Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Complaint Pretend Engineers

  1. Feb 7, 2010 #1
    There seems to be a never ending slew of them with their 'inventions' - i.e. poorly labeled drawings with nothing more than a "I guess it will work" to back it up. To be honest, I am getting sick-and-tired of these never ending bad ideas littered all over the engineering forums. Just like the independent research, I ask there be strict guidelines for these nonsense threads.

    If you have an invention:

    -a: have very detailed drawings with clear labels and 3-view
    -b: have some background as to why you invented it, and what current ideas are to solve the problem

    -c: what kind of a patent search did you do?
    -d: what engineering analysis have you done so far?

    This is very basic stuff any undergraduate engineer should know. These threads are appallingly bad.

    Don't post your half brained inventions here and call it engineering - its a joke.

    Edit: Also, stop asking for magic software that will design a space shuttle for you. No such software exists.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2010 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    As much as it pains me to say it, I agree with Cyrus.

    In the Physics portion of the website, there is a quality standard that is met and there is no real debate anymore as to whether or not to allow postings that are trying to put forward a new idea or concept. It has it's own forums (or does it even have that anymore? IR forums) and speculative posts are quickly deleted. It seems like Cyrus is just asking for a similar quality standard for the engineering section.

    I dont take part in the engineering forum but it seems like the beef is with a quality of postings that are already banned in the physics portion. If it's anything more then that, I'm not in a position to recognize it.

    That's my $.25 (inflation)
  4. Feb 7, 2010 #3
    It's really quite simple. If you post a HW question, there is a minimum level of effort you must show.

    The same should be true for these 'inventors'.
  5. Feb 7, 2010 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Please, let's stay with the OP about the quality of posts in the engineering forum.
  6. Feb 7, 2010 #5
    Raymers website really sums up what I'm saying quite well.


    Note: STEP ONE. The majority of people posting their stuff here are not even past the very first step.
  7. Feb 7, 2010 #6
    I haven't seen much of this in the EE section. Once in a while someone will post something extraordinary, but that doesn't in anyway reduce credibility of the genuinely good threads. At worst the thread won't get answered, at best other posters will explain to the OP the errors with the argument. Threads that require too much deciphering also go unanswered.

    If this is that of a big deal, I certainly vote for catapulting Cyrus to a mentor status and start cleaning this up, as long he takes care of the EE section.
  8. Feb 7, 2010 #7


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    The simple fact is that this forum is open to all and not just degreed engineers, so it isn't surprising we get such undeveloped ideas. It isn't reasonable to put up guidelines that essentially require people be degreed engineers before they can even post.
  9. Feb 7, 2010 #8
    I see far too many 'inventors' thinking this is the 'come here to have free engineering analysis done for you forums'.

    Most people fail to do even the most basic, zeroth order analysis on their ideas. I have to argue, if they cannot do even basic analysis, they are not doing engineering: they are flying by the seat of their pants and should be posting in an inventors sub-forum. This is, after all, an engineering sub-forum they are posting to.

    The scary thing is the number of engineering students that post looking for software to do things for them but don't have an iota of what goes on behind the different packages in terms of methodologies or numerical precision. Even graduate students asking for help instead of looking through books or Journal papers! (Don't you people have an advisor!?) I see a ton of bad habits in posts.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
  10. Feb 7, 2010 #9


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It seems to me that the mandate for this sub forum needs to possibly be better-defined before anyone can start assigning boundaries about what's acceptable. I say "possible" because it is not taken as granted that there is anything wrong with the current mandate.

    So: is the current mandate of this subforum well-defined? And is it allowing a disservice to occur?
  11. Feb 7, 2010 #10
    The question is, is the engineer forums a place to discuss engineering, or a place for people to come and have engineering done for them. As I see it, it is currently the latter. No one discusses engineering. It's constantly I have to build this, I need to calculate that, do it for me! Now! Give me software! And there is the problem that people constantly post in general engineering what should be mechanical or aerospace engineering. Most of the threads are so pathetic, they last about two or three replies before the OP leaves because no one did their work for them. They don't have any meat to them.
  12. Feb 8, 2010 #11


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    So, if the latter were eliminated, would the forum automagically fill up with engineering discussions?

