Whole Life Concepts Part Two

Nick Leising ENGR 1202 Section 025 19 October 2012

I have neither given nor received any unauthorized help on this assignment, nor witnessed any violation of the UNC Charlotte Code of Academic Integrity.

19 October 2012

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Review of Part 1 Passion The best way to describe my passion is the want to create something meaningful. I want to actually be part of the making of something that helps people all around the world. This something could be anything from better surgical equipment to more efficient and economical ways of using solar power. It would be one thing to just work in a team with other engineers making various products. However, I want to do more than that. I would like to work in team of people with knowledge in different areas. Together something truly life changing could be made, and I definitely do not want to miss out on that opportunity. For example, a chance to work with engineers and chemists attempting to find better ways of creating energy through fusion would be extremely exciting. Working on something like that is the best way to sum up my passion. There is nothing I would rather do than to be a part of the creation of something that impacts the world in a truly positive way. There are a few ways in which this impact could be played out. The ways that would most please me would involve either improvement in the areas of energy or health. I could apply my passion to create a more affordable source of solar energy. There is also the possibility of designing better reactors for fusion to occur. A third option would be to create a new device to be used in surgery on the human body. Any of these would fulfill my passion while impacting the world in a positive way. These would be great ways to make something that is truly influential to societies all over the world. Job Opportunities One of the jobs I have interest in is a Sr. Electric Engineer working out of either San Jose, CA or Santa Clara, CA. The technical knowledge needed includes: a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, a PE electrical license in at least California, and knowledge of electrical design, distribution, and the National Electric Code. As for skills and abilities, I need to be proficient with Auto CAD, have good communication and presentation skills, organization and multitasking skills, mentoring and training skills, strong problem solving skills, and have the ability to efficiently use Excel, Word, and PowerPoint [3]. Another interesting job would be working as a Medical Device Engineer located either at Phoenix, AZ or Tucson, AZ. Technical knowledge needed for this job is as follows: a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, medical device manufacturing experience, and sterilization process validation knowledge. The requirements for skills are: strong verbal, written communication, and multitasking skills. I would also need the abilities to work independently and travel when needed [2]. The third job that I am looking into is a Sr. PLC Equipment Engineer – Medical Devices. Besides a BS in related discipline, most of the technical knowledge comes from previous experience. This means experience in machine design and automation, Auto CAD drafting experience, and Solidworks modeling experience. There are a few skills and abilities required as well. These include: the ability to use Programmable Logic Controllers and motion and process control, leadership and team skills, and cost reduction skills [4]. The non-technical knowledge, skills, and abilities are the basically the same for all three of the jobs. For one, it would be very beneficial to have an open-minded attitude. Coming up with some truly innovative ideas requires the ability to accept ideas that are a little more abstract. The more “out there” ideas often lead to the best new products. Good people skills are also important for success in any of these jobs. It is a necessity to be able to communicate effectively with the team you are working with. Seeing as presentations will have to be made, communication is again imperative. One final nontechnical skill that I could put to use would be leadership. There is nothing more important to having an affective team than showing good leadership. If a team is well managed, anything is possible. The openmind, leadership, and people skills will allow for great success in a team, and therefore, working for any of these companies.

