The HVAC industry is not perceived as a very prestigious and glamorous industry for young engineers and technicians from University and college. When informing others of the HVAC industry, the first thing that springs to everyone mind is small comfort cooling equipment that is sold in the local convenience store. The public and young engineers need to be made aware of the necessity, the challenges and the rewards of this industry.
Once interest is sparked and passion is developed, the entire industry can move forward with the goal of new innovation, implementation and development. The HVAC industry is growing according to the US Bureau of Labour whereby the HVAC industry will grow by 29% from 2012 to 2018.
As an industry, we need to feed the demand by sparking interest for all young and aspiring engineers and technicians at the undergraduate level. One small step to accomplish this goal is to bring awareness at the undergraduate level. Companies should get involved to promote the requirements and the satisfaction one will gain once working in this industry. Promotion of projects on a grand scale should be used to promote awareness. I am sure any engineer would be proud to say, "I was the HVAC engineer that designed the HVAC cooling system for the newly constructed shopping mall in Johannesburg." In addition to showing the glorious side of a successful project, companies should also illustrate to young graduates that practical application of theory is required for overall success.
Once these two steps have been followed, curiosity will be sparked. Curiosity will develop into interest. Interest will then develop into passion. Once passion is ignited with guidance from companies, we will have the winning formula to address the shills shortage but more importantly, build the future of tomorrow whereby society can benefit from the workings of yesterday.
SOME SAY OBTAINING A PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING LICENCE IS A WASTE OF TIME.
Some say that obtaining a Professional Engineering Licence is a waste of time. I have heard some of the following reasons to back up this statement.
1) All it entitles me to do is to sign off drawings.
2) The council provides me with nothing but invoices to pay my yearly subscription.
3) I am not in a consulting firm so I don't need to become registerable.
4) I don't need it as its too much effort for a small pay back.
So how has obtaining a Professional Engineering Licence helped you?
A person once told me that the performance rating from one coil manufacturer should be the same as another coil manufacturer for the same length, height, number of rows and find per inch of coil.
This statement would be valid if a generic overall heat transfer coefficient were applicable and the construction of both coils was identical
The truth is that each coil manufacturer used a different tube size, different tube spaces and many more design and manufacturing parameters. Alteration of these parameters do tend to alter the overall heat transfer coefficient and area function. Therefore a generic overall heat transfer coefficient can not be applicable when comparing the performance rating of a condenser or direct expansion cooling coil.
The president of ASHRAE (American Society of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers) presented a technical presentation last night. The topic was ventilation for indoor air quality.
The topic addressed some important issues such as what is an adequate ventilation rate to ensure that a healthy indoor air quality is maintained within a certain space area.
So after attending last night presentation, the topic that was proposed was, "Do we really need mechanical ventilation within a space?"
Some say that natural ventilation is adequate while some specify and state that mechanical ventilation is compulsory. One thing people do not consider is that natural ventilation may be adequate at times but during the winter time, people tend to close their windows due to the cold temperature outside. So should mechanical ventilation be compulsory in all instances then?
I attended a engineering get together and the topic that was discussed was how do we move forward with regards to addressing the energy crises. All various forms of energy generation are available, namely solar, wind, tidal, nuclear, hydro and coal.
All of these different forms are available and each has a different impact on the environment. The main topic of discussion is how do we move forward to produce energy that is less harmful to the environment but also how are we going to solve the alternative energy source once oil and coal run out?
This month will be termed energy month and will focus on alternative energy sources.
Stay tuned for more posts in the weeks to come
Upon attending a Wiki night in association with "Engineers without Borders", I came to realise how much guidance we as professionals need to provide to young graduate engineers. Many young engineers do not know what to expect upon completing their studies.
Many do not know if they work at the correct companies and do not know what is expected from them. An interesting topic that was proposed was that young engineers do not know how to deal with clients and problems as they arise.
It was a very interesting discussion and young engineers then asked if Universities should provide them with a special communications course or module to teach them how to communicate effectively and to deal with clients. So the major question that was proposed was "Should universities modify their existing courses to include a business module?"
I personally feel Universities should include a business module course in the curriculum whereby students will be better prepared for the business world as theory and business in the engineering world go hand in hand.
The methods prescribed to accomplish accelerated learning had to be modified to suit the target audience. Some students in the class did not wish to participate and so the approach has to be modified.
One way of creating and increasing ones energy was to encourage teamwork through group discussions and problem solving. It was discovered that allowing the students to answer questions promoted participation in certain group activities and united the team as they proceeded to problem solve together.
Alternating between lecturing and class discussions changed the mindset of each student and ensured that the work content never became boring. This ensure that maximum concentration was always maintained within each training module.
This workshop illustrated that the lecturer is required to monitor the behaviour of his students and adjust his or her approach to constantly achieve accelerated learning.
So I attended a training course a few weeks ago and the course challenged the concept of accelerated learning within an education environment. The entire concept of accelerated learning involves the balancing of energy within a teaching environment.
They claim that the more positive energy that is maintained within a room, the more active the mind becomes. So how you you encourage and maintain positive energy in the room?
They stated that in order for energy levels to be maintained, you need to constantly change the state of the mind. Changing the mind state would entail doing things like singing, answering questions, playing games and getting students to interact with each other. These concepts are all very interesting and the only way to verify these specific statements is to test them in a studying and education type of environment.
So as part of education month, I will apply these principals in various talks and courses that I will be conducting through the month of March and April. I will interview certain candidates and find out if they experienced an increase in concentration levels and if they were able to absorb more information in a short period of time.
Please keep in contact with this blog to discover the result.
Michael Young is a mechanical engineer by trait and is the managing director of M & Y Consultants and Trainers. He helps young engineers grow within the mechanical engineering industry through his workshops and coaching packages. His vision is to provide knowledge to young engineers so we can help the industry grow