The U.S. manufacturers, skilled tradesmen and engineers are shifting their energy and focus from manufacturing their traditional products and are battling the novel coronavirus nationwide by providing solutions to the lack of ventilators, hand sanitizer, sterilizers, N-95 masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages required to fight this threat. They are improvising new methods, tooling and materials to convert factories and keep them humming in the manufacture of these much needed supplies as the coronavirus pandemic threatens one of the biggest disruptions in memory to supply chains, staffing and demand.
Health, Safety, and Environmental processes directly impact every aspect of an engineering and construction project. We understand this at Optimation, which is why we have worked hard to develop a total approach to HSE challenges. Our HSE process is integral to our operations whether we are moving a manufacturing line from one plant to another, designing and fabricating a new line from client specifications, or providing additional multi-engineering and skilled trades services. The reason behind this is clear: when an organization integrates HSE programs into everyday roles and responsibilities, you get improved - bottom up/top down performance. What is already known and proven is that HSE performance is measurable both qualitatively and quantitatively. Lower incident and injury rates ultimately mean lower employee turnover, higher productivity, and lower overhead costs. This translates into completion of a project on time, on budget, and without incident.
There’s a lot of celebrating that happens every year on Pi Day. Included are images of raspberry, apple or pizza in a variety of formats. This has been going on for over 30 years, ever since a 1988 when a physicist named Larry Shaw selected it because the numerical date (3/14) represents the first three digits of Pi. By coincidence March 14 is also Albert Einstein’s birthday. On March 12, 2009, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution recognizing March 14, 2009 as the first National Pi Day. To the best of my knowledge it passed with a very broad bipartisan vote. Everyone loves Pi. But this is all very recent history. Knowledge or Pi existed millennium before Pi Day, or Einstein or congress. Wikipedia gives some historical context on who and how Pi was first introduced. In 1707, a Welsh mathematician, William Jones, was the first to use the Greek letter pi (π) to denote the constant ratio, but it was decades later before this came into common popular use. There are references to Pi from the Greeks in 2000 B.C. and on Babylonian tablets around 1800 B.C. It also shows up on an Egyptian papyrus about 1650 B.C. But archaeologists believe that the oldest clear recognition of Pi may come from the pyramids of Giza. The great pyramid was built about 2500 B.C.
Topics: For Fun
In today’s digital world it is hard to think of how things are still done the “old way”. The new way of doing things isn’t because the old way doesn’t work, but rather to make things easier or quicker. I am still a pencil and paper girl, if I need to take notes during a meeting, I am writing them the old-fashioned way, and then typing them up later. This was my process all through college and grad school, and I think helped me not only learn information, but retain it. Although, I am not one to fight efficiency, so the majority of what I do takes full advantage of digital tools.
How exciting is it that in today’s age, 47% of the workforce is women, accounting for 74.6 million women in the civilian labor force? That is something to be proud of! Women also earn more degrees than men; For the class of 2016–2017, women earned more than half of bachelor’s degrees (57.3%), master’s degrees (59.4%), and doctorate degrees (53.3%). Women have earned more bachelor’s degrees than men since 1982, more master’s degrees than men since 1987, and more doctorate degrees than men since 2006. In 2018, women held 51.5% of all management, professional, and related occupations.
Congrats ladies! We should feel proud of the improvements that have been made, but also acknowledge that we still have work to do.
Despite the great strides made toward gender equality over the last century, there are still several arenas where women are underrepresented in the workforce. Currently, engineering is one of those industries. It’s not news that manufacturing needs more women in skilled and professional positions such as the skilled trades, designing and drafting, engineering and development.
FIRST Robotics competition is coming back to Rochester next week. The FIRST Robotics Finger Lakes Regional will be held at RIT on March 13th and 14th. If you have never been to one you need to go. A FIRST Robotics competition is like nothing you have ever seen before. It is all about technology and engineering and computer software and learning. It is also filled with loud music, cheers and teams of motivated and energized high school students working as teams to overcome obstacles. It won’t only be happening in Rochester. This is a worldwide movement. Nearly 4000 teams from 28 countries will be competing. Over a hundred thousand students will be part of more than 100 regional, district and championship events. Countless mentors and coaches from colleges, universities and industry volunteer long hours to help the teams organize and construct. FIRST is hardcore technology on steroids designed to motivate and inspire students to get engaged in STEM and follow engineering of high-tech trades professions. FIRST makes technology into a sport. While fast paced and competitive, it also has a unique value-based culture. They call it "Gracious Professionalism".It embraces competition but rejects trash talk and replaces it with respect for other teams.They call this "Coopertition", emphasizing that teams can cooperate and compete at the same time.
Topics: For Fun
Wow! What a week we had last week. It is always great to take time to reflect on the work that is being done and promote the reasons why we do what we do. To wrap up this week and further push interested readers to pursue a career in engineering, below is a list of some of the different avenues you could take and work you could be a part of with a degree in engineering;
It’s that time of year again. The New York State budget is in the planning stages and efforts to have parts of it be pro-business or pro-manufacturing need to be made now. March 3, 2020 is Manufacturing Lobby Day. Those who have an interest and can find the time will go to Albany to meet with their legislators. Local trade and manufacturing associations participating in the March 3 lobby include the Rochester Technical and Manufacturing Association (RTMA), The Manufacturing Alliance of New York and the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY). These groups and others will be going to Albany on March 3, 2020 to advocate and lobby for reforms that can improve the business and manufacturing environment. It is important for our state legislators to hear from their constituents.
Here at Optimation, being a business that anchors its livelihood in the manufacturing and high technology segment, we recognize and celebrate Engineer’s Week every year. We are a group of creative problem solvers, that use our engineering and technical training and experiences to help solve our client’s challenges and problems. So, during Engineer’s Week, we reflect back on how we got here, and what some of the life changing situations and decisions were that have contributed to our shared career paths.
As a bit of a retrospective, and anticipating that we might have some fun with the topic, I sent out a conversation starter to my engineering mates that asked, “When you were a child, what events did you experience that might have indicated to your parents that you had engineering/technical tendencies?” Today we want to offer these anecdotes to entertain, as well as hold them up as examples that today’s parents might look at and realize that their progeny have also exhibited similar traits. Maybe your Jimmy or Susie has acted in a way that, as you compare their recent hi-jinx to these stories, enlightens your understanding to their potential future as mechanical, chemical, or electrical engineers.
So, here are some of our formative stories, for your consideration and enjoyment: