, and noticed
that if Mandy sold Marcia seven ostriches, Mandy would have exactly as
many ostriches as Marcia.
On the other hand, if Marcia sold Mandy seven ostriches, then Mandy would
have exactly twice as many ostriches as Marcia. How many ostriches did
each have?

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