A Career of Human Significance
- Wayne E. Glenn (Continental Oil Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- September 1960
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 11 - 12
- 1960. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training
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- 134 since 2007
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EDITOR'S NOTE: Although aimed toward graduating senior engineers and delivered as a commencement address, the following paper offers stimulating thoughts to all engineers on "technical obsolescence", community responsibility, budgeting of time and other important matters. A somewhat more detailed version of this paper was delivered at Montana School of Mines on June 6, at which time the author received his honorary doctorate degree.
The years immediately ahead - 1961, 1962, 1963 - will be critical years from every standpoint for the young engineer. In the next few years, he must learn to grow professionally. Most often, the rate and extent of this growth will be governed by his own initiative and perseverance. Habits and attitudes acquired during these early professional years relate very closely to, and even foreshadow, future accomplishments.
The future goal of the young engineer is a moving target. It will change with professional growth, family requirements, changes in predominant interest, general economic and business conditions and geographic location. However ambitious and steadfast in his goal he may be, the young engineer should not hesitate to adjust or change - for he really does not know initially what he is best fitted for and will not know until he has tried a number of things patiently and persistently.
Professional development in specific technical competence and, broadly, as an individual and as a citizen will have many facets. To achieve "A Career of Human Significance" will require a well conceived plan, properly timed and executed. The successful engineer will need to maintain a thirst for knowledge throughout his career, for one of his critical personal problems will be the constant pressure to keep up with the parade of advances and new findings in the profession-to escape what might be termed "technological obsolescence".
The problem can be stated as a paradox. The engineering graduate leaves college partially educated for his career. Nevertheless, at that time he may possess a wider range of detailed scientific and technical knowledge than he will at any later stage of his career. To maintain the highest level of technical "know-how" calls for a life-long study habit.
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