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Homework Help: What do Engineers Read? Homework Assignment

  1. Jun 28, 2012 #1
    I've been given a school assignment that if I were to, hypothetically, gets a story published on an engineering success story, what publication would I choose and why? Although this is a pretend situation, my professor will take no hesitation to fail the assignment if I am unable to provide a sound reason for my publication choices. That means just picking any ole publication that carries an engineering title is out of the question. My professor wants numbers and measurements to support my choices. I tried to go to Google, but to no avail! So I eventually I came to the idea that I should just ask the engineers directly and now my plan is to visit one engineering forum after the next and tally up the trends that I find. To my understanding, the Physics Forum focuses strictly on the academic side, which would prove very useful to my assignment because response may result into insight on popular trade publications. I do take the time to read each forum's rules and regulations before posting a thread. Even after my reading of this forum’s protocols that this message still manages to break one of the terms and conditions, I apologize in advance. I know this topic may not be as fun as the other topics on this forum, but I would really appreciate the assistance. Thank You!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 28, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    What are your thoughts so far? What kind of "engineering success story" can you picture? It would seem that if the application of the engineering was some popular item (like making the first iPad or something), then it could be published just about anywhere, including the popular press. If it were about some more obscure thing (like a new IC fab process that shrinks the current geometry attainable), the publication would be more technical in nature.
  4. Jun 28, 2012 #3
    Any engineering-related journal would be my first place to go. For example, many electrical/computer engineers/scientists publish various papers and stories in the various IEEE publications; mechanical/automotive engineers may consider SAE.

    The thing with both IEEE/SAE (and there's a lot more than just those two, although they are the largest in the world) is that they have an audience of like-minded individuals - and that's what your primary deciding factor should be.
  5. Jul 2, 2012 #4
    Thank you Berkeman and breakthrough for taking the time to reply.

    Addressing Berkeman's question: The story will not be based on a commercial device such as an i pod, but will focus on (as you said) a more technical mechanism that improves some form of operation within a business (e.g. thermal reading sensors that automatically adjust the temperature of a building). The idea does not have to be feasible, but the only feasible process is the media that I choose to publish in.

    All of you guy's contribution have helped me in my quest. Once again thank you.
  6. Jul 3, 2012 #5
    Look for Engineering Institutes (eg Institute of Mechanical Engineers) and look at what magazines / journals they publish.
  7. Jul 12, 2012 #6


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    I think you need to work out why you are publishing the story...

    If you are trying to sell this new device think about which journals/magazines the customer is going to read.

    If the article is about new technology used to design or make the new device then perhaps a journal dedicated to other potential users of that technology rather than customers for the device.

    If you are trying to promote the companies success rather than the device then perhaps even a magazine aimed at potential investors/shareholders.

    I'm not convinced there is a right answer so perhaps give multiple answers. Try and identify key journals in the relevant field and check their circulation figures. Ring them and ask if necessary.

    Perhaps find out which journals your professor reads :-)
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