Challenges of Engineering: Cost and Value

A course I took from Professor Bruce Vojak at the University of Illinois, emphasized the number one responsibility of an executive is to maximize value defined as: Value= $in-$out. However, I’ll add a corollary to this in order to accomplish this especially if you manage a high-tech portfolio. It is important that you employ engineers and technologists that are able to solve complex technical problems quickly, efficiently and cheaply. I find my own work at times particularly hard and engaging as I’ve realized that at times some technical solutions are unworkable in manufacturing due to cost and technology limitations. Part of being a good engineer is not just one that comes up with a solution but also making sure the solution can fit within fiscal constraints of your company or project.

As engineers sometimes we sometime like to be able to build a new castle from scratch (going along with my European analogies) rather than renovation an existing one and suiting it to a new purpose, much like most European monarchs. And sometime that’s the challenge we face as engineers to re-work things when a number of details are out of our controls.


Boating in Burlington

The best time to be in Burlington is the summer undoubtedly nice biking paths, boating on the lake and lots to do in downtown. Tonight I went out on a boat owned by one of my colleagues. We cruised around Lake Champlain for a bit before heading over to Breakwaters via boat for dinner. Geographically Lake Champlain is situated on the borders of New York, Canada and Vermont. For a brief period Lake Champlain was the nation’s sixth great lake under Senate Bill 927, but its status was later rescinded.

Paris: A Grandoise Affair

Two hours and 15 minutes after riding on the Eurostar train from London St.Pancras with our journey under the English Channel we found ourselves arriving into an enormous train station known as Gare due Nord. What a wonder of engineering and diplomacy two countries at war for hundreds of years now have regular train service via the longest undersea rail tunnel in the world.


Places to visit in Paris:

  1.  The Louvre – The Mona Lisa, I’m still unsure why so many people are captivated by the painting. Another must see is “exhibit” is Napoleon III Apartments located in the Lourve.
  2. The Musee d’Orsay – Houses a number of impressionist and realist paintings, perhaps the most famous painting housed is Starry Night by Van Gogh
  3. Musee de L’Orangerie – Here you’ll find Claude Monet’s Water Lilies
  4. The Eiffel Tower – For students between 16-24 it is just 3.50 Euros to go to the 2nd floor  of the tower
  5. Taking a River Boat tour of the Seine at night is completely worth it
  6. Visiting Versailles a short train ride from Paris, the gardens and castle make it worth while