EE... I'll give it a shot

Posted by Andy Baker.

Engineer on team #45, TechnoKats, from Kokomo High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

Posted on 10/10/2000 10:09 PM MST

Nick,

warning, it’s past 11:00pm and I’m uppity

First of all, if you’re an EE and you don’t have a sense of humor, you should not read this note.

Second of all, I’m a Mechanical Engineer.

Thirdly, as a student, you need to know that EEs and MEs work closely together and depend on each other very much. Also, during all of the close working relationships, the ME always has the higher authority and is never wrong. The sooner that you understand this as an EE, the better. :slight_smile:

Here is my take on what an EE does:

  1. They are ‘sparkies’. While the ME’s design the machinery, the ‘sparkies’ bring it to life. They specify the hardware and draw the schematics that divert voltage to the hardware to make it work. ‘It’s Alive!!!’

  2. A derivitave from #1 is that they design circuitry. This means that they design anything from motherboards to ICs to old Galaga video games.

  3. They are ‘bit-twiddlers’. This means that they write alot of code. Some MEs do this also, but mostly it’s the EEs who do the programming for machinery. With the increasing demand for software programming, more EEs are twiddling bits than ever.

  4. Once a machine or device is designed and built, EEs always have to make the thing work. Since the mechanical design is always correct, any problems that are arise during debug are ALWAYS the EE’s fault. It will do you well, Nick to learn this early. Sometimes, EEs may think that there is some mechanical problem with the apparatus, but it NEVER is. It is better for the EE to simply take the blame and fix their problem… besides, they are just ‘sparkies’! :slight_smile:

Open up any device that contains electricity and a ‘sparky’ had their hand in the works. From a light fixture to a supercomputer or an automobile… they specify the electrical equipment, design the circuitry, write the code, and then fix their problems to make it work.

Good luck in your search for a career in Electrical Engineering. I’m sure you will do well if you heed my advice.

Regards,
Andy B.

Posted by Matt Leese.

Other on team #73 from Rochester Institute of Technology and None.

Posted on 10/10/2000 10:50 PM MST

In Reply to: EE… I’ll give it a shot posted by Andy Baker on 10/10/2000 10:09 PM MST:

As it’s even later at night (let’s just say it’s now tomorrow), I figure I’ll give it a shot from a more EE point of view (so I’m studying Computer Engineering…sue me). First of all the point must be stressed that EEs will always out rank MEs. Sure, you can have a great robot designed mechanically by an ME but without the EE it’s not going anywhere. And even I can build something remotely mechanical. Okay, now to be a bit more serious…

Okay, what EE’s do:
In a nutshell, if it involves electricity (hence the electrical part), EEs do it. More precisely there’s both a hardware and a software side to EE. EE topics range anywhere from software to hardware. The software side is usually handle by Computer Scientists, or more appropriately (because they’re engineers) Software or Computer Engineers (then again CE’s do a lot more on the hardware side). The hardware side of EE includes ICs, microprocessors (which is also more usually handled by Microelectronic Engineers…yeah, the guys in Intel bunny suits), and all other kinds of stuff. Basically, EE’s a big topic and I’m too tired to cover it all. :slight_smile:

If you want to know what to study (in high school I assume), take math. When you’ve taken math, take more math. Most schools make engineers take all the way through Differential Equations at least (yes, that includes all Calculus and that’s beyond what’s offered as AP tests). You always want to take Physics. Colleges like to make you take lots of Physics too (even being a EE you have to know how pendulum works…I guess to take out obnoxious ME’s). As it’s getting late, I think I’m done for the night.

Matt Leese

Posted by Erin.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]

Other on team ? from ? sponsored by ?.

Posted on 10/11/2000 9:26 AM MST

In Reply to: Re: EE… I’ll give it a shot posted by Matt Leese on 10/10/2000 10:50 PM MST:

No harm intended to all of you ME’s out there, but if I did ANYTHING in the engineering field (which I am not going to, I never got to do anything engineer related on my team) I would MUCH rather be an EE.

For one- EE’s can actually work w/o an ME. You can’t say the same backwards.
I mean, seriously, if you can design electrical schematics and circuitry, how hard could it possibly be to design something that works from bare parts? (In the 2000 Manufacturing Technology Academy, I worked mostly with Electrical Systems, Electronics, etc. but pneumatics, hydraulics, CNC Milling, quality systems and building a fully automated can crusher with auto-loading and unloading capabilities using sensors and switches with an automated can counter as well were no hard task… I think it was the CAD and the welding part that got me).

My final question is, EE’s can go on living without ME’s… but can ME’s do the same? And hey, what about all those awesome MANUFACTURING ENGINEERS out there? What about them? And what about all of us girls who had previous interests in engineering but NEVER get a chance to touch our robot???

sorry i went off on a tangent…
-Erin

Posted by Raul.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]

Engineer on team #111, Wildstang, from Rolling Meadows & Wheeling HS and Motorola.

Posted on 10/11/2000 5:10 PM MST

In Reply to: Re: EE… I’ll give it a shot posted by Erin on 10/11/2000 9:26 AM MST:

: For one- EE’s can actually work w/o an ME. You can’t say the same backwards.
: My final question is, EE’s can go on living without ME’s… but can ME’s do the same?

: -Erin

Young lady, you have a lot to learn. I think plumbers are the most important profession - just kidding.:wink:

Answer these few questions and tell me if your above statements are true.

  1. Which type of engineer would be most able to make their life easier if stranded without any modern technology on a desserted island? Which would be most successful in building a device to get them off the island?

  2. Which engineer would be most successful at participating in a competition like Junkyard Wars?

  3. Can you make a vehicle without electrical devices? Can you make a vehicle without mechanical devices?
    For that matter, can you make anything physical at all with mechanical devices???

