Learning never exhausts the mind – Da Vinci
Having been in an engineering class for more than 4 years, I have found lots of missing links in the system. I have been able to learn, unlearn, and relearn. It’s evident how interesting it is to have 100 GB worth of data notes per semester but receive results in bits. Despite going through different units, my main questions has always been: “What is the aim of this unit?”, “What is the link between the previous unit and the units in future?”, “What is the value of this unit to my career?”,” Why am I doing it and why is it necessary?”. With much findings, I’ve come to realize that apart from having a good grasp of the content, you need to work on critical aspects to make engineering career a success. Among these critical aspects include:
Asking Good Questions:
Every innovative and inventive mind questions everything with the good intention and motive. This is one of the most relevant ability you’ll find missing in some of the essential practical aspects that one needs. To have an in-depth understanding of a certain subject, you need to have more than just knowledge. As they say, “Begin with the end in the mind”. You need to visualize the result even before you begin. The importance of this kind of formulation is that it keeps your mind alert and keeping track of the process.
Obtaining relevant patterns from the data:
Asking questions alone doesn’t give you satisfying answers. Ability to identify patterns in every data (answers) you’ve received is vital. This gives you much understanding and a better link between the known and the unknown. For example, by asking about the trending technologies, one is able to get to know the best career path, the skills required, the competition and the major players in that field, among others. Significant patterns give predictive ability with a higher accuracy and precision of the future or expected results.
Nothing makes engineering as awesome as it may sound than the ability to relate theoretical and practical concepts successfully. Just by doing calculus, advanced and complex mathematical analysis isn’t enough if you cannot be able to model any problem and provide a theoretical (mathematical) solution. This phase tends to be challenging since different lecturers have different ways of delivering the concepts to students. Also, depending on the student’s level of understanding comes a great engineer and poor engineer. For example, it’s on a different note that a lecturer can decide to lecturer Maxwell’s Equations for the purpose of passing exams or to make the students understand and be able to design efficient systems using the equations.
The magnitude of a problem can be reduced to smaller and simpler problems. This makes problems easier to be handled individually contributing to the main solution. Ability to make the finer details of the problem be understood is a skill that engineers need whether one is to venture in managerial, business, design, maintenance, installations, or any other application field of engineering principles. This technique leverages the power of Team-work and Leadership.
Every idea works in theory until proven in the real world. A lot of engineering concepts and ideas like in any other field makes sense when they are queried. Ability to query nature or a problem is such a resourceful skill in any technical related field. This gives you the ability to see how successful an idea can perform when implemented into the actual setup. Having all the facts and modeling the idea without experimenting makes it remain in its initial stage without much progress and realization.
Ideating and Visualizing:
Every engineering idea is implemented and actualized with the client’s needs in mind. Any idea or a project that fails to satisfy client’s needs is considered a failure no matter how many resources have been invested in it. Ability to sketch technical concepts to match that of the consumer is always a success. The presentation is a key skill in engineering much as all others that happen behind the curtains. The world needs to know, understand, match your solution to their needs, and be in desperate need to consume your product.
Going back to my first year on campus, I can recall vividly how “informed freshas” seemed. Attending a Communication Skills lecture was never a big deal since there were no formulas, lab sessions, design and modeling, and other engineering-like concepts. Most of “Engineers” by then seems to overlook such lecture only to comprehend later that nothing can be done in engineering without communicating. An Engineer is always in constant communication throughout his/her career: whether with clients, teammates, partners, trainers, etc. The better communicator you are; the more successful you become. However much you perform, if you cannot communicate, your ideas and opinions will always be unnoticed. It’s now that I can relate why fresh graduate are given sales positions in major companies. The main ideas are: if you can have a successful sale, then you can design, manage, and implement real viable products that suit the market.
Having all these as an engineer, the society is therefore guaranteed of creators of the artificial universe to suit the current creative era.