Napkin Diagrams

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Category Archives: Engineering

Dream Job or Career Hell: Top 200 Job Ratings 2010

Now that the New Jersey Collegiate Career Day has come and gone, with opportunities in all manner of fields (although fewer presented for engineering that one would have hoped), it would be interesting to look at how people rank various positions. Have the once highly sought after careers retained their crown, or is the public opinion changing? A recent survey published by aims to shed some light on the matter.
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Pressure Drops In Pipes: Part 1, Basics

Stack of Pipes

A a fluid flows through a pipe, it will experience a natural pressure drop due to several factors. Friction is a major player, which itself involves flow velocity, pipe dimensions, and possibly internal pipe roughness. Height changes across the length of a pipe also contribute to pressure drops. Any and all fittings, coupling, et cetera will account for a part of any drops as well, although less so than the former two. Pressure drop can be related to head loss, a way of measuring the energy drop, with Equation 1, where ΔP is pressure drop, ρ is fluid density, g is gravity, and Δh is height difference.
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The Engineering Code of Ethics

Ethics play a major role in every engineer’s life. Being an application driven discipline, one in which people will deal directly with the end products and processes, following such a code is essential for safety and success. While obtaining a professional engineering license is a symbol of commitment to these ethics, and indeed to the highest standard in all aspects of engineering, it does not mean that the unlicensed are free to do as they wish. In fact, each particular field has their own established code that all must follow, from the recent grad to the senior member.
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Get a Job, You Lazy Bum!

Career Fair Attendees
Are you a college student or graduate? Are you in or around New Jersey? Do you find yourself often saying to a roommate, “We’ve got no food, no jobs… our pet’s HEADS ARE FALLING OFF“? Well, cheer up, buckaroo. It’s almost the 2010 and with that comes new opportunities:

The New Jersey Collegiate Career Day

When: Thursday, January 7, 2010 — 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where: Rutgers University, New Brunswick (Map + Directions) — Brower Commons & Student Center
Parking: Rutgers Athletic Center, Livingston Campus — 83 Rockafeller Rd, Piscataway, NJ (Map + Directions)
(shuttles will be running from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Attire: Business. No backpacks, etc.

More info and employer lists after the jump.
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Crossing the Atlantic: The Nina, the Pinta, and the Rutgers Slocum Glider

The Rutgers Slocum Glider

This week marked the end of an epic journey for one little sea vessel, built by Rutgers undergraduate students and NSF RIOS summer interns, across the Atlantic ocean. After 255 long days, the Slocum glider arrived in Cape Touriñán, Galicia, Spain. It made it completely intact, carrying data and a little barnacle buildup. It crossed the 3,308 miles, collecting temperature, salinity and ocean depth, using nothing but a battery and ocean currents, which is quite an impressive feat.

Way to go Rutgers! Now, just imagine if all of that stadium money went into endeavors like this.

Project home page with more information
Rutgers University Coastal Ocean Observation Lab

Application for F.E. / EIT (in NJ)

In an earlier post, I gave a general overview what it takes to get a Professional Engineer’s Licence. This is a quick follow-up to discuss the Fundamentals Exam application in New Jersey.

The New Jersey State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyor handles registration, testing, and licensing for the state. Their website has a bunch of pages and pdfs, but doesn’t give much insight into what each are beyond their titles, so one has to check each one manually.

Typical Test Times: April, October
Typical Application Deadlines: December, July

Important Bits:

  • Application Fees and Exam Dates — You’re going to want to check this first. It’ll give you relevant exam dates, how much it will cost, and most importantly, when you need to have everything submitted by.
  • The F.E. / Engineer-In-Training Application — This is the application itself, served up as a pdf. You’ve got to print it out and physically send it in to the board by the appropriate date. It says that responses must be typewritten. Unfortunately, the editable text boxes in the pdf were not done properly to align with the given line layouts, so you’ll have to manually make adjustments.

Items You’ll Need:

  • Photo ID — Portrait taken within the past 6 months. Larger than 0.25in wide
  • Certified Check or Money Order — The Application fee has to be sent in with the form as one of these methods. You’ll have to go to the bank for this. Regular checks, cash, and credit cards are not accepted.
  • Three (3) References — These can be peers, professors, co-workers, etc. However, one of these must be a currently licensed Professional Engineer in the U.S. and know of your experience. Take note that most professors are not licensed, so finding a suitable reference can be difficult for those just starting out.
  • Social Security Number
  • Official Transcript — This one will be done after you get your application number sent to you. Your university will need to send an official transcript, with the application number, directly

NJ Board Contact Info
Contact: Arthur Russo
Phone: (973) 504-6460
124 Halsey Street, Third Floor
Newark, NJ 07102

The Professional Engineer License: What is it and why would you want one?

Engineering, like many other professions, has a registration and licensing system in place. This is to ensure that certain standards and regulations are met. Safety and quality would be difficult to maintain if under-qualified people were engineering all willy-nilly, except in the case of a British dystopia, when rogue heating engineers are needed to fight the oppression.

Not all engineers need to obtain a professional engineer’s (P.E.) licence, and in fact, many aren’t. One can get by without it, working under a P.E, however career growth and abilities will be limited. A P.E. is required for such things as signing off on designs, dealing with government contracts, and running a firm or freelancing. In addition to the direct benefits, the licence will open up career opportunities, allow for further progress up the business ladder, garner a higher salary, and further set one apart from one’s peers. Therefore, in industry, it is a very good thing to have.

The process to achieve this status is long and difficult. The generall path is:

  1. Graduate from an ABET accredited college or university and obtain a B.S. in engineering.
  2. Pass the Fundamentals Exam, sometimes known as the Engineer-In-Training exam
  3. Work for several years under the supervision of a P.E.
  4. Pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam of the desired field

The first time pass rates for the F.E. and P.E. are around 75% (source), but it is not uncommon for a hopeful to take either multiple times to succeed. Exams are held twice a year — mid-April and mid October.

In the United States, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) oversees all of this. Each state, however, handles their own certification, which brings up two issues. The first is that, while some states will except licences obtained in others, a licence is generally valid only in one particular state. If a P.E. moves, he will need to get re-licensed in the new state. The other problem is that some states have more confusing websites and applications than others. The New Jersey F.E. application in particular will be discussed in a later post.

Do you have your P.E. licence? What were the deciding factors in getting it (or not)? Tell us in the comments!