Tag Archives: engineering

Engineer Jokes

Engineer FlowchartEngineering is a line of work where mistakes can be costly on many levels. You would think engineers are a serious bunch of people, but there are an awful lot of engineer jokes out there. Here is a list of some of my favorite engineer jokes. Feel free to share yours in the comments if you have a good one.

Definition of an engineer: Someone who solves a problem you didn’t know you had, in a way you don’t understand.

Engineering is all about laziness in the name of better life.

Arguing with an engineer is a lot like wrestling in the mud with a pig. After a few hours, you realize that he enjoys it.

Q: Why do computer engineers get Halloween and Christmas mixed up?

A: Because 31OCT = 25DEC.

An engineer is a fellow that takes a measurement with a micrometer, marks it with a crayon,
and cuts it with an axe.

During the French Revolution, three men were condemned to the guillotine. One was a preacher, one was a doctor, and the third was an engineer. When the preacher approached the deadly machine, he requested to be beheaded while lying on his back so that he could die while looking into Heaven. The doctor and the engineer thought that to be a good idea and requested the same. As the blade plunged down the track toward the preacher, it suddenly stopped just short of the man’s neck. The executioner declared it an Act of God and let the man go free. The same thing happened to the doctor. As the engineer laid his head back in place he suddenly said, “Oh wait! I see the problem!”

The optimist sees the glass as half full. The pessimist sees the glass as half empty. The engineer sees the glass as twice as big as it needs to be.

Q: What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers, Civil Engineers and Chemical Engineers?
A: Mechanical Engineers build weapons; Civil Engineers build targets. Chemical Engineers are engineers that build targets that explode really well.

A wife asks her engineer husband, “Could you please go shopping for me and buy one carton of milk, and if they have eggs, get 6!”
A short time later the husband comes back with six cartons of milk.
The wife asks him, “Why in the world would did you buy 6 cartons of milk?”
He replied, “They had eggs.”

Q: What’s the difference between a chemical engineer and a chemist?
A: A chemical engineer does for profit what a chemist does for fun.

A programmer and an engineer were sitting next to each other on an airplane. The programmer leans over to the engineer and asks if he wants to play a fun game. The engineer just wants to be left alone, so he politely declines, turns away, and tries to sleep.

The programmer continues to pester the engineer. “C’mon, it’s a real easy game. I ask a question and if you don’t know the answer you pay me $5. Then you ask me a question and if I don’t know the answer I’ll pay you $5.” Again, the engineer declines and tries to sleep.

The programmer really wants to play the game and says, “OK, if you don’t know the answer, you pay me $5, and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll pay you $50!”

The engineer grins and agrees to play. The programmer asks the first question, “What is the distance from the earth to the moon?”

The engineer doesn’t say a word and just hands the programmer $5.

The engineer asks the programmer, “What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down on four?” The programmer looks thoughtful, takes out his laptop and starts to surf the net for the answer. After an hour he wakes the engineer to hand him $50. The engineer takes the money, turns away, and tries to go back to sleep.

The programmer asks, “Well? What’s the answer to the question?”

Without a word, the engineer reaches into his wallet, hands $5 to the programmer.

A group of physicists and a group of engineers were travelling by train. Each physicist had their own train ticket while the engineer group had only ONE ticket for all of them. The physicists started laughing, figuring the engineers were going to get caught and thrown off the train.

One engineer spots the conductor coming and they all duck into the bathroom. The physicists were puzzled.

The conductor came aboard, said, “Tickets, please,” and got tickets from all the physicists. He then went to the bathroom and knocked on the door and said, “Ticket, please.” The engineers stuck the ticket under the door. The conductor took it and moved on. A few minutes later, the engineers came out of the bathroom. The physicists felt really stupid.

On the return trip, the physicists decide they should try the engineer’s scam. They bought one ticket for the whole group. They met up with the engineers in the same car.

The physicists all smile and wave their lone ticket.  This time, the engineers have no ticket. One engineer nods towards the door between cars and says, “Conductor coming!”. The engineers sat back as all the physicists locked themselves into the bathroom.

After a moment, one engineer knocks on the bathroom door and says, “Ticket, please.”

