What Are Good Stress Engineer Qualities – Part 3

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We discussed the following three qualities in Part 1 and Part 2:

  1. Good listener
  2. Visualizing the physics – Ties into quality 4 below
  3. Getting your hands dirty – Production floor
  4. Free Body Diagrams
  5. Attention to Detail
  6. FAA Regulations

OK, now let us get into Good Stress Engineer Qualities Part 3:

Essential Quality 7 – Cross functional knowledge

Good Stress Engineer Quality 7
Good Stress Engineer Quality 7

A good stress engineer is keenly aware of the constraints of other departments that are worth giving some serious thought.

For example:

1) Design: From design engineering standpoint, the designer might tell you we cannot put a particular reinforcement angle due to aesthetics. As a stress engineer, this needs to be respected. The reason is that it is not the design engineer’s preference but may be the customer’s preference.

2) Supply Chain: You may want to suggest the use of an aluminum honeycomb panel at a particular location late in the design stage, but it is important to realize that these are long lead items as far as supply chain is concerned.

3) Cost: Yup, stress engineers also need to be aware of the potential costs involved in implementing a reinforcement or a design change that could be very expensive to implement.

Other cross functional issues may also arise such as contractual agreements, schedules etc. With time and experience, a stress engineer will evolve into someone who understands the importance of these issues when going through the certification process.

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Essential Quality 8 – Be open to be questioned

Good Stress Engineer Quality 8
Good Stress Engineer Quality 8

Sometimes, you might be questioned by your own colleagues or your boss, or a design engineer who knows what she is doing. If you get immediately defensive, then you will lose the opportunity to reaffirm what you know or learn something you may not know or may not be aware of. So this ties into quality #1 of being a good listener.

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Essential Quality 9 - Humor

Good Stress Engineer Quality 9
Good Stress Engineer Quality 9

A good stress engineer also knows how to make fun of herself. It's OK to be humble, and admit mistakes. You are not the super hero stress engineer, so what? Can you get the job done? That is all that matters.

Star stress engineers are highly knowledgeable, and humble. This gives them the power and ability to be able to make fun of themselves. I know someone who has a PhD, and frequently makes fun of himself. To me that is a sign of confidence and knowledge.

It is better and much more regarding than making fun of others in my opinion. But this is an acquired skill and takes practice I think. But you will get better at it if you do it at the right time. And besides, a little bit of comedy always helps lighten the mood up.

I have seen this work every time in meetings where people are stressed out and a wise engineer cracks a joke, its fun so why not?

So there you go folks, I believe that just about wraps the series up. Feel free to joke about it, comment on it and have fun. If it helps make our lives better, why not? 😉

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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.