2020 has been a strange and stressful year for us all but with the lockdown and covid we have all had a lot more spare time for ourselves.
Much to the dismay of my girlfriend I spent most of the last year investing in cryptocurrency and pokemon cards. Endless nights staring at charts or bidding on ebay have paid off though and incredibly I have managed to earn more than I have from my entire career as an engineer.
I'm hoping she will forgive me for "wasting my time on magic coins and children's toys" when I take her on a nice holiday once the pandemic is over.
What an age to live in!
The largest, most advanced rover NASA has sent to another world landed on Mars, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, after a 293 million mile (472 million km) journey. Perseverance will search for signs of ancient microbial life, study the planet’s geology and past climate, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith, paving the way for human exploration of the Red Planet. Riding along with the rover is the Ingenuity Mars helicopter, which will attempt the first powered flight on another world.
Now that the rover and helicopter are both safely on Mars, what's next? What would you like to know about the landing? The science? The mission's 23 cameras and two microphones aboard? Mission experts are standing by. Ask us anything!
Hallie Abarca, Image and Data Processing Operations Team Lead, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Jason Craig, Visualization Producer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Cj Giovingo, EDL Systems Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Nina Lanza, SuperCam Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Adam Nelessen, EDL Cameras Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Mallory Lefland, EDL Systems Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Lindsay Hays, Astrobiology Program and Mars Sample Return Deputy Program Scientist, NASA HQ
George Tahu, Mars 2020 Program Executive, NASA HQ
Joshua Ravich, Ingenuity Helcopter Mechanical Engineering Lead, JPL
Edit 5:45pm ET: That's all the time we have for today. Thank you again for all the great questions!
Attention all Passengers,
Here is the Discussion thread for the Season 2 episode 8 "The Eternal Engineer"
You can still easily find previous episode discussions on the Episode Discussion wiki.
A Doctor thinks this is a good opportunity to earn $1,000 and goes to his clinic.
Doctor: "I have lost my sense of taste."
Engineer: "Nurse, please bring the medicine from box 22 and put 3 drops in the patient's mouth."
Doctor: "This is Gasoline!"
Engineer: "Congratulations! You've got your taste back. That will be $500."
The Doctor gets annoyed and goes back after a couple of days later to recover his money.
Doctor: "I have lost my memory, I cannot remember anything."
Engineer: "Nurse, please bring the medicine from box 22 and put 3 drops in the patient's mouth."
Doctor: "But that is Gasoline!"
Engineer: "Congratulations! You've got your memory back. That will be $500."
The Doctor leaves angrily and comes back after several days, more determined than ever to make his money back.
Doctor: "My eyesight has become weak."
Engineer: "Nurse, please bring the medicine from box 11 and put 3 drops in the patient’s eyes.”
The nurse walks in carrying box #22.
Doctor: "Wait, that’s the box with the gasoline in it!”
Engineer: "Congratulations! You've got your vision back! That will be $500."
Throughout any given day I may receive 0 to 3 tasks via phone, email, IM, and conversation each and typically they can't all be completed in time for the next day. I'm having trouble tracking anything that I've made progress on or am yet to make progress on when the the next day comes around. Do you have any tips to help me be more effective?
I learned recently my senior engineer is leaving and I have been tasked with taking on a lot more of his responsibilities. I am currently a Junior Engineer and this serves as the best opportunity for growth. I have scheduled a meeting with my manager to discuss things going forward with these new changes. With these new added senior level responsibilities, would it be appropriate for me to ask for a promotion and additional compensation for the work I would be doing? If so, what is the best way to approach this situation?
I'd stop messing with the bow and run multiple lines from the stern to multiple tracked vehicles and pull it out the way it went in.
I posed this question to an Automotive Engineer friend of mine over text:
"What's the secret with Japanese motors? I've had a few friends over the years tell that they no longer buy American because the motors don't last beyond 7 years and they seemed to have better luck with Toyota or Honda"
I was amazed at his response because not only was it lengthy and thorough... it was also done entirely via text. I thought some people on this r/ might be interested or maybe enraged with his response so here it is.
"This is a super long conversation to conduct via text. I would disagree in general on that statement, but I realize everyone's experience may be different. For example I sold my '94 Yukon when it was 14 years old with 225k miles. My wife's Fusion that I just gave to my niece was 10 years old with 170k miles.
The trick is to find the power train for any company that have the longest platform life. The longer they use an engine, the more cars they build with it, the more they work the bugs out, and have long term research invested. The fundamental engineering principal to making long life, high quality cars is to change as little as possible.
Change points are the sources of new failures. You can test all you want, but there is no substitute for real world miles. The Japanese companies are masters at not changing things. When it comes to using the same parts over and over again, or same assembly method from car to car, they are the best. There is a Japanese industry word for it 'monozokuri'. I should know, I've lived it for the passed twenty years designing Honda and Toyota products!
If I had to guess, your friends probably drove 4 cylinder or maybe v6 cars. The big3 makes 4 cylinders because the want to round out their portfolio. But really they just want to build v8 engines and sell trucks. That is their money maker. Or crossover trucks with v8s in them. The Chevy v8 is the best engine in history. They originally designed it in 1955 and that same architecture has been carried through to today's Vettes and trucks!
On the flip side, the Japanese have been building 4 cylinders since the 50's due to high gas prices in Japan. The original designs were bought from the British and the Japanese have been perfecting 4 cylinder cars for over a half a century.
The practice of Monozokuri can produce high quality products but the flip side is that if it's carried too far, your product can be perceived as boring. This is why Honda or Toyota could never m
And are you guys happier?
TL;DR is in the bottom of the post.
