What it is I do–or How I am like the Borg….

So.. it’s been three weeks since I was last on here–and it has been a hellishly busy three weeks.  My real life job has been inundating me with tons of work–work that is all about writing–which left me absolutely no time or energy to actually do any writing of my own.

It did not, however, keep me from having ideas–and so during this hectic period I made efforts to retain something that I could provide later and that has finally come to fruition in this post.

This is where I let you know what I do.. at least what I do for a living… (I do much more than this, obviously, but it does take up a substantial chunk of my life…)

I teach engineering students how to write and communicate.

This is both a very trying job at times, but also a very fulfilling one too.  Teaching engineers how to communicate with each other and with less technical audiences is probably the most important skill they will need to acquire to have a successful career.  Yes, the technical skills that they have set them apart–but in terms of what employers want–communication skills are always at the top of what is most desired in their employees–as can be seen on page 9 of the NACE Job Outlook 2008 Report

Obviously–as you might imagine–some engineering students are reluctant to embrace this.. and thus it requires my own skills of persuasion to convince them that if they don’t fucking buckle down and listen to what I’m teaching them, that later on their asses are going to be owned by marketing and that their lives will totally suck.

That often does the trick… as does the fact that I let them know that I also have a Bach. of Science in engineering and that I know that they can all do this–because they fucking rule and I’m expecting them to do their duty and take over the world someday…

In any case–a side benefit of this job is that I get to learn about a lot of new things.  By nature, I tend to read a lot on a lot of different topics.. mainly because it is my goal to assimilate and grok everything important about my surroundings so that I can have an intuitive model of what’s going on around me that is more and more accurate.  While this natural proclivity of mine has always led me to explore a number of technical, linguistic, and historical fields–being a technical writing/communications instructor to engineering students in all of the different fields has also given me the chance to read on a fascinating array of technical topics that I would otherwise probably never thought about looking at.

It also pushes me to understand a lot more about the world around me.. and I like this.. a lot.

With that in mind–I’ve included a list of the different proposal titles that my students submitted to me back in late March.  They have since received these back and expanded their research and studies to write technical reports on all of these topics, and it was these documents that I’ve been reading and commenting upon this past week… (they’re each around 10 pages long–single spaced..)

Read these proposal titles to see a brief glimpse–just one semester’s worth–of what a part of the next generation of engineering students is interested in learning about….
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1. Proposal to Research Advancements in Magnesium Production Technologies to Improve Life Cycle Environmental Performance

2. A proposal to Research the Human Factors that Contributed to the Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster

3. A Proposal to Research The Environmental Impacts of the Disposal of E-waste

4. A Proposal to Research and Analyze Failure modes in Metal-on-Metal Hip Resurfacings

5. Proposal to Research the Effects of Phthalate-Esters on Humans in the Developmental Stages

6. A Proposal to Research and Analyze the Viability of Switched-Capacitor DC/DC Converters

7. A Proposal to Research Structure-Property trends in Iron-Based Superconductors

8. A Proposal to Research and Assess the Efficacy of Implantable Devices as Treatment Options for Epilepsy.

9. A Proposal To Research the Effectiveness of FinFET Transistors

10. A Proposal to Research and Evaluate Thin Film Semiconductor Innovations for Solar Cells

11. A Proposal to Research Mitigation Techniques Associated with Produced Water, A Byproduct of Hydraulic Fracturing

12. A Proposal to Research and Assess the Viable Options to Improve Oxidation Resistance of Mo-Si-B Alloys used in Jet Engines

13. A Proposal to Research Viable Options for Low Cost, Rural Drinking Water Treatment

14. A Proposal to Research the Effectiveness of Current Computerized Physician Order Entry Systems

15. A Proposal to Research The Viability of Optical-Electrical Hybrid Computers

16. A Proposal To Research Lean Six Sigma Effectiveness Towards Surgical Capacity of Intensive Care Units

17. A Proposal to Research Corrosion Prevention Methods for Reinforced Concrete Bridges.

18. A Proposal to Research and Evlauate the Most Sustainable In-situ Mining Techniques at Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sands

19. A Proposal to Research and Analyze Different Methods of Solar Energy Storage

20. A Proposal to Research the Lack of Diesel Passenger Vehicles in the US Car Market

21. A Proposal to Research and Assess Organic Photovoltaics as a Potential Future Leader in the Commercialization of Solar Photovoltaic Technologies

22. A Proposal to Research and Assess the Use of an Electrodynamic Dust Shield for Dust Mitigation for Future Missions Beyond Earth.

