0

IN THIS ISSUE


Select Articles

Mechanical Engineering. 2008;130(03):22-25. doi:10.1115/1.2008-MAR-1.
FREE TO VIEW

This paper emphasizes on the importance of keeping aging information in a format that can be used readily and understood by everyone. In order to get up-to-the-minute access to older engineering information, managers need to be ever vigilant about ensuring that legacy data exists in a format, which can be easily understood and accessed. Today a number of new software applications and technologies can help even those companies with seemingly the most outdated of computers, the mainframe. In recent days, software developers have introduced innovative ways in which companies can speedily retrieve legacy information, whether it is stored in a format for a desktop computer or a mainframe. These methods involve migrating or upgrading information or installing middleware, all at some cost. Some companies may choose to move legacy data to the open XML format and use a number of software tools, such as database query methods, to quickly retrieve information. Legacy documents that can be written into XML can include blueprints, CAD designs, change orders, materials specifications, assembly instructions, and cost estimates.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2008;130(03):27-31. doi:10.1115/1.2008-MAR-2.
FREE TO VIEW

This paper focuses on case studies regarding Seattle Symphony and hospital pediatric emergency warts for handling the unpredictable situations in different fields. A symphony orchestra is the model of hierarchical organization. The paper emphasizes that the proactive approach attempts to eliminate or mitigate potential failure modes and their consequences through design and training. The reactive approach seeks to learn from previous failures. The paper also discusses that quality assurance is proactive, done before an activity to realize quality goals. Quality control is interactive, undertaken during an activity to ensure that plans achieve the desired result. We can envision interactive crisis management as lifecycle quality control processes that help achieve target quality and reliability in engineered systems. Through hospital emergency study, successful teams transitioned seamlessly from their highly structured everyday organization into loosely structured teams during emergencies. Heedful and respectful interactions characterized the pediatric teamwork. Because they had worked together so long, team members could almost read one another&s minds.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2008;130(03):32-35. doi:10.1115/1.2008-MAR-3.
FREE TO VIEW

This article discusses the efficient frontier, initially conceived within the realm of economics and business that is essential to the practice of engineers as they pursue goals and objectives set forth by employers. Engineering courses, from undergraduate through doctoral studies, have a primary concern with efficiency and how it relates to the physical world. The paper also highlights that it is frequently the engineering talent within a company that best understands how to harness the organizational capital required either to move toward the current efficient frontier or to exceed it. Furthermore, it should be noted that as companies within a given industry strive to improve their operational effectiveness, any advantage this might provide would usually be short lived. The efficient frontier should not be regarded as merely a conceptual tool, with little applicability to daily work or strategic planning activities. The paper also discusses that additionally, by earning increased profits, a firm can invest some of the additional funds in activities intended to further the distance between it and its competitors on the efficient frontier.

Topics: Engineers
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2008;130(03):36-39. doi:10.1115/1.2008-MAR-4.
FREE TO VIEW

This paper focuses on ways to decide which advanced course of study is the best option for the career. The paper highlights that unlike the latitude offered to MBA students, the same variety of programs will not be found in engineering. There are very few accelerated master level engineering programs, but typically, one will have the advantage of not having to take prerequisites to start the program. However, unlike an MBA, which may require engineers to take prerequisite business classes before they start the actual degree program, in a master’s program in engineering, engineers will typically be allowed to take master’s level classes immediately. The MSE is marketable, but in a unique way from an MBA. However, many individuals outside the engineering discipline will have scant knowledge of just how this degree contributes to the organization. The MBA, on the other hand, is a widely recognized degree, and many people within and outside of engineering understand how an MBA contributes to an organization’s success. Both degrees can contribute to career advancement. It is important to let others know how this advanced education contributes to the goals of the organization. Deciding to obtain an advanced degree, whether it is in engineering or business, requires a commitment of time, effort, and expense. However, more important, the right degree can make an enormous difference in career opportunities.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In