Perspectives: Field Notes

Make Your Message Clear and Concise

Some common errors plague writing done by many engineers.

By Dirk Willard, Contributing Editor

“How to write good” made me laugh until I heard an engineer from Texas say it, believing that was correct English. The phrase should be “How to write well.” Thankfully, you understand that, right?

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More from this perspective...

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Field Notes: Strive for a Surveyor’s Eye

Surveying and drafting skills can pay off for process people.

09/02/2009

Fight Over-Confidence

Most people aren’t as good as they think at their jobs.

06/21/2012

Finding The True Cost of Data-Collecting Equipment -- Can You Really Afford It?

Consider all costs before you opt to install an instrument.

12/15/2008

Get Pipe Specifications Right in the Beginning!

Good pipe specifications can avoid costly and dangerous mistakes

08/08/2008

Get Your Head Around Shutoff Head

Specifying control valves that may need to provide tight cutoff requires care

08/20/2014

Head Off Hydrogen Hazards

Proper material selection and piping design are crucial

05/05/2014

Heat Exchangers -- Keep Out of Hot Water

Some simple steps can ease heat exchanger commissioning.

02/03/2011

It really isn’t your problem

A manager shouldn’t try to be a Mr. Fix-it.

02/05/2008

Keep Confined Space Work Safe

Rigorous attention to detail is essential to minimize risks and enhance response.

09/27/2010

Keep Current on Your Electrical Measurement Equipment

Electrical measurements often can offer valuable insights.

04/04/2013

Keep plant layout from laying you low

Spot mistakes before they literally become set in stone on the site

05/02/2008

Keeping Peace While Managing Unions

Dealing with unions often poses challenges to engineers

08/07/2008

Know Your Rights

Intellectual property agreements can pose significant concerns.

03/03/2011

Know when to call for help

Sometimes a construction manager is a necessary evil, says Dirk Williard, in this month's Field Notes column.

08/20/2007

Know when to leave a sinking ship

The unspoken truth about projects is that they all come to an end, according to Dirk Willard in this month's Field Notes column. The key, he says, is knowing when to leave.

01/03/2007

Learn Office Politics

Improving your political savvy can help you survive.

01/07/2010

Learning foreign languages can make your job easier

Don’t build walls, by ignoring foreign languages, says Contributing Editor Dirk Willard, in this month's Field Notes column. Learning foreign languages can make your job easier.

10/04/2007

Level transmitter — art not science

There is much more to setting up a transmitter than a mere equation. Design and control errors can certainly compromise performance. Follow these simple tricks to get it right.

06/13/2006

Look at the Big Picture

Ensure that dealing with a safety problem doesn't cause a second risk.

03/22/2012

Maintain an open mind about maintenance options

Sometimes it’s better to take a preventive rather than predictive approach

06/17/2008