What “Real” Engineers do!

My nephew is a mechanical engineering student at UNH. He sent me a photo sequence that makes me a bit queasy but I’m a bit nervous about heights. I’ll include his description of what he is doing.



For those of you out there who think that Engineers just sit around all day in front of a computer, here is a little taste of what we do on a regular basis. For those of you who don’t know, I work for Sig Sauer (one of the world’s foremost handgun manufacturer) as a Design Engineer. I work primarily on R&D and the design of firearms and firearms components. An average day for me includes several shootings, the handling of a minimum of 20 different firearms (more often than not there are machineguns, grenade launchers, and suppressors thrown in the mix also), and it is not uncommon for me to have to move a firearm or two to get at my keyboard. The pictures depict me investigating the possibilities for wind power at my parents house. I scaled the 32m (105ft) tower to get dimensions of the tower as well as to inspect it’s structural integrity. The next steps are data collection for the areas wind activity, and perform FEA (Finite Element Analysis) of the tower to determine safe operating parameters. So, as you can see, not all of Engineering is “simply basking in the glow of a computer monitor” (quote stolen from Steph – ChE)


2 thoughts on “What “Real” Engineers do!

  1. Sounds exciting but did you really have to climb up that thing to test it’s structural integrity? What was the test – if it didn’t fall down under your weight it meant it was sound?!!! I also work with many engineers – they’re an interesting, if not exasperating, group. love you


  2. A little background – a childhood friend of Brad's (Peter) was a creative multi-talented guy who assembled this tower and had windmill power about 35 years ago. After Peter & wife Polly moved off the property some rascals shot the windmill blade off so the system no longer quite worked. But the tower has potential and it is exciting that Jesse investigated. A friend of mine climbed and “checked” it about 3 years ago…. however, I was at the kitchen watching Jesse (who looked like an itty bitty toy!) gambol up there.. a bit nerve- wracking!. But let's hope for some bright breezes up here to catch!.🙂


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