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Knowledge and Skills Academic Program Fitting My Passion The major that would best lead to my passion becoming reality would be mechanical engineering. This would be a great way to get the foundation that I need for multiple engineering jobs. The most important part about this major is that I could focus on an energy concentration. Since I am most interested in doing something involving solar or fusion energy, this would be a perfect fit. There are, however, a few requirements to take part in mechanical engineering with a concentration in energy. In order to take part in part in energy engineering, as of the end of my semester of sophomore year I must have an overall GPA of at least 3.0. A 3.0 GPA must be retained in order to stay in the concentration. There are also some programs that must be taken up during enrollment in energy engineering. The MEGR 2499 Energy Engineering Clinic I is required during my sophomore year. During my senior year I will have to take four approved Energy Engineering Technical Electives. Two of these courses that have caught my eye are Introduction to Nuclear Engineering and Sustainable Energy Production. Both would be fantastic opportunities for learning more about my passion and how it could be applied. Finally, I will be required to enroll in MEGR 3455/3456 Energy Engineering Clinic II/III while also completing a twosemester energy-related engineering project. The opportunities are endless, especially with the available internships, short courses, and the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam [1]. Mechanical engineering with an energy focus fits my passion and goals perfectly. I will get great information on the types of things I want to do in the future. I am extremely excited to have a chance to begin learning much more in-depth information about my passion. The best way to find out how to accomplish my passion would be to learn, at least the basics, about it. There are so many different ways that I can affect the accomplishment of my passion just by taking classes that introduce me to it. There is no reason why I should not attempt to get into the energy engineering program with how closely it relates to my passion. The impact I make can only be as successful as I want if I understand what I am doing. The only way to truly gain that understanding is by first learning the basics, which is very possible in the energy concentration. Technical Course Material for Making an Impact With the concentration in energy I am able to enroll in the Introduction to Nuclear Energy elective. This seems like as good a chance as any to begin gaining an understanding of fusion and other nuclear energy sources. I do not know much about fusion, yet I am extremely interested in understanding it in order to apply that information later in life. Nuclear reactors are one of the largest problems associated with fusion. This class is the place to go in order to learn more about how reactors work. Improving reactors in the future is going to be a lot easier and more effective if I recognize how they work. Another class that will be extremely informative is the Sustainable Energy Production class. Again, fusion energy could be taught here, as well as an introduction to solar energy. Seeing as solar energy is the other form of sustainable energy that I am interested in improving, this would be an extremely useful course. It will be a great starting point for discovering how solar energy really works. Learning more about what cost related problems are involved with solar energy would be very helpful in getting my mind thinking about ways to solve those same problems. As for the intensive energy-related project, this is a very good chance to get my feet wet with the application of energy engineering based knowledge. It will give me a general idea of the types of projects I could potentially work on in the future. It would give me the opportunity to apply problem solving skills to a task or problem involving energy. This is just a small scale version of what I hope to be doing in the future with energy. Non-technical Course Material for Making an Impact The non-technical skills that I determined I would need were an open-minded attitude and good people and communication skills. In order to improve my attitude to be even more open-minded, I plan on doing the same thing as when I was younger. As I said in my first paper, I did a large amount of traveling as a child, even living in Germany for a year. I gained perspective from living there for so long; experiencing people whose culture was different from mine opened up my mind some. However, I still

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have room for improvement. I believe the best way to make that improvement would be to take part in a study abroad program. I still have so much more to learn about different ways of thinking, so what would be better than to experience these differences first hand? Even though I have already lived in Germany before, I would still like to complete my study abroad program there. The age difference alone would change how I saw and understood the differences. It would be through a study program, so I would still be seeing more academic and thought process differences. However, the skills that I got out of it would not only be academic. A more open outlook would definitely be a possible benefit. Because I plan on taking German next semester, a study abroad program would fit in very well with accomplishing my passion. In order to improve my people and communication skills, I will most likely need to take a speech class of some kind. I definitely need to get better at both speaking in front of a group, as well as one-onone conversations. I don’t want to be unprepared when I have to talk to potential clients in the future. There are plenty of speech programs out there that are just right for this. As long as I apply myself to one of these programs, I will be able to communicate much more efficiently with others working towards making the same impact as me. The third non-technical skill that I plan to work on is leadership, specifically in a team. Leadership is imperative to true success in a team. Leadership can stop conflict, help stay focused on the task at hand, and keep organization within the group. There are companies that devote themselves entirely to helping people become better leaders. Using the help of one of these companies, I can make myself much better at leading groups to their full potential. This is a necessity to accomplishing my passion since the only way to get the quality of work that I desire would be to have a team doing their best work possible. To make the impact I want on the world, I must be able to make an impact on my team. Reflection and Conclusion Whole Life Concept and Disciplines Model Importance There are a few reasons why the whole life concept and disciplines model is important to me. First of all, it gives me a good way to structure my plan for accomplishing my passion. I know what is involved in each part and what I need to do to get to the next step. I am able to start at my passion and then look at what knowledge I require, how I will apply that knowledge, and what kind of impact that application will make. The model just helps organize my path from passion to impact. The model has also helped me narrow down where to focus my knowledge on. I was able to use the model to figure out what to look into when choosing my major. I knew I wanted to do something with energy or medicine, but I was able to limit it using the model. I decided exactly what I wanted to do, which in this case involves either solar energy or fusion. It will be much easier to accomplish my passion if I’m learning about something that is not only interesting to me, but also applies directly to my passion. One last way the model helped me was to find some jobs that could make my passion a reality, or at least lead to it. Using the application stage, I determined ways in which I could attempt to make an impact. I picked jobs that would give me some idea as to how mechanical engineering could be applied. One of the most important parts of the jobs was that they would allow me to work with other engineers. The application stage is much more efficient when others are also applying their knowledge. These jobs were meant to lead to an impact through the knowledge that I received previously. Whole Life Concepts Paper Reflection This assignment along with the first part has really helped me determine what I want to do with my life. In all honesty, when I first came to school I wasn’t sure I even wanted to be involved in engineering. It seemed like it would be an interesting place to start and the type of major that would be obvious whether I would want to stay in it or not. I now realize that I this is definitely what I would like to be doing and this assignment has done a great job narrowing down exactly what I want to do with engineering. When coming in I had the perception that an engineer would be working all the time, but never on large writing assignments. Well, I was partially correct. The work seems to be endless at times, but very often it is nothing but writing. This paper was the longest assignment I have had to write in any class this semester. I did not expect to be writing more for engineering than English, but that does not mean I have not gotten anything out of English. I have actually been able to apply the skills I have learned

