Joined: Oct. 2007
I run the undergraduate labs for a small college Engineering Physics department. Basically a technician. Most of what I do is engineering. I work with scientists from Biology, Chemistry, Physics (of course) and even from Psychology in designing and building their experiments. One week I will be working on making some bio-pulverizers for a Biology lab, another week I will be designing and building a set of apparatus for radio-carbon dating using lasers, another day I will be helping a student design and build a controller unit for a CNC mini-mill, another week I will be helping a Psychology professor design a method for measuring the "anxiety" of a passenger in a car, another time I will working on a radio tracking system for some endangered turtles, to name a few... far too often I have to fix equipment that professors have wrecked because they didn't know what they were doing. Sometimes I get the time to work on my own projects.
I really love this job. I doubt I would have the freedom or variety in a larger college or university that keeps this job interesting. It is kinda like I get paid to fix, design, and build machines and apparatus. To me, it is as if I get paid to do my hobby. If I had independent means I would do the job for free.
I don't now, and never have, bought in to any part of the argument regarding design. Far from it. I see a heckuvalot more 'evolution' in the design process of the things I make and work with than I do of any sort of external 'information.' Equating the design process and the evolutionary process is not a good analogy for either but there is far more similarity and things I can learn from the evolutionary process and apply it to designs than can be done the other way around.
What is difficult for me to understand is how some engineers can not see the similarities as I do.
Being laughed at doesn't mean you're progressing along some line. It probably just means you're saying some stupid shit -stevestory