23. A Proposal to Research and Compare Two Solar Energy Storage Systems: Molten Salt Power Towers and Pumped Hydro Energy Storage

24. A Proposal to Research Polychlorinated Biphenyl Remediation Techniques.

25. A Proposal to Research Roundabout Designs and Performance

26. A Proposal to Research Organic Carbon Source Dentrification Bioreactors for Treating Drainage Effluent

27. A Proposal to Research the Use of Facial Recognition to Identify Criminals

28. Proposal to Research and Assess the Advantages and Disadvantages of RFID Technology Use on Humans

29. A Proposal to Research the Effects of External add-ons to Preexisting PV-Cells to Increase Electrical Conversion Efficiency

30. A Proposal to Research and Assess the Capacity of Human Analogue Devices in the Care of the Elderly

31. A Proposal to Research Sealless Magnetic Drive Pumps: A cost/Benefit Analysis of their Complete Implementation

32. A Proposal to Research and Assess the Viability of Compact Wind Acceleration Turbines as an Alternative Energy Source

33. An Evaluation of the Safety Concerns of Implementing Hydraulic Hybrid Systems in Heavy-Duty Vehicles

34. A Proposal to Research and Assess the Viability of a Device to Limit Over Penetration during Orthopedic Drilling

35. A Proposal to Research the Chemical Composition of Hydraulic Fracturing fluids, Flow Back Fluid Procedures, and Well Integrity.

36. A Proposal to Research and Analyze Autonomous Vehicle Sensor Options

37. A Proposal to Research Hydroelectric Energy Designs

38. Proposal to Further Research on Counteracting Lake Eutrophication in the Yahara Watershed.

39. A Proposal to Research and Assess Software-Based Power Conservation Techniques in Mobile Devices

40. A Proposal to conduct an analysis of Microfluidics and its Important Role in Cell Research and Influence on Disease Treatment

41. A Proposal to Research and Assess Tissue-Engineered Methods of Bone Repair

42. A Proposal to Research Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Iraq and Afghan War Veterans and the Barriers They Face to Receiving Care

43. A Proposal to Research the Best Possible Implementation of Standardized Dam Regulations

44. Proposal to Assess Hexavalent Chromium Sanctions in the United States and Analzye Current Alternatives for Corrosion Control Applications

45. A Proposal to Research Communication Issues in Health Care and the Influence of the Implementation of Patient Care Information Systems

46. Proposal to Research Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing

47. A proposal to Improve Earthquake Engineering of Structures in Turkey

48. A Proposal to Research and Assess Corrosion and Reprocessing in the Thorium Molten Salt Reactor

49. A Proposal to Investigate Efficiency of Organic Solar Cells and How to Improve It.

50. Assessment of Efficiency Enhancement via Multiple Exciton Generation in Quantum Dot Photovoltaics

51. Alternative Methods for Biodiesel Production

52. My Proposal to Research the Best Methods for Ensuring Privacy in Radio Frequency Identification Transmitters

53. A Proposal to Research the Effectiveness, Safety, and Future of Coal Fly Ash Implementation in Industry.

54. Proposal to Research the Use of Banana Peels to Treat Indutrial Wastewater

55. A Proposal to Research and Analzye the Characteristics of Running Shoes.

56. A Proposal to Research Disinfection Byproducts Asssociated with Chlorination of Drinking Water

57. A Proposal to ResearchViable Chemical Pretreatment Options for Lignocellulosic Biomass at High Solids Concentrations

58. A Proposal for Research: Evaluation of Sulfur Removal Methods in Coal-Fired Power Plants

59. A Proposal to Research Floating Offshore Wind Platform Design Options

60. A Proposal to Research Failed Implementations of the Toyota Way
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About Prof. Woland

I contain multitudes. Come meet us.
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