Once upon a time, in a well known paper mill far away, on a beautiful September morning, the engineering squad was minding its own business running their checkup rounds on the machinery as usual. As we go back to the office after some morning repairs, our dearest enthusiastic manager hits us with:
Manager: “So everybody, good job last quarter but this time, we want to aim higher and break production record per month”
My boss: “Sir, we already produce more than competing paper mills in the region, A THOUSAND TONS MORE”
Manager: “Well you know what they say about setting the bar even higher”
Boss and engineering squad in unison: “But Sir, the machine is already working at max operational speeds, beyond this -“
M:”figure it out”
Now, if yall dont know, there are a few things you never want to make a machine do, one of them is pushing it to the designed limits as you risk various forms of failure and extreme vibration but since management threatened to fire some technicians if we don’t meet their criteria, we complied.
flash forward September 30th we about to hit the record Management is already preparing celebrations, news agencies are on site to report the achievement as the company is considered a pillar in our economy.
Annddd....you probably know what happens next. After over 7 reports from us to management telling them that we are running the mill at a huge risk of a fire and them threatening us with our jobs just so they can brag in front of the CEO, a fire started around the main machine, we lost over 500k$ in equipment and two technicians suffered from 3rd to 1st degree burns.
We get thrown under the bus initially but Upper management finds the reports in an investigation which leads to the managers and industrial engineers to be fired and sued for what they did.
TL;DR: Management wants to overdrive machines for profit, engineers comply knowing the risk, big fire, management gets fired.
Not bragging or anything , but I finally have my Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering and landed a bang ass job here in the US. Started my journey from a third world country so thats something.
I have an amazing salary and its only upwards from here. Just wanted to share. Nothing but good wishes to anyone that reads this.
I get these ridiculous questions all the time. I have fun answering them. I just feel sad because people underestimate our work.
What laughable questions you get about your job?
Can't get back to all the comments, thanks all <3
EDIT: I used HILLS and not MOUNTAINS on purpose lol, c'mon guys I'm not that clueless. Tunnels absolutely do not figure into my question. Thank you everyone for answering this has been enlightening.
EDIT 2: I don't think it has occurred to some browsers of this sub that the people asking these questions have probably considered their own question and come up with hypotheses already. Trust me, I had 2 hours longer to drive and think after I posted the question at a gas station haha. ELI5 has confirmed some of my hypotheses about this and also added many new pieces of information to the puzzle which I am grateful for. Some of you taking time out of your day to say "stupid question" or something along those lines, please don't consider becoming teachers, and go forth in this sub operating under the assumption that a lot of the questions asked here are not just asked out of curiosity, but also just seeking confirmation of hypotheses before going out into the world and spewing BS lol.
From a recent WFP letter to the editor that I thought was worth a read:
In my Letter to the Editor and interview both published in the April 1st Free Press, I talked about my miserable experience in the vaccine line-up last Monday. The point of my letter was that I could see no apparent evidence of process design at our vaccination "supersite." I would be remiss if I didn’t now elaborate on a possible solution.
>April 1 letter
>Vaccine process embarrassing
> I arrived at the RBC Convention Centre at 5:25 p.m. Monday for my 5:40 p.m. vaccination appointment and was shocked to be pointed to a line that went all the way outside to the northeast corner of the building. Even after reaching the front door, I spent another hour inside shuffling in a seemingly endless line as it snaked through all three floors of the convention centre, all uncomfortably close to thousands of others caught in the same dilemma. Weary and feeling overexposed, I finally arrived at the vaccination area on the third floor at 6:45 p.m. It took another 45 minutes of sitting before I got my jab in the arm.
> As an engineer who spent most of my career in business-process design and the optimization of capacity, queues and bottlenecks, it was obvious to me that none of this science was used to set up this "super site." It wasn’t a lack of staffing. There were many friendly faces ready to point us to yet another leg in the line. It was a sheer lack of apparent process thought or design by those responsible. Embarrassing.
First, I need to say that I’ve talked to others who have gone to the RBC Convention Centre for their vaccine. Among the horror stories there are also good stories. To me, this is a sign of a system that is probably out of control. Rapid and random expanding and contracting bottlenecks throughout a process are a sure sign of a system in chaos. I experienced a worst case queue expansion last Monday. Those with a good experience were lucky enough to be there for a queue contraction.
I spent my engineering career in process design. I’ve found that very few managers think about process — or the fact that a process needs to be designed.
The vaccine process is not complicated. There are only really three steps: registration, consent form eval... keep reading on reddit ➡
TL;DR: Last week was British Science Week! We are here to answer any questions any of you have to do with science or technology and how they affect your life. There are no silly questions - ask us anything and we will try to give an easy-to-understand answer and, wherever possible, provide some further sources to enable you to do your own research/reading.
Our goal is simply to advance everyone's understanding of science, engineering and technology and to help people be better informed about the issues likely to affect them and their families.
More info / Longer read: CSES is a registered charity in the UK, founded in 1920. We're a volunteer group of over 250 members and our key strength is our diversity and interdisciplinary expertise. Our members come from a variety of educational, social and economic backgrounds, from industry and academia and a multitude of age groups, representing groups from the millennials all the way to the Silent Generation (our oldest member being 97)!
There has been growing dis-information globally in the last 20 years. Today's global interconnectedness, while being hugely beneficial for making information easily accessible to everyone, has made it ever more difficult to determine 'truth' and who to trust. As an independent charity, not affiliated or biased to any particular group, but with broad knowledge we are here to answer any questions you may have and to hopefully point you to further reading!
Our goal is simply to answer as many of your questions as we can - but we aren't able to give advice on things - sorry! We will also be clear where what we are saying is the experience-based opinion of someone in our team.
CSES will draw from its large pool of volunteers to answer your questions, however the people standing by to answer comments are: