Engineering 10 Chp.14 TechCommunication Bruce Mayer, PE Licensed Electrical & Mechanical EngineerBMayer@ChabotCollege.edu
¿¿Class QUESTION?? What can HUMANS do FAR BETTER than Any other Species on the Planet Earth? COMMUNICATE
Why Engineering Communication • Engineers must communicate with each other • Engineers must communicate with nonengineers • Engineers must communicate technical Information • Engineers must communicate EFFECTIVELY
Why Engineering Comm cont • Surveys of Employers about the needs or skills for employees • Written And Oral Communication Is Always Near the Top Of The List • c.f. §4.11 in the Text...Employees should Demonstrate EXCELLENT Communication Skills • COMMUNICATION is always a rating Criteria used by College Recruiters • The Instructor Partially Rated College Recruits On Communication Skills
Why Engineering Comm cont • Your work as an engineer usually results in a DOCUMENT or a PRESENTATION as well as a “BluePrint” or device or product • If you are Senior Engineer, Expect to Spend 20-40% of Time on Comm Issues • Engineers prepare memos, reports, emails, proposals, technical articles, procedures, presentations, project reviews, Speak at Meetings, . . .
Class Exercise → White Board • Can you Think of Some Professions that are Known for Communication Skills? (e.g., Actors, Politicians) • ? • ? • ? • ? • ?
Good Communicators • Some Good Communicators • Actors, TV & Radio “Personalities” • Public Office Holders • Attorneys • “Leaders” of ANY Kind • “Writers” of all Kinds • Teachers & Professors • Should Engineers Be On this List?
Engineers as Communicators? • Should Engineers Be on the Good-Communicator List? • Answer for the Stereotype is NO • Answer from some people in industry is NO • Reality: YES, some of the BEST communicators are ENGINEERS • e.g., Mr. Murillo, Ms. Tazir, etc. • Q: Why/How Does the Practice of Engineering Develop Comm Skills?
Engineers as Communicators? • A: Engineers must present material that is Difficult to understand & comprehend • Makes The Job Of Achieving Effective Communication isa Process That Requires SKILL and EFFORT
Communication Forms • Documents → TECHNICAL WRITING • Formal Reports – Design Specs, Project Bids/Proposals, Test Reports • Publications Journal Articles, Books • Patent Applications • Instructions and Procedures • In Small Firms Engineers will Write the Entire Instruction Manual • Formal Letters • Internal communication – Memos, eMails
Communication Forms cont. • Talks → TECHNICAL PRESENTATIONS • Formal PowerPoint Presentations • Informal Group Presentations (Staff Mtgs) • One-on-Discussions • e.g., supervisor, report, colleague, designer, technicians, operators, customers/clients • Often done with Little or No Advance Notice • Need to Develop Extemporaneous Speaking Skills
Engineering Comm Goals • Clear • Concise • i.e., Quick • Professional • Reliable • i.e., Accurate • Ethical • HOW to Do all This?
Tech Comm Should Answer • WHAT Did You Do? • HOW Did You Do It? • WHAT was, or Will be, The SIGNIFICANCE of What Was Done? • Or For a Proposal: • What Will Be Done? • How Will It Be Done it? • What are the Benefits?
Basic “Law” Of Communication • Tell Them What You are Going to Tell Them • An Outline or Introduction • Tell Them • The Body of Report or Presentation • Tell Them What you Told Them • Summary and/or Conclusions • Stop • Leave the Audience with the Main Point
Mistakes Erode Credibility • Errors in Spelling, Grammar, Format, Numerical Values, Units, etc., Suggest • Carelessness • Lack of Professionalism • Sloppiness • Questionable Reliability • The Audience ReceivingError-Filled Communication Often Feels a Lack of Respect
Mistakes Erode Credibility cont. • Do Not Invalidate Good Engineering Work with Poor Communication • Your WRITING and PRESENTATIONS are as MUCH A PART of Your Engineering as Are Calculations, Judgment, BluePrints,and Creativity
2nd Law of Communication • 2.1 Know your AUDIENCE • 2.2 Know your SUBJECT • Carefully Consider the Audience • Who is the Audience? • What is their Motivation; i.e., Why are They Here? • How Much Do They Know Now? • What Do They Want to Know?
