Engineering

More than Just