Friday, January 19, 2007


After months of working on a new project, I had my first real event on Wednesday. My job in this project is to set up and guide periodic reviews of a 3D ship design. The models are provided by the shipyards to the Navy, and it is my responsibility to make sure that all of the Navy's technical experts are reviewing these models, making comments, and engaging in productive dialog with the yards. That is my primary duty - there are additional elements, like maintaining the design review schedule, liaising with between my counterparts at the yard and the Navy's design managers regarding any non-technical issues, and to some degree supervising my 3 counterparts, since I am the senior engineer in the group.

We haven't been very busy since we started late last fall, since the design reviews hadn't started yet. But my first set are next week, so this week was the start of the actual review process. It has been somewhat challenging. The process is distributed, with reviewers all over the country accessing the models and logging their comments. And many of the more senior engineers are simply not familiar with working with virtual, 3D ship designs. They have been using paper 2D plans for decades, and the change has been difficult. So I am now actually busy, fielding calls from all over, walking engineers through file trees, software functionality, and online file portals. Not really my area of expertise, but I know it well enough to get the job done. I also get to log my own technical issues, so some of the time I actually get to be an engineer, instead of IT and secretarial support. So that is a welcome change from the recent slow months.

Unfortunately, the reawakening of my enjoyment of engineering came a little too late; I missed the deadlines for taking the Ship Design Professional Engineering Exam. I've put reminders on my calendar so I don't miss it again next year. Along with the review course, it will make me a better engineer; arguably, a decent one. It also sets me up for a pay bump.

For humor: Beware the Milky Pirate (via enjanerd).


Kelly said...

Your project sounds very interesting. It must be great to be the engineer some of the time!

For those senior engineers, why did you choose not to supply them with the 2D designs? Are they young enough in the business where learning the 3D is worth your time and effort?

Enjoy your projects, and enjoy becoming that strong engineer you are working so diligently to be! And good luck on the next ship design exam, whenever it may be.

Christopher said...

I love that video! Thank you for finding it, enjanerd.