2nd Law of Communication cont. • Carefully Consider the Audience • Level of Detail and Background Info • Too MUCH Bores the Audience and Wastes Time (Theirs AND Yours) • Too LITTLE Loses, Confuses, Intimidates, and Annoys the Audience • Either Too-Much or Too-Little DegradesThe Communication Effectiveness • Prioritize The Points • Stick to Main Issues • Omit What Does Not Support the Main Point
2nd Law of Communication cont. • Be Prepared • Understand Your Topic • Do Extra Research if Needed • Try to ANTICIPATE Questions • Answer Them as An Integral Part of Your Communication • Organized-Thoughts and Organized-Work Show Up as an Organized Document or Presentation • The Style/Structure Can Enhance or Detract
Style and Tone • TONE is the Feeling Or Impression a Document Conveys • Style Refers to the Choices Writers Make that Create The Tone Conveyed to the Audience • Engineers Write in PROFESSIONAL Style • i.e., as One Professional to Another (tone) • Can be: Formal, Informal, SemiFormal
Engineering Comm Graphics • Engineering is a PHYSICAL Endeavor • This Implies the Use of Extensive VISUALIZATION • Use Visuals to The Maximum Advantage to Communicate Information • Partial List of Engineering Visuals • Tables • Tabulated Data, Results, Estimates, Lists
Engineering Comm Graphics cont • Charts & Graphs (ENGR25) • Plots of: Data, Results, Calculations, Estimates • Engineering Drawings (ENGR22) • Flow Diagrams/Charts, Electrical & Fluid Circuits (Line Schematics), Pictorial and Othrographic-Projection Drawings, CAD Solid Models, etc. • Images • Photos & Videos (enabled by Digital Photography), Scans, ClipArt
Visuals Should Have a Purpose • Save Time • Clarify an Idea or Concept • Reinforce a Concept • Increase Interest • “Appealing” Visual • Prove a Point • Increase Retention • Document or Archive Information
Engineering Graphics Usage • Graphics COMPLEMENT a Report or Presentation • The Visual SUPPORTS The Written Description or Oral Presentation • Graphics used for: Reporting, Design, Development, Tutoring, Demonstrating, Documenting
Tables • Effective for Organizing And Presenting Data and Lists • Used to Display and Calculate Precise Numerical Results • Create In MS Excel or MS Word • Can Create in Either to Paste into PwrPnt
Reporting Numbers • Significant Figures • Consider Accuracy, Precision, ±Error • Engineering Data Seldom Known to Better Than ±0.2% • Generally Use 3 Figures, 4 OK if Data is Extra Accurate; e.g., • 0.062178 Volts → 62.2 mV • True for Tables, Charts, Text • Sums and %’s Should Add Exactly • Rounding Errors Suggest Missing Data
Excel SpreadSheet Tables • The Excel SpreadSheet IS a Table • Cells Organized in Rows & Columns • Cells Calculate (update) Automatically • Formulas & References • Numbers in Cells Can Be Easily Formatted for Precision & Alignment • Use Format-Number or Format-Cell • Rows & Columns Easily Resized • WORD is Better for Tabulating TEXT
Drawings and Diagrams • Tools – Word, PowerPoint, MATLAB, Visio, AutoCad, Smart Draw, Solid-Edge, ProE, SolidWorks, more • Tool Selection Depends on Purpose & Audience • 2D or 3D • Need to Rescale, Edit, Cut, Paste, Import • Resolution • Level of Detail GoogleSketchUp
3D vs 2D • 3D Generally More Informative, but they • Take Longer to Prepare • Require More Memory (disk space)
Charts and Graphs • Carefully The Select the TYPE of Chart • Different Charts Convey Different Info • Make Clear and Easy to Read • Large Fonts • Good Contrast • Light-on-Dark or Dark-on-Light • Include Legend Unless Info in Title • Label All Axes, Including Units
Charts & Graphs cont • Where Appropriate Annotate or Mark points/regions of Interest with Arrows, Ovals, or Text • There are 14 chart types in Microsoft Excel • This Covers 99% of the Chart Types That Most Engineers will need • See Appendix for Details • Covered in ENGR25
Chabot Engineering AppendixMSExcel Charts Bruce Mayer, PE Licensed Electrical & Mechanical EngineerBMayer@ChabotCollege.edu
MS Excel Charts • Area Chart • An area chart emphasizes the magnitude of change over time. By displaying the sum of the plotted values, an area chart also shows the relationship of parts to a whole.
MS Excel Charts • Bar Chart • A bar chart illustrates comparisons among individual items. Categories are organized vertically, values horizontally, to focus on comparing values and to place less emphasis on time. Stacked bar charts show the relationship of individual items to the whole.
MS Excel Charts • Column Chart • A column chart shows data changes over a period of time or illustrates comparisons among items. Categories are organized horizontally, values vertically, to emphasize variation over time. Stacked column charts show the relationship of individual items to the whole.
MS Excel Charts • Line Chart • A line chart shows trends in data at equal intervals. Although line charts are similar to area charts, line charts emphasize time flow and the rate of change, rather than the amount of change or the magnitude of values.
MS Excel Charts • Pie Chart • A pie chart shows the proportional size of items that make up a data series to the sum of the items. It always shows only one data series and is useful when you want to emphasize a significant element
MS Excel Charts • XY (Scatter) Chart • An xy (scatter) chart either shows the relationships among the numeric values in several data series or plots two groups of numbers as one series of xy coordinates. It shows uneven intervals, or clusters, of data and is commonly used for scientific data.
MS Excel Charts • Doughnut Chart • Like a pie chart, a doughnut chart shows the relationship of parts to a whole, but it can contain more than one data series. Each ring of the doughnut chart represents a data series
MS Excel Charts • Radar Chart • In a radar chart, each category has its own value axis radiating from the center point. Lines connect all the values in the same series. A radar chart compares the aggregate values of a number of data series.
MS Excel Charts • Surface Chart • A surface chart is useful when you want to find optimum combinations between two sets of data. As in a topographic map, colors and patternsindicate areas thatare in the samerange of values.
MS Excel Charts • Bubble Chart • A bubble chart is a type of xy (scatter) chart. The size of the data marker indicates the value of a third variable.
MS Excel Charts • Stock Chart • The stock chart is often used to illustrate stock prices. This chart can also be used for scientific data, for example, to indicate temperature changes
MS Excel Charts • Cone, Cylinder, and Pyramid Chart • The cone, cylinder, and pyramid data markers can lend a dramatic effect to 3-D column and bar charts.