Wow, imagine how software engineers feel about this?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have great respect for EE’s (and all other disciplines), for they know many things that I do not. And, I know many things that they do not. The point is that we have to work together on many projects and trust that each knows best about their subject.

Raul

Posted by Jason Iannuzzi.

Engineer on team #11, Marauders, from Mt. Olive HS. and BASF, Rame Hart, CCM.

Posted on 10/12/2000 6:19 AM MST

In Reply to: Re: EE… I’ll give it a shot posted by Raul on 10/11/2000 5:10 PM MST:

Good defense Raul!

I think people fail to understand all of the things ME’s do besides part/machine design, that are FAR more complicated than just mating two gears.

Short List:

Thermal Analysis
Stress Analysis
Vibration Analysis
Control Systems
Fluid Dynamics and Mechanics
Reliability Engineering (think airplanes)

Don’t sell ME’s short, we really do have to think on occasion!

:slight_smile:

Posted by Jason Rukes.

Engineer on team #109, Arial Systems & Libertyville HS, from Libertyville High School and Arial Systems Corp & SEC Design.

Posted on 10/12/2000 7:56 AM MST

In Reply to: Re: EE… I’ll give it a shot posted by Jason Iannuzzi on 10/12/2000 6:19 AM MST:

: Good defense Raul!

: I think people fail to understand all of the things ME’s do besides part/machine design, that are FAR more complicated than just mating two gears.

: Short List:

: Thermal Analysis
: Stress Analysis
: Vibration Analysis
: Control Systems
: Fluid Dynamics and Mechanics
: Reliability Engineering (think airplanes)

: Don’t sell ME’s short, we really do have to think on occasion!

: :slight_smile:

Yeah, but nowadays all of that ‘analysis’ couldn’t be done without a computer :wink:

Posted by Joe Johnson.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]

Engineer on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

Posted on 10/12/2000 10:01 AM MST

In Reply to: Re: EE… I’ll give it a shot posted by Jason Rukes on 10/12/2000 7:56 AM MST:

: Yeah, but nowadays all of that ‘analysis’ couldn’t be done without a computer :wink:

But the BEST analysis still done with a pen & paper and the computer between your ears, IMHO.

Joe J.

Posted by Jason Rukes.

Engineer on team #109, Arial Systems & Libertyville HS, from Libertyville High School and Arial Systems Corp & SEC Design.

Posted on 10/13/2000 6:34 AM MST

In Reply to: Thinking about M.E. posted by Joe Johnson on 10/12/2000 10:01 AM MST:

:
: : Yeah, but nowadays all of that ‘analysis’ couldn’t be done without a computer :wink:

: But the BEST analysis still done with a pen & paper and the computer between your ears, IMHO.

: Joe J.

Agreed. I think it’s time I upgraded:)

Posted by Jason Iannuzzi.

Engineer on team #11, Marauders, from Mt. Olive HS. and BASF, Rame Hart, CCM.

Posted on 10/11/2000 8:36 AM MST

In Reply to: EE… I’ll give it a shot posted by Andy Baker on 10/10/2000 10:09 PM MST:

good post nick!

A few quick rules I have about EE’s and ME’s in the workplace:

  1. If the ME says it’s not going to fit, it’s not going to fit no matter what the EE says.
  2. If the EE says he needs X amount of space, assume 4X.
  3. Merely mentioning the words ‘voltage’, ‘current’, or ‘grounding’ make most ME’s scream in horror and run in the opposite direction.
  4. Never let an EE touch a milling machine or a lathe, the machines will never be the same.
  5. Likewise, never let an ME touch a power supply or wire cutters or serious harm will ensue. Multimeters are OK but only under direct supervision.
  6. EE debugging should be considered an infinite timeline event.
  7. Project completion will almost never hinge upon the delivery of a mechanical device.
  8. Meetings in which electrical/software topics are discussed have been known to cause temporary ME narcolepsy.
  9. Meetings in which mechanical topics are discussed will most likely contain at least one idea proposed by an EE that defies the laws of physics. Said comment will most likely be followed by the expression ‘That doesn’t work here on Earth.’
  10. Meetings attended by EE’s, ME’s, and Marketing staff usually contain many occurences of the phrase ‘why not?’ and end in hurt feelings and often tears. Expect at least one request for whatever it is you’re designing to be made of Titanium, including electrical components.
  11. Meetings attended by EE’s, ME’s and Sales staff usually end in laughing engineers and angry salespeople.

feel free to add to this, it is by no means a complete guide to the real world of engineering.

Posted by Justin Ridley.

Engineer on team #221, MI Roboworks, from Michigan Technological University.

Posted on 10/11/2000 10:24 AM MST

In Reply to: Re: EE… I’ll give it a shot posted by Jason Iannuzzi on 10/11/2000 8:36 AM MST:

Funny stuff. . .I think I’ll have to post this list on my door. . . should make a few of the 800+ ME’s up here at Tech laugh.

Posted by Adam Krajewski.

Student on team #68, Truck Town Terror, from Walled Lake Central High School and General Motors Truck Group.

Posted on 10/17/2000 10:16 PM MST

In Reply to: Re: EE… I’ll give it a shot posted by Jason Iannuzzi on 10/11/2000 8:36 AM MST:

Number 7 may be true in most cases, but NOT in FIRST Robotics. :wink:

Posted by Jason Iannuzzi.

Engineer on team #11, Marauders, from Mt. Olive HS. and BASF, Rame Hart, CCM.

Posted on 10/18/2000 6:08 AM MST

In Reply to: Re: EE… I’ll give it a shot posted by Adam Krajewski on 10/17/2000 10:16 PM MST:

: Number 7 may be true in most cases, but NOT in FIRST Robotics. :wink:

good point!