A physicist, a mathematician and an engineer were each asked to establish the volume of a red rubber ball.
The physicist immersed the ball in a beaker full of water and measured the volume of the displaced fluid.
The mathematician measured the diameter and calculated a triple integral.
The engineer looked it up in his Red Rubber Ball Volume Table.

Most people believe “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

Engineers believe “If it ain’t broke, add more features!”

Two engineering students were walking across a university campus when one said, “Where did you get such a great bike?”

The second engineer replied, “Well, I was walking along yesterday, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike, threw it to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, “Take what you want.”
The first engineer nodded approvingly and said, “Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn’t have fit you anyway.”

Physics Homework Tips – What Every Student Should Know

Empty Classroom

Once class is out, you’re on your own for homework. Don’t panic. Here is a few tips to make homework easier for physics (and engineering) students.Credit: Anthony J. Bentley/Creative Commons

Homework isn’t anyone’s favorite pastime. It’s something all students have to do at one time or another. While you may not enjoy it, homework is a beneficial part of learning physics. If you’re not careful, you may start to really understand the concepts you heard about during your lectures. Now that you have your work in front of you and everything else away from you, here are a few tips to help get through your problem sets.

Don’t procrastinate.
The first shock many first year students receive is the first homework assignment. Your instructor wrote a list of problems maybe 15 long, and half of them were odd numbered. Odd numbered questions usually have answers in the back, so how hard can this be? Then you were told you would have over a week before they are due. If you are like most people, you will immediately file their homework in the ‘do later’ category and forget about it until the night before it’s due. Then you discover that nearly all of those questions have multiple parts that require correct answers from the first part. Your 15 problem assignment is actually closer to a 30-40 problem assignment. What do you do now? You hopefully just learned your first hard earned physics lesson: Do NOT wait until the last moment to start.

Lose the distractions.
When you do begin to work on your assignment, work somewhere where you will not be distracted. Turn off the TV, computer, phone or anything else that may break your concentration. You’ll find you learn a lot more when you are paying attention to the task at hand.

Write down what you know.
List your variables and write down their given variables. This helps prevent casual use of a variable that could have two meanings. For example, d is often used as ‘distance’ but could also be a ‘diameter’. Listing your variables helps avoid this.

Sketch a diagram of the problem.
No one says you have to be an artist, but a clear, accurately labelled illustration can help you visualize the problem and drawing the figure can help formulate the problem in your mind. Draw to scale if possible, label your variables, and include the values you know.

Choose your coordinate system wisely.
Align your coordinates along a path where some quantities will equal zero or variables will cancel out, reducing what you need to calculate. Also choose a coordinate system appropriate for your type of problem. Linear motion? Cartesian coordinates may be your best bet. Angular motion? Radial coordinates. 3D field equations? Spherical coordinates. Choose the system that helps avoid unnecessary calculations.

Watch your vectors.
One of the most common errors in a physics homework problem is forgetting a vector is a number AND a direction. This error typically manifests itself as a sign error. Make sure your directions coincide with your coordinate system.

Use approximations.
Occasionally your problem can be simplified by approximations. The mass of a single electron doesn’t really matter when comparing to the mass of a desk. For this type of situation, treat the mass of the electron as zero. Another common approximation is sin(θ) ≈ θ for small angles (less than 3°).

Save numerical calculations until the end.
Work the dimensionless part of the problem first. Plug in any numerical values for variables once you have your answer in a simple formula. This will save needless calculator work and help prevent simple math errors.

Check your units.
Nothing can ruin your day faster than calculating an answer only to get it wrong because your units don’t match. Make sure all your units are the same across the problem.

Check your answer.
Plug your answer back into the original equation. Does your answer balance your equations?
Also, check to see if your answer makes sense. It sounds silly, but if your solution’s velocity are faster than the speed of light or the distance between planets is only 30 kilometers, maybe that should tell you something.

Final Bonus Tip: Pay attention in class.
Your instructor did not pick the assorted problems because they were easy to grade. It is more likely they closely follow what you should have learned during the lectures. If you picked up on the concepts from class, your homework should be much easier.

Homework is a large part of the process of understanding any topic. Why make it more difficult than it has to be? These physics homework tips should help you with your homework assignments and make learning physics easier.