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in English to the Whole Life Concept Papers. I have been able to apply general knowledge to engineering in order to be more successful. As I said, I did not even know if engineering was for me at first. While I had decided I wanted to stay in engineering before writing this paper, it has not only helped me decide that mechanical engineering is the way to go, but it also allowed me to develop a passion. I had to really think about what I wanted to accomplish in life during the first part of the Whole Life Concepts Paper. Being forced to decide what I wanted to with my life has been extremely helpful. I now know exactly what would be the most interesting engineering to study. The mechanical engineering major with a concentration in energy has really stood out to me since writing this paper. Just researching the most prevalent challenges in today’s society got me off on the right foot. While trying to find information to write about in my paper I determined where I wanted to go with my studies. My future plans really did not exist before this paper. The most useful thing in determining my future goals was reading the Grand Challenges of Engineering article. It made me realize what problems really needed to be focused on. I found more about fusion than I had ever known. While I knew a bit more about solar energy than fusion, I still gained some very useful information. Just reading the article for research on the first Whole Life Concepts paper made me realize how bad these problems had gotten. It was almost inspiring through how detrimental the situation had become. My goal is to have a direct impact on the solving of those same problems. They are so worrisome that something has to be done as soon as possible and I want to be the one who comes up with the solution. I will have to apply my knowledge in order to get a job involved in fixing the energy problems. After writing this paper I have a better understanding of what to look for in a job in order to accomplish my passion. Commitment to Engineering I am definitely more committed to engineering since deciding on focusing on mechanical energy. It has given me something more to work towards. Due to the requirement that I have at least a 3.0 GPA I now have a Grade Point Average goal to keep for the rest of my time in school. I still hope to have a higher GPA for better internship opportunities. Knowing this, I am much more inclined to perform well in all of my classes. I always planned on working hard in my classes, but now there is just that extra incentive. Because the energy concentration is a subcategory of mechanical, I am also more devoted to mechanical than any of the other engineering majors. None of the others have the same allure to them. And for my commitment to UNC Charlotte, as of now the only reason I would leave would be for a study abroad program. I still would love to study engineering in Germany which does take away a little from my commitment to UNC Charlotte. I am still going to work on succeeding while here, but at the same time I have other goals that don’t include staying here for all four years. It all depends on how hard I push for becoming part of a study abroad program and if I can keep my grades up to stay in energy engineering. Either way, as of now I am fully committed to mechanical engineering, the College of Engineering, and UNC Charlotte.

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References [1] “Energy Engineering Concentration.” Uncc.edu. UNC Charlotte, 2012. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. [2] Monster. “Medical Devices Engineer.” Accessed September 20, 2012. http://jobview.monster.com/Medical-Devices-Engineer-Sterilization-manufacturing-ethylene-JobPhoenix-AZ-114046406.aspx. [3] Monster. “Sr. Electrical Engineer.” Accessed September 20, 2012. http://jobview.monster.com/Sr-Solar-Electrical-Engineer-Licensed-Professional-Engineer-JobSan-Jose-CA-113860909.aspx. [4] Monster. “Sr. PLC Equipment Engineer.” Accessed September 20, 2012. http://jobview.monster.com/SrPLC-Equipment-Engineer-Medical-Devices-Job-San-Jose-CA114318498.aspx.