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How many Modellers Are Engineers?

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Reno Racer04/08/2010 08:18:06
1138 forum posts
168 photos
Thought i'd start this thread, not to question if a modeller is an Engineer, but find out how many are. I note on many threads that people state they are an Engineer to back up their opinion.
I just wonder how many are Engineers and more importantly to get a feel for whether the building, technical detail, electriconics and flying attracts a certain technically minded person?
I also wonder what level of engineering in terms of professional status; i.e Engineering Technician, undergraduate, graduate, Incorporated Engineer or Chartered Engineer.
BTW, I'm a Charter Engineer and MIET, my Degree (a few years ago now) was in Mechanical Engineering.
I have no alterea motive, nor I am doing a survey for an instrution, just interested from a proffessional perspective.

Edited By Ackers on 04/08/2010 08:18:20

Bruce Richards04/08/2010 08:37:34
1849 forum posts
I have engineering in my bones but only studied it to first year degree then swapped to Computer Science. Now I am a odd job/builder, fencer, plumber, knife and tool sharpener, professional parent.
Gaz Elliott04/08/2010 08:55:00
665 forum posts
30 photos
I am a culinary engineer. I design and build items from raw products to create an end result which aids to the human engine. Getting the balance right is critical as the human engine can be delicate . Too excessive innbalances can cause unplesant emissions!!!!!
 I currently have no degree especially in engineering, although can maintain 180 degrees for some time.
Tim Mackey04/08/2010 08:57:35
20920 forum posts
304 photos
15 articles
None at all - apart from 2 years in the electronics industry as a 16 yr old apprentice, my career and training has all been in retail.
Best credential was making a passable flatblade screwdriver in metalwork ( CDT to you kids )

Gemma Jane04/08/2010 09:33:30
1349 forum posts
53 photos
MEng aero
Attracted to modelling because being born 100 years too late I couldn't get what I wanted from industry. Warned by lecturers I was too academic for industry my placement lasted a week. Sat drawing a bolt on CAD for a plane I would probably never see I walked out to become an ecological consultant.
I also have several qualifications in totally practical subjects, such as motorcycle mechanics.
The model side lets me explore a lot. The arrogance, well people who meet me face to face find it hard to believe it's the same person. I'm afraid it is years of the subject rather than my actual personality that comes across. OK it's probably true for example I might of scared my PPL ground school instructor during group lectures and he openly admitted I knew more than him, but then again he also knows me as the nervous student pilot under test who though trying her best was just as human as anyone else and performing poorly due to nerves. I leave the academics well out of the cockpit, it's all about learning a new skill set not theory when flying and I owe what skill I have entirely to the excellence of my instructors not to my previous knowledge.
I think one of the interesting things is what is an Engineer? I remember at uni the guy who fixed the photocopier was banned from calling himself an Engineer. Petty I know but the line .... Iv'e got a Masters in aero probably only means something to those who have gone the academic route in the first place. To many an Engineer is someone who fiddles with aero engines. 
I think in the past aeromodelling would have had a greater bias to the engineering type, but would have also have had it's non-engineering enthusiasts. It use to be that the term model engineer was very common and for sure my Dad was a model engineer. These days the accessibility of models and the ease of getting into the air with pre-built models probably means that a much wider cross-section of people enjoy the hobby. I mean even girls are doing it these days! 
 edited for typo wouldn't instead of would have..

