Hello BfT fans! As promised, I am blogging the contents of Episode 18 and some links that might interest you. For this episode, I have interviewed Dr. Arkadiusz Goszczak, Engineering Faculty professor at University of Southern Denmark (SDU). The blog format is a bit different this month, because Arkadiusz has taken the time to work on a special treat for us! Let’s think of it as a kind of Holiday Season gift. In his own words, Arkadiusz tells us about some links and TED Talks that he thinks are great ideas for future, and even current engineers!
Arkadiusz and I spoke a lot about the many applications of Engineering degrees as well the ways the Engineering applications contribute to good causes.
Extra link: The First Job Guarantee at SDU offers students great opportunities once they finish their degree.
Extra link: Like Doctors without borders, Engineers without Borders unites engineers who want to join forces and tackle problems in different countries.
Extra link: Engineering ToolBox is a useful website for engineers with resources, tools and information about engineering.
Extra link: Readers who are curious about micro- and nanotechnology and want to have an idea of where all the technologies we have nowadays start, they can visit the VR tour SDU has made of the facilities at SDU Sønderborg.
Book One: Non-Fiction
Written by: Thomas Erikson
Published by: St. Martin’s Essentials
Book Two: Fiction
This month: Neuromancer
Written by: William Gibson
Published by: Penguin Classics
TED Talks: Arkadiusz tells us why he has selected these videos on TED Talks.
We often perceive that failure is bad. What we do not consider especially in engineering is that we have what we have today, and we are where we are today because many have failed in the past! Many, if not all the technological advances we have are because there were and still are people out there trying things to see if they could work. By failing we learn a lot, we change our approaches, methods, tools, thinking, and views: We learn to adapt to overcome obstacles and hence find better solutions to the problems we are called to solve. This talk by Rick can motivate and change the perspective of what is failure:
I personally do not believe that there should be any limits on what a person decides to study. Unfortunately, we see it even nowadays that engineering studies are mainly dominated by males. Debbie addresses this matter very nicely as she recounts her steps toward becoming an engineer.
I have had some of my colleagues while studying, some students while teaching and even nowadays coming to me and saying that they do not see themselves fitting, feeling that they cannot perform as the rest, feeling inferior compared to the rest of the group. Adapting to a new environment (studying or working) without demeaning yourself can be difficult to many and I think this talk could be helpful to some broadening the point of view and ideas. A very nice quote from the talk is “…one’s disability is the refusal to adapt…”.
Additional reads recommended by Arkadius, with his explanations as to why he thinks they are worth reading!
By David McRaney
This book I think can provide some alternative ways of thinking and causes some to question their beliefs towards their intelligence. It is a book for many to view how certain patterns in our daily lives are wired, and provide a better understanding of why we do what we do. The “Aha” moment for some.
By Don Norman
As engineers we always tackle the problem, no matter how nasty it looks. An engineer will simply fix a problem, but a GOOD engineer will take into consideration the usability, comfort, applicability, and aesthetics. A good read for engineers to alter the way they problem solve and to begin taking product design into consideration.
Angels and Demons (Audio Book)
By Dan Brown and Richard Poe
Something to relax the brains of engineers. This book fascinated me because apart from its thrilling story it includes some science that is described in a realistic manner.
By Randall Munroe
A hilarious read for engineers and scientists. Randal Munroe, who used to work in NASA, created the webcomic “XKCD”. In this book he essentially provides scientifically sound answers to some wild hypothetical questions such as, “What would happen if everyone on Earth stood as close to each other as they could, jumped, and then landed on the ground at the same instant?”
I hope you enjoyed this very special post and I really hope that you take the time to explore Arkadiusz’s suggestions! Until next time, take care!