Tag Archives: mistakes

This week I want to look at a blog that was written by someone else. Reason being that I think they have done a better job and are better positioned to talk about my topic area this week. That of Colonel John D. Sims. Despite being in the US Army and having little to do with engineering Colonel Sims is someone that has experienced a challenging career. I’m not talking about being on the front line or being a great solider. No, I’m talking about how in difficult situation he has learned to become himself and though understanding his role as a commander has better served not only his country and the army but more importantly the soldier under him and his family. While I’m not saying that our jobs as engineers are anything like being part of the armed forces, I think what Colonel Sims has to say strikes…

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  One of my favorite aspects of being an mechanical engineer is that I get to build things. When I was a young kid I took apart my potty training chair, and ever since I’ve had a penchant for both destroying and putting things back together again (the latter much to my mother’s relief). My Dad has the same tinkering tendencies, and so I grew up with plenty of places to work on projects. Being so mechanically minded, I sometimes forget that it is a character trait – but not the only one, or the best one, or even a common one. Much of the population has no feel for mechanical things at ALL. (And please note, my mother is one of them – this is not to criticize or put down, but simple observations.) And the best place to witness this, to me, is the machine shop. Most mechanical…

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This week’s theme is our biggest mistake. I couldn’t boil it all down to a single moment but I know what’s been the problem in the past and what will finally get me in the future: my big mouth. It’s not that I talk a lot it’s that I’m not great about saying the right things. Especially to the right people. I have a tendency to talk to my coworkers the same as I talk to the big boss. And I’ve noticed the big boss doesn’t like that. My coworkers are, for the most part, accepting of my frankness and perhaps occasional sarcasm. I’ve had superiors as well as college professors turn on me in an instant when they think I’m not showing them the proper respect due to them. The problem is I’m not really good at kissing up. I don’t know what to say, it comes across as…

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This week at Engineer Blogs, we are discussing the worst mistake we’ve ever made. However, that theme is somewhat difficult for me as I am a perfect human being who has always been right, or at least argued my point successfully until my opponent has been convinced I am right. Actually, I’m completely joking and I have make more than my fair share of mistakes. However, I’m going to refrain from discussing them for political reasons. Instead, I thought I would discuss something that I’ll never know if it was a mistake until it’s too late:  Skipping the postdoc stage of an academic career. First, some short background. Unlike many academic engineers, I did my UG and MSc at the same university and then moved on for my PhD at a different university. It seems like the norm is to do UG at one place and then move on for your…

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