Edited By Gemma Jane on 04/08/2010 09:35:33

Steve Hargreaves - Moderator04/08/2010 10:15:57
6744 forum posts
191 photos
I think the term "engineer" covers such a broad spectrum of skills & people. My qualification was in Electrical Engineering (HND) but I can understand most of the mechanical & aerodynamic stuff without too much difficulty. To many people "Engineers" are embalmed in grease & use spanners...the term software engineer just doesn't compute.
I think it is more of a mindset than anything else. I understand fully how a jet engine works but could I design one? Not in a million years.....I understand how a 4 stroke works & understand the nuances of valve overlap....could I define the parameters for the main bearing way Jose!!!
Aeromodelling encompasses such a range of diciplines that it wouldn't be possible to be proficient in them all....Electrical, electronics, radio, aerodynamics etc etc & nor is it necessary to be.....after all you don't need to understand TV to be able to watch it!!! That said part of the attraction of the hobby for me is learning new skills & problem a word it is a "practical" hobby & appeals to practical types of people. I have met several brilliant engineers who couldn't drive a nail into a block of wood & several "unskilled" people whose knowledge completely puts mine to shame.
Remember RJ Mitchells famous quote... "If anyone tells you something about aeroplanes that's so bl**dy complicated that you can't understand it, take it from me, it'll be all balls!"
I think that can be applied to many things on life......
Richard Wood04/08/2010 10:29:41
1094 forum posts
164 photos
I have an HND in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from what used
to be called a Polytechnic (Newcastle).
I've worked in the electronics manufacturing industry for 25 odd years
(some have been very odd) as a test design engineer but would certainly
hesitate to call myself an  'Electronics engineer'.
Electronic product design is for better people than I - it's difficult!
The expertise of some electronics designers - for example in some UK HiFi
companies can be quite humbling.

Edited By Richard Wood on 04/08/2010 10:32:25

Reno Racer04/08/2010 10:39:10
1138 forum posts
168 photos

I think what you all describe the the general UK misunderstanding of the term Engineer. If you ask a German what he/she understands of 'Engineer' you will get an entirely different response.

I have seen many white vans emblazoned with 'domestic engineer'. To my mind (and that of the Engineering Council) an Engineer is a qualified Engineer, usual degree educated and either Incorporated (lower level) or Chartered (highest level). The washing machine repair man, is just that and NOT and Engineer.

An Engineering Technician (Eng Tech) (Mechanic) is the bloke/girl with oily fingers.

The Engineer is the bloke who conceptualises, designs and delivers the product to the masses, the Eng Tech or mechanic is the bloke that then puts the component parts together or repairs the item. Obviously, an Engineer must be able to do this as well, so that the initial design incorporates maintainability and sustainability.  

Essentially, from highest professional qualification to lowest: Chartered Engineer (CEng), Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and Engineering Technician (Eng Tech) or equivalent Information and Communications Technology Technician (ICT Tech). 

You should note that CEng and IEng proffessional Engineers are multi disciplined, the lower Eng Tech and ICT Tech are confined to specific fields, i.e mechanical, electrical etc. 

To quote the UK Engineering Council.

"Chartered Engineers develop appropriate solutions to engineering problems. They may develop and apply new technologies, promote advanced designs and design methods and introduce new and more efficient production techniques, or pioneer new engineering services and management methods. The title CEng is protected by civil law and is one of the most recognisable international engineering qualifications."

"Incorporated Engineers maintain and manage applications of current and developing technology, and may undertake engineering design, development, manufacture, construction and operation."

"EngTechs solve practical engineering problems. They are professionals with supervisory or technical responsibility, and apply safe systems of working. They contribute to the design, development, manufacture, commissioning, decommissioning, operation or maintenance of products, equipment, processes or services."

There is also a new professional qualification, equivalent to Eng tech

"ICT Technicians are employed in a range of jobs that involve supporting or facilitating the use of ICT equipment and applications by others. They work in areas such as ICT hardware, software or system installation, operation, maintenance, incident/change/problem management, administration, security, fault diagnosis and fixing."

I suspect there are many out their that may qualify in any of these areas, and I would urge them to gain professional qualification status. 

Chris Ackroyd, BSc, CEng, MIET.

P.S I am not trying to get trade for professional bodies.

Reno Racer04/08/2010 10:41:23
1138 forum posts
168 photos

PPS, not really related to the thread question, but my own little soap box rant.

Marc Humphries04/08/2010 10:52:38
210 forum posts
14 photos
Steady on Ackers - that soap box is wobbling...
Reno Racer04/08/2010 10:55:18
1138 forum posts
168 photos

yeah, sorry. I'm now sitting on the naughty step.

