Give me a bad habit about your engineering field-

<p>For what you've seen as a student or experienced as a professional.</p>

<p>For petroleum engineering, I've started to become indoctrinated into the very bizarre world of oil field units. Density is actually specific weight, weight and pressure are often interchangeable and it seems when the need arises, a unit gets created. It is very difficult after sitting through 4 semesters of physics and 3 semesters of Chemistry to hear inconsistent terminology when it comes to units. But alas, that seems to be how the oil and gas industry operates so I might as well get used to it.</p>

<p>Anyone else?</p>

<p>My petroleum engineering professors are always spreading lies about alternative energies. For example, they try to defend the oil spills that companies like Shell and BP cause by saying that millions of barrels of oil seeps into the ocean every month. They just don't want to admit there is a big difference between a concentrated oil spill from a specific well and the natural seepage that occurs over a large area. Other times they will pretend like oil companies are just as interested in clean drilling practices as they are in maximizing profits.</p>

<p>During my first semester as a petroleum engineering major we were required to take a class on alternative sources of energy.</p>

<p>Some of the ignorant statements my professors would say were unbelievable.</p>

<p>Wind power: At one point the professor tried to convince us wind power was no better for the environment than oil because if enough wind turbines are installed throughout the US then wind will stop flowing normally across the land and that will cause a negative impact on climate. I tried to tell the professor how ridiculous his theory was but the class sided with him.</p>

<p>Geothermal energy: Another time during a slideshow our professor said a negative side effect of using the thermal energy from the earths core was that it would cause the cores temperature to cool too much and cause huge disasters like the magnetic field of the earth diminishing and thus causing extinction due to radiation from the sun.</p>

<p>At times it was as if the professors were trying to brainwash us so that when we eventually work for a big oil corporation we won't ask questions when something wrong is done.</p>

<p>For the record my professors are excellent at teaching petroleum engineering. Unfortunately they are incompetent in other subjects.</p>

<p>My father, husband, and I are all structural engineers. The habit that drives the rest of the family nuts is when we crane our necks to look at roof structure. It doesn't matter where we are - we're always doing that.</p>

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The habit that drives the rest of the family is when we crane our necks to look at roof structure.

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My dad's a EE in power systems - he often comments on how "pretty" some power lines or substations are. It used to annoy me immensely. </p>

<p>Now that I'm co-op'ing for an electric company, I find myself doing similar things. Lol.</p>

<p>Everytime I have to wait for a red light, I think about who coded that signal and why it takes so long and he must have messed up.</p>

<p>scofield, what kind of engineer is responsible for that, so I'll know who to curse in the future?</p>

<p>Maine, it's actually part of civil engineering, or more specifically transportation/traffic engineering.</p>

<p>Noleguy: What makes you think there aren't perfectly good reasons for oilfield terminology? Granted some is inherited but most makes perfect sense.</p>

<p>As an engineer, it will be easy talking to other engineers. Your challenge will be communicating with the guys you need to implement your decisions, and they will frequently have not finished high school, never mind college. None of them will have been in AP classes. Telling a toolpusher or driller that your drilling environment is a 0.468 psi/ft pressure gradient is like telling them you've been listening to gas music from Jupiter. Telling them you are in a 9.0 pound mud environment gives them all the info they need - a 9.0+ pound mud will balance bottomhole pressure and keep the well under control.</p>

<p>This will come as a shock, but some of the guys who've come before you aren't totally stupid. Some of us can even round up 2 brain cells to rub together, and I've been doing this for well over 30 years (I found this forum because my son is looking at schools).</p>

<p>Alchemist: You sound like you're not completely sold on Petroleum. If you don't actually believe in this business, if it's not what you want to do with your life, if you are only in it for the money, do everyone a favor: quit now. Find something else you are passionate about. If you don't love this business you'll suck at it and be miserable. </p>

<p>What makes you think natural seepages occur over big areas? My brother was on a team that capped and captured a 150 BOPD seepage off the California coast - the crack was about 3' long. </p>

<p>How many prespud meetings have you been in? How many wells have you planned and drilled? Are you suggesting that major oil companies take environmental and regulatory compliance lightly? What makes you think that clean drilling operations are a low priority for companies? I would suggest that making that comment in a job interview might not go over well.</p>

<p>It sounds to me as if you share the common cultural prejudice against the industry, but would like to be extravagantly paid by it nonetheless.</p>

<p>I'm not being harsh on you here, just truthful. If you don't truly love what you do for a living, you'll never be successful. I love drilling and producing oil wells. My day is full of challenges and new problems to solve. This is fun. But I also truly believe that what I do for a living is good, that it makes life better for people, pays lots of taxes, and employs good people at high wages. There is little in life more satisfying than being useful.</p>

<p>@Sparky b.</p>

<p>Don't get me wrong Sparky, I really enjoy my petroleum engineering courses. I find the science of petroleum engineering fascinating. Knowing that one day I will help produce a commodity that powers our world is why I am working hard to become a Petro. Eng.</p>

<p>Just because I like petroleum engineering doesn't mean I also have to agree with large oil corporations.</p>

<p>What I am saying is that sometimes my petroleum engineering professors and classmates can be unreasonable, especially when it comes to a subject that undermines or is a threat to the petroleum industry.</p>

<p>Sparky,</p>

<p>I have no doubt those that came before me were extremely smart and I'm sure there are great reasons for some of the units. It is just a hard transition moving from a curriculum where units are beaten into your head from an early age to the world of petroleum where something like density and weight could mean a few different things. If you tell a physicist a weight, they know that it is that is mg. I've heard weight used in three different ways thus far in the petroleum industry. Using the same word to describe different things, scientifically, isn't the best habit.</p>

<p>(Just gonna mention that mg isn't actually a weight, but a mass.)</p>

<p>He meant mass*acceleration due to gravity.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I have no doubt those that came before me were extremely smart and I'm sure there are great reasons for some of the units. It is just a hard transition moving from a curriculum where units are beaten into your head from an early age to the world of petroleum where something like density and weight could mean a few different things. If you tell a physicist a weight, they know that it is that is mg. I've heard weight used in three different ways thus far in the petroleum industry. Using the same word to describe different things, scientifically, isn't the best habit.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I agree, actually. For example, in the telecom/computer networking world, sometimes words like "bandwidth" are used when "throughput" would be more appropriate.</p>