Engineering inspiration

When we were putting together the cover feature for the January issue (“Closing the Skills Gap), our research told us that this was a hot topic for our readers, their employers and the industry in general. However, we had no idea that it would strike such an emotional chord. Several readers responded to our call to share stories about how they became interested in engineering and there we...


When we were putting together the cover feature for the January issue (“Closing the Skills Gap), our research told us that this was a hot topic for our readers, their employers and the industry in general. However, we had no idea that it would strike such an emotional chord. Several readers responded to our call to share stories about how they became interested in engineering and there were some very common themes, namely: Dad, science fiction and cars. Excerpts from some messages appear below.

Marc Moschetto,

A wonderful profession

Engineering is a wonderful profession, despite its kind of lower position in the food chain. During my entire career, I have never been bored, nor I ever waited for things to get done by themselves, hardly ever earned enough to compensate my efforts but almost never complained. When there was not much to do, I was writing ideas for design (some got published).

Certainly, there are challenges ahead and adjustments in all technical professions due to this accelerated cycles and global economy. However, I strongly believe that once the engineer social level will become more realistic (commensurate with responsibility) the best and brightest will become again interested in it. All we need is to keep the spirit up.

B. Morariu - West Vancouver, BC

Science fiction paved the way

I can attribute my interest in Engineering to two factors: My father and the “Golden Age” of science fiction. First, my father. He was a man who appeared to be able to do anything. He needed a house, he designed and built it. His car needed an overhaul, he did it. He was the type who studied up on something he was about to undertake and then, armed with that knowledge, had the native savvy to make it work. Part of his drive to do it himself was economic necessity. In a way, he was like many farmers of the time who had to adopt the same strategy to survive.

When I was in Engineering school (1960 - 1968) I noticed that many of my classmates were farmer’s sons. Perhaps the decline in Engineering enrollment was due in part to the decline in farms and sons of farmers. The “Golden Age” of science fiction was largely written by technicians, engineers and scientists. The writers with little formal technical background were also well versed on the knowledge required to make a believable story. Many of the stories were set in the not-so-distant future. If a boy thought about it, he would think that he would see such things in his own lifetime. The characters were often technical people and were depicted accurately as engineers and scientists were, are, and probably always will be.

So, the excitement of possibly being a part of all that I read, combined with the confidence instilled by my father’s example that nothing was impossible, guided me to engineering as a career. It has been an interesting and rewarding path to follow. The advance of technology has taken some very unexpected turns along the way, but that just added zest to the challenge. the only question I have is: What happened to the flying cars?

J. Schott - Pittsburgh, PA

The Edison Twins

I remember a TV program, The Edison Twins [1982-86], made science more interesting! Riptide was another that made my interest in robotics and automation grow. There should be more of these programs on non pay channels. We are well into 2000 and you would expect more in the form of clubs and technological tv programs showing the amazing advances of our world.

D. Smith - Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Daddy’s girl

I would have to Dad inspired me to get into engineering. As a late-20th Century daddy’s girl, I wanted to be like my dad. I went through the astronaut and architect phase, but ultimately ended up in Electrical Engineering/Design via an OJT route — just like him. It was just about how cool design/manufacturing seemed, and wanting to be just like him. I am starting what I hope to be a long career at Siemens. How cool (almost surreal) it look down and see your name in the ENG block.

A. Jones - Dallas, TX

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me