American Society of Civil Engineers

Design—Cornerstone of Your Career: Advice for Young Engineers

by Rodney Attwood, (Deputy Chief Engr., Kinhill Engineers Pty Ltd, 186 Greenhill Road, Parkside, South Australia, 5063, Australia.)

Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, Vol. 120, No. 3, July 1994, pp. 241-245, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Discussion: by Ananda D. Moonasingha    (See full record)
Abstract: Young engineers are often the ones most in need of a disciplined approach to the design process. Although they enter the workforce equipped with appropriate engineering skills, they must establish methodical work habits if they are to pursue a successful career. Failure of a design to meet contractual requirements – far more common than causing physical injury – can result in costly litigation. The key elements of discipline in an engineering design team are visibility, involvement, frankness, and commitment, as well as an orderly attitude toward the preparation and presentation of design data. The present paper reviews the presentation of calculations and sketches, and provides a checklist that helps eliminate arithmetic errors, shows that code requirements are met, documents, the design process, and ensures work is independently reviewed. In today’s engineering market, with design information flowing rapidly between companies, countries, and continents, it is essential that the young engineer embrace disciplined design approaches at the earliest opportunity.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Working conditions
Data processing
Professional practice