Understanding Engineers

Taken from the issue 110 of Australian Model Engineer:
Understanding Engineers
Take 1 - To the optimist the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the
glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it
needs to be.
Take 2 - Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Engineers believe that if it ain't broke it doesn't have enough
features yet.
Take 2 - What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil
Engineers? Mechanical Engineers build weapons; Civil Engineers build
Courtesy the Editor David Proctor
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There's a UK version too...
Take 1 - To the optimist the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the
needs to be heading towards the bar.
the Mechanical engineer it needs taking apart to see why it's still working after the aeronautical engineer designed it.
calculate bolt stresses to the nearest .01%, the civil engineer will employ a contractor with a 2 foot spanner and bury it in concrete, and a mechanical engineer will tighten it up just right (on the basis that it'll rust solid shortly anyway and won't come off)
In message , GeoffH writes
Reply to
Martin Akehurst
Not exactly on the same topic, but this thread reminds me of an engineering joke;
Three engineers are driving in a car a chemical engineer, a mechanical engineer and a computer engineer
The car breaks down
The chemical engineer blames the petrol, and suggests that they send a sample of the fuel for analysis
The mechanical engineer suggests that the engine has a fault and they should strip it down to find the problem
The computer engineer suggests they wind up the windows, get out of the car, close the doors, wait a moment, get back in and try it again.
Reply to
Kevin Steele
Here's a more thorough article with the same title. Again, I don't know whose material this is so I pass it along here uncredited. Claim it if it is yours or if you just want to impress your friends 8>):
Understanding Engineers - Take One
Two engineering students crossing the 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. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want." "The second engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."
Understanding Engineers - Take Two
To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
Understanding Engineers - Take Three
A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!" The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude!" The pastor said, "Hey, here comes the greens keeper. Let's have a word with him." "Hi George! Say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?" The greens keeper replied, "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind firefighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime." The group was silent for a moment. The pastor said,"That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight." The doctor said, "Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them." The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"
Understanding Engineers - Take Four
What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers? Mechanical Engineers build weapons and Civil Engineers build targets.
Understanding Engineers - Take Five
The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?" The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?" The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?" The graduate with an Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"
Understanding Engineers - Take Six
Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body. One said, "It was a mechanical engineer." Just look at all the joints." Another said, "No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections. " The last one said, "Actually it was a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?"
Understanding Engineers - Take Seven
An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress. The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship. The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because the passion and mystery he found there. The engineer said, "I like both." Both?" "Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the lab and get some work done."
Understanding Engineers - Take Eight
An engineer was crossing a road one-day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess." He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week." The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket. The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want." Again the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket. Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, and that I'll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?" The engineer said, "Look, I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that's cool."
Reply to
David W
I like the old one:
An engineer is someone who uses a slide rule to multply 2 by 2, gets an answer of 3.9 and calls it 4 for all practical purposes.
Most of you youngsters won't understand this!
Reply to
Henry Springer
An engineeer, a physicist, and a philosopher are stranded on a desert island; all they have rescued from the sinking ship is a large supply of cans of baked beans, and no can opener.
The engineer looks at the problem for a few seconds, puts a can of beans on a large rock, gets another rock and smashes the can open. He loses 1/4 of the contents as the can splits open, but he has a good meal.
The physicist thinks for a bit longer, finds a nice sharp stone, calculates forces & angles for a bit, then strikes the can with the stone, at the right angle and with the right force to slice the can open.
The philosopher sits cross-legged, contemplating a can for several days, and getting ravenous in the process. At last, after much deliberation, inspiration comes to him and he says "Aha! We will start by assuming that the can is open..."
Regards, Tony
Reply to
Tony Jeffree
When I originally heard that, it was an engineer, a physicist and an economist. The punch line was "assume a can-opener".
Reply to
Darren J Longhorn

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