Understanding engineers

Understanding Engineers #1

Two engineering students were biking across a university campus when one said, “Where did you get such a great bike?

The second engineer replied, “Well, I was walking along yesterday, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike, threw it to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, “Take what you want.

The first engineer nodded approvingly and said, “Good choice: The clothes probably wouldn’t have fit you anyway.

Understanding Engineers #2

To the optimist, the glass is half-full.

To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty.

To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Understanding Engineers #3

A priest, a doctor, and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers.

The engineer fumed, “What’s with those guys? We must have been waiting for fifteen minutes!

The doctor chimed in, “I don’t know, but I’ve never seen such inept golf!

The priest said, “Here comes the greens-keeper. Let’s have a word with him.” He said, “Hello George, What’s wrong with that group ahead of us? They’re rather slow, aren’t they?

The greens-keeper replied, “Oh, yes. That’s a group of blind firemen. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime!

The group fell silent for a moment. The priest said, “That’s so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight.

The doctor said, “Good idea. I’m going to contact my ophthalmologist colleague and see if there’s anything she can do for them.

The engineer said, “Why can’t they play at night?

Understanding Engineers #4

What is the difference between mechanical engineers and civil engineers?

Mechanical engineers build weapons.

Civil engineers build targets.

Understanding Engineers #5

The graduate with a science degree asks, “Why does it work?

The graduate with an engineering degree asks, “How does it work?

The graduate with an accounting degree asks, “How much will it cost?

The graduate with an arts degree asks, “Do you want fries with that?

Understanding Engineers #6

Three engineering students were gathered together discussing who must have designed the human body. One said, “It was a mechanical engineer. Just look at all the joints.

Another said, “No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections.

The last one said, “No, actually it had to have been a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?

Understanding Engineers #7

Normal people believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet.

Understanding Engineers #8

An engineer was crossing a road one day, when a frog called out to him and said, “If you kiss me, I’ll turn into a beautiful princess.” He bent over, picked up the frog, and put it in his pocket.

The frog spoke up again and said, “If you kiss me, I’ll turn back into a beautiful princess and stay with you for one week.

The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket. The frog then cried out, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I’ll stay with you for one week and do anything you want.

Again, the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket. Finally, the frog asked, “What is the matter? I’ve told you I’m a beautiful princess and that I’ll stay with you for one week and do anything you want. Why won’t you kiss me?

The engineer said, “Look, I’m an engineer. I don’t have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog – now that’s cool.

And finally…

Two engineers were standing at the base of a flagpole, looking at its top. A woman walked by and asked what they were doing.

We’re supposed to find the height of this flagpole,” said Sven, “but we don’t have a ladder.

The woman took a wrench from her purse, loosened a couple of bolts, and laid the pole down on the ground. Then she took a tape measure from her pocketbook, took a measurement, announced, “Twenty one feet, six inches,” and walked away.

One engineer shook his head and laughed, “A lot of good that does us. We ask for the height and she gives us the length!

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Feel free to comment on this post – I’d be interested to hear your views.
Inixiti – Improving graduate employability.

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To be honest

If you knew you could improve someone’s performance by having a difficult conversation, you would have that conversation, wouldn’t you? Easy. How about if that person was the company Chairman? More difficult, perhaps. Would it be easier if you knew that the Chairman craved honest feedback, and was desperate to hear from you?

So what’s stopping you?

Honesty

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Inspiration from the top

The Winter Olympics are now in full swing, and they bring an abundance of inspiring stories in the same way as the Summer Olympics of London 2012 did.

Much will be written about new Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold over the coming months, and UK Sport will rightly see her as further evidence that their Talent ID programmes such as Girls4Gold deliver tangible results. Such was her dominance of the women’s skeleton event ahead of Sochi 2014 that many (unreasonably) suggested that the result was never in doubt. Given the scarcity of Winter Olympic gold medals in the history of the GB team, it is surely only a matter of time before the tabloids dub her Lizzy Yarngold.

