The Difference Between Engineering and Design

One of my genius engineer friends asked me to define the difference between engineering and design. I am going to tap dance around this question just a bit because I’ve never actually been an engineer, just watched them work. Wish me luck! Continue reading

Posted in engineering, graphics | Tagged | Leave a comment

Space Writing: It’s About More Than Just Conference Papers!

Last week I received an email from a physics student named Curtis. He had a project for an English class dealing with writing cultures and wanted to understand the writing culture at NASA. Needless to say, he came to the right place. : ) His specific questions below wanted to get at how and why technical writers support engineers in the space business. Continue reading

Posted in clients, engineering, peers, technical writing, Technology, workplace | Leave a comment

When is a Test a Failure?

From an early age, we’re taught/trained to pass tests. It’s an unfortunate word educators use for knowledge assessments because it can warp our attitudes toward tests in the scientific or engineering worlds. Experiments and hardware tests can have different definitions of failure that don’t (necessarily) reflect on the person(s) performing it. Continue reading

Posted in engineering, science, technical writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Saving Lives With Checklists

The recent scary engine fire aboard United flight 328 reminded me that a lot of our transportation infrastructure depends greatly upon clear, easy-to-read technical documentation–specifically, checklists. Today I’ll walk through some helpful guidelines for pilot checklists…or any checklist, for that matter. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Practicality and Idealism in Developing Your Career

My career path has been a meandering path comprising roughly equal doses of idealism and practicality. The goal here is to show you how the jobs you take out of necessity can still allow you to pursue outcomes that suit you. Continue reading

Posted in careers, job hunting, personal | Leave a comment