What Are Good Stress Engineer Qualities – Part 2

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OK, so we discussed the following three qualities in Part 1:

  1. Good listener
  2. Visualizing the physics – Ties into quality 4 below
  3. Getting your hands dirty – Production floor

In Good Stress Engineer Qualities Part 2, let us dig into some more.

Essential Quality 4 – Free Body Diagrams

Good Stress Engineer Quality 4
Good Stress Engineer Quality 4

Being able to draw meaningful Free Body Diagrams is an essential skill that every design or stress engineer needs to develop and constantly improve on. This skill ties into the quality #2 above, we need to be able to visualize the load path in order to come up with good FBDs.

FBDs are extensively used in Classical Hand Calculations. But they are also important for us to verify FEM models, verify the behavior of the model and thereby have more confidence in our modeling processes. For example, you need FBDs to determine fastener loads or insert loads or critical sections. FBDs are essential to understand what exactly is happening at the joint along the load path. And above all a good stress engineer has to be good with FBDs, simple.

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Essential Quality 5 – Attention to Detail

Good Stress Engineer Quality 5
Good Stress Engineer Quality 5

Attention to Detail – what does it mean? From a stress engineer’s stand point, its all the little things that need attention that will help avoid much bigger issues down the line.

From a finite element analysis standpoint, just as a few examples:

  • Capturing the right behavior of the system response
  • Staying organized with the different FE entities in your model also called book keeping for reporting purposes
  • Looking at your reactions and loading and checking if they make sense
  • Am I missing any parts that could influence the load path
  • For composites did I get the lay up right
  • Did I get the ply properties right

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From an analysis stand point in addition to the above points some examples maybe:

  • Given the loading and preliminary design, will the joints be OK?
  • What are the allowable loads and stresses?
  • What material is being used, will it be sufficient?
  • Are there any design changes happening
  • Stay in touch with the lead designer or design engineer etc.

Then you might have time, cost, and supply chain details among others.

A good stress engineer is on top of all of these issues and more.

Essential Quality 6 - Know the regulations as best as you can

Good Stress Engineer Quality 6
Good Stress Engineer Quality 6

A good stress engineer also has a thorough understanding of the FAA regulations that are applicable to what he is analyzing, and maybe even the surrounding parts and systems. In cabin interiors there really aren't that many, about 10 or so. But it is surprising how many engineers (stress or design) cannot give you the regulation section numbers or tell you what it means and how it is interpreted.

When you subscribe to this website (click the button below), you will get a document that lists all the major regulations that apply to aircraft cabin interiors. I list in that document what the regulation says and what the typical interpretation might be.

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Surya Batchu
Surya Batchu

Surya Batchu is the founder of Stress Ebook LLC. A senior stress engineer specializing in aerospace stress analysis and finite element analysis, Surya has close to a decade and a half of real world industry experience. He shares his expertise with you on this blog and the website via paid courses, so you can benefit from it and get ahead in your own career.