Lizzy-Yarnold

[Photo credit www.telegraph.co.uk]

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New Year’s Resolutions – think big and eat more chocolate

I wrote this last year but decided to reblog it this year. After all, it still makes a great deal of sense.

earlyinitiative

With only three weeks remaining of the well-worn 2012, our attention starts to turn towards the sleek and shiny new 2013. Full of possibilities, excitement, opportunities and challenges, it looms large on our horizon. For many it will be the start of something new; for others it will bring something to an end. One thing we can be sure of – uncertainty.

December is traditionally the time for setting New Year’s Resolutions – those promises we make to ourselves and others about what we’re going to do differently in the new year.

Before rushing to add “join the gym; eat less chocolate; drink less wine” to the list of resolutions, I would recommend reading this lovely poem by Nadine Stair (aged 85). More about its background here.

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Great news for the UK – another BBC repeat

When I visited a secondary school last week and asked about how much work they do with computers, I was disappointed with the replies. All students up to Year 11 (aged 11-16) do several hours a week, but it is limited to using applications – creating posters, monitoring costs, writing newspaper articles. They use computers, but they don’t do any programming at all.

I was even a little surprised to hear that all pupils are taught how to type, since I would have expected that by the age of 11 most, if not all, would have proficient typing skills.

But only the next day Tony Hall, the director general of the BBC made a major announcement which is set to change all this.

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Five tricky questions for First Year students

People go to university for a variety of reasons. One commonly-cited reason is that it helps get on the first rung of the jobs ladder – for many careers, a degree is a mandatory requirement. But why else?

During those few short years at university, a great deal of “growing up” often take place forming the transition from late-teenage years to early-adulthood and the first stages in becoming a “professional”. Some of that transition happens without any conscious effort. The most successful students take concrete steps to drive their development forward so that they’re ready-baked on graduation.

mind map for setting personal life goals Continue reading

“The End”. It never is though…

On 4th August 2012 Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins woke up as Olympic champions with gold medals reminding them that a day earlier they had won the final race in the Women’s Double Sculls at Dorney Lake. But now they felt empty, lost and on unfamiliar ground. For every day of the previous four years all their plans had been about working towards 3rd August 2012. Everything they did in training, every little detail they planned was all about delivering their best performance on that one occasion – the final – with no second chances. The only deliverable which mattered to them was a gold medal on 3rd August. All their plans ended on that date. It was as if 3rd August was the last day ever, and nothing existed after it.

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Breaking the cycle

It’s still only mid-September but I’ve already started to see signs up outside restaurants and hotels urging us to Book now for Christmas“. Heck, just three weeks ago I was still enjoying my (late) summer holiday, and Christmas is nowhere near the top of my To Do List.

But this has reminded me of the cyclical nature of our calendar. As day follows night, and summer follows spring, so many of our schedules repeat annually if not more frequently.

header-image-christmas[Image courtesy of LancasterLondon]

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A new approach to recruitment – UnRecruitment

As with so many great ideas, I am left wondering why nobody has though of this before. Its simplicity, sustainability and sheer elegance offers so much that it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking for the catch – there must be one, surely. But no. There’s no catch.

UnRecruitment_2

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Stop fighting progress; address the unintended consequences

Surely we’ve learnt from history that it is utterly futile to resist advances in technology? Once something has been invented, it can’t be “un-invented”. Luddites haven’t historically delivered many long-term successes; they haven’t typically been a good investment.

Advances in technology often create new problems – sometimes unintended consequences; other times very much intended. Ultimately, it is the consequences which have to be addressed, rather than the technology itself. It therefore seems odd to me that so much energy is being expended in fighting the adoption of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) – which have been in the news again recently following the publication of an Open Letter to Professor Michael Sandel from the Philosophy Department at San Jose State University.Borsig_steam_locomotive

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