Please let the rest of the posts continue.

Right off the fix my washing machine

Marc Humphries04/08/2010 11:05:46
210 forum posts
14 photos
Me?  Started life as a telephone engineer (technician?) with PO Telephones.  Did HND and Degree in electronics and telephony.
"A ops B, B ops C - then the switch goes ro-tary"
Unless you worked on Strowger exchanges - the last line will mean jack to you...
Moved into learning and development, e-learning, multimedia and now business consultancy.  Thing is though, once an engineer - always an engineer.  I bore the pants off my colleagues with business and human science degree backgrounds when I talk about how things work.
My soap box rant is about people using terms like "Amperage" when they mean "Current" - and the general trend to state opinions as facts on many forum posts...
A.A. Barry04/08/2010 11:26:21
1922 forum posts
186 photos
AS I see the current "batch" of gingerbeers, I really think that they should keep them back after school, for falusifing there creditals, some can not even understand the simplest of common reasoning.....out of nappies and into the HUGH world of construction, and do they think they know it all.... yep you ask them
I won't go on
Myself, modeling and seeing some of the pic's that other scale builders do, is uteraly amassing, the chap that built the Miles Messanger model a couple of yrs back, i bet he is not a qual. engineer?
So on reflection, I think that those who but pencil to paper, and draw up and build a model could be said to be engineers. Some go on a little further in greater detail, others make them more detailed again, so yea we could be called engineers
Richard Wood04/08/2010 11:30:26
1094 forum posts
164 photos
That's very interesting Ackers.
So the next time my factory's production department requests 'Engineering
Assistance' for problems with electronic circuit board testing,
I will be able, with perfect legitimacy, to plead lack of qualification!
You have a point - Engineering in all it's forms is no longer seen as the
profession it should be.

Edited By Richard Wood on 04/08/2010 11:40:05

Reno Racer04/08/2010 11:34:46
1138 forum posts
168 photos


Sweeping generalisation perhaps?

I have been a CEng for 5 years and graduated from University 14 years ago. I am a Chartered Engineer and Major in the Army, having served in both Afghanistan, Iraq (twice) and lots more. I hope i'm not wet behind the ears!

A.A. Barry04/08/2010 11:37:17
1922 forum posts
186 photos
While we are on this subject, I drew up an simple hyd. pump to be drive by an eletric motor, to take place of "air systems",  any thoughts?????????
A.A. Barry04/08/2010 11:41:45
1922 forum posts
186 photos
Ackers I was refering to the youngun's, with yrs of exp. behind you, that is what the current lot don't have, but unlike your self ( i presume), did not  go "bull at the gate "so to say, they ( X Y gen ) seem to believe, that us old farts know nothing,  i hope you understand my thuoghts

Edited By A.A. Barry on 04/08/2010 11:44:31

A.A. Barry04/08/2010 11:46:37
1922 forum posts
186 photos
YEA 1000 posts, break out the cool drinks
Reno Racer04/08/2010 11:52:23
1138 forum posts
168 photos

Link here to article that discussed hydraulic retracts.I have seen them used somewhere in an RC Jet, if I remember.

Sorry couldn't get the normal link to work for some reason.

I suspect weight and electrical power required to drive the hydraulic pump, might make them inefficient in compassion to air or mechanical. That said, if you did manage to fit them, it should be maintenance free, using hydraulic oil (or even brake fluid- if you don't spill it anywhere!). Certainly no faff of using an air retract pump and trying to get 120+PSI.

Have you seen the new electrical retracts from Horizon Hobby; they are now producing up to 120 size.

A.A. Barry04/08/2010 12:00:20
1922 forum posts
186 photos
Ackers, I saw your advise elsewhere and looked them up, I sent them an email, but as of yet I haven't heard, I require 105/110 deg. firewall mounted ones to carry a 15lb model, for my current build Dh103

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