What Does Management Expect of Its Engineers?
- J.H. Douma (Sunray Dx Oil Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- June 1966
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 674 - 676
- 1966. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 7.5.1 Ethics, 5.1.2 Faults and Fracture Characterisation, 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 7.6.1 Knowledge Management
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This paper concerns not only those qualities expected of engineers by management, but also the methods that management expects engineers to use to avoid technical obsolescence. Continuing education is considered not only a necessity for continued effectiveness but from the standpoint of the proper sequence of education courses for achieving future goals. Methods for further education include correspondence courses and college short courses, company sponsored programs an petroleum literature. The ability to communicate and dedication to the job also are considered prime requisites for professional advancement.
The main purpose and objective of the new ASME, Joint Engineering Management Group in Tulsa is continuing education, and I am sure all of us will agree that continuing education, both from an engineering and economic standpoint is certainly essential-whether you have just completed your college work or whether your formal college training was completed 10, 20 or 30 years ago. We all know that the role engineering now plays in our society has grown beyond our wildest dreams of 30 years ago. Our work has become the very heart of our economic and national growth. Today, practically all of mankind is dependent on the professional engineer-and as this century passes into the next, this dependency will increase, not decrease.
The C, D and E's
So, just what does management expect from its engineers? The list would certainly include creativeness, industriousness, initiative, up-to-date technical and economic know-how, real profit awareness, judgment, efficiency, ethics, dedication, ability to plan, schedule, train, coordinate and communicate, and the ability to get things done, along with many others. I have chosen three subjects which seem to me to be most related to the work the Tulsa group is setting out to do and is equally applicable to any group. These three subjects are not the A, B, C's of engineering. I prefer to call them the C, D and E's, standing in this case for communication, dedication and education. Management expects its engineers to avoid obsolescence by continuing their technical education throughout their working careers. Management expects its engineers to be able to communicate, and management expects its engineers to be dedicated to their work. Recently, we put two men into orbit around the earth and brought them back safely. If someone had talked seriously about such an achievement when I was going to school in the 1930's, he would probably have been a candidate for the booby hatch. Educators tell us that the sum total of man's knowledge doubled between 1900 and 1950, and will double again before 1975 -and this is probably a conservative estimate.
What Kind of Course?
We hear from many sources about the need for continuing our education and that many of the things we learned in college are no longer applicable. But, before jumping into this ocean of continuing education, consider-what are we after? Will taking another course in one subject or another further my career? We must first point ourselves at a definite objective and then use continuing educational opportunities as an added boost in reaching these goals. Don't automatically sign up for every related correspondence course or spread yourself so thin in the educational field that you wind up with things that won't really help you in your career. Don't continue your education just because it's the thing to do. Have your purpose clearly in mind. Consider the job you want 5 or 10 years from now -or at least at some time in the future. Then prepare and train yourself for each intermediate step beginning with your next logical promotion. By this route, it can be seen that some of you will not be studying management courses this year. Some of you will be trying to improve your technical proficiency and thereby earn a chance at the next promotion in the engineering division of your organization. Others who are already in supervisory positions will be studying management courses to prepare for increased management responsibilities. There are, of course, many methods by which we can continue our education in the most productive channels. These include technical meetings, short courses offered by many colleges and universities, correspondence courses, company-sponsored programs and trade journals. Since the latter is an extremely valuable source of current information, don't let publications pile up because you are "too busy". You can't be too busy to do your job, and this is an important part of it. Association with other professional engineers and discussing and exchanging ideas is also stimulating, as well as informative. This type of professional association is very good, so participate in it.
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