    It seems to me that the crux of the problem is, not two-pronged, but merely one-pronged. i.e.: engineers are not discussing engineering.
  13. Feb 8, 2010 #12
    I think thats true, and its also a problem due to a lack of engineers to discuss anything.
  14. Feb 8, 2010 #13


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    So, the only question then becomes:

    Is the current signal-to-noise ratio of the Engineering fora causing Engineers - who might otherwise come and participate - to stay away?
  15. Feb 8, 2010 #14


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What in the world would you talk about though? I have no idea what I would talk about if I were to discuss engineering. For the most part, this sounds no different from the physics forums. Most of the time people come to the other forums to ask for clarification about a lesson, a homework question, or something along those lines. Very rarely do people come in and ask a question about physics, like about current physics research, without an underlying motive.
  16. Feb 8, 2010 #15
    Are you kidding me? Current work people are doing, interesting engineering projects going on around the world in various areas. Technical challenges they are facing, and similarities to past historical projects. I could talk for hours upon hours about aerospace engineering simply from a historical perspective, because I take the time to read as many books on the subject as I can (not textbooks, but aircraft program overviews).

    There was actually a very good thread here: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=361796

    where people were sharing books, links, and NASA papers on the topic. I am going to finish one of the books discussed in the thread by Fred tomorrow (Lockheed Stealth by Sweetman). It was one of a very few damn interesting threads.
  17. Feb 8, 2010 #16


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I choose to ignore 'invention' threads. I have yet to see one worthy of any effort on my part. I agree a lucent explanation of the concept and approach might pique interest. Ignoring poorly constructed ideas requires no investment of time or energy.
  18. Feb 8, 2010 #17


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    No, I'm not kidding. I really have little interest in such discussions myself. Most people that come to this website do so under the guise that it is a site that aids in the teaching and learning of physics and by extension mathematics and engineering. Even in the namesake forums I rarely see physics discussions except maybe in the more specialized forums like Quantum or Astrophysics. Certainly my own disinterest is not an indication of other engineers at large but I do not think that the majority of those that are drawn to this site come here for the reasons you would like. I agree with Dave's earlier assertion that the lack of discussions of interest to you is not due to the overabundance of chaff in the forums but rather with a lack of willing participants. You would probably have better luck if you restricted such expectations to the more specialized forums like the aeronautical forum.
  19. Feb 8, 2010 #18
    So that we are on the same page, do you mean a forum dedicated specifically to aeronautics, or the aerospace sub-forum of PF?

    But also, I add, that these two types of discussion are not mutually exclusive because it ties in real world engineering with the theory. :smile:
  20. Feb 8, 2010 #19


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I believe it is generally understood (or at least, assumed) that the theoretical sciences of PF (physics and math etc. fora) have reattracted many professionals because it has been so dedicated to discarding the chaff. PF was not always so high quality.

    If the Engineering Forum followed the same principle, it should draw Engineers back.

    This is what I'm expecting Cyrus to say.
  21. Feb 8, 2010 #20


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Ugh. I agree completely. Unfortunately I think there's nothing we can do about this, especially in an area that does have a degree of conceptualization, i.e. preliminary design. I have complained about the overly speculative posts by even degreed engineers that has been happening (and seems to have died off a bit). I think the best we can do is to keep checking the education levels of the people posting and if they should know better, then to hammer away at them. Perhaps we just haven't established the proper atmosphere in the engineering side.

    There are a lot of times I wish I could show what I work on but I just plain can't. We have very tight control over our designs/methods, even what we can have pictures taken of. I am even weary of posting pictures of what our public work has been. It's just that kind of environment my company and business sector operate in. I am sure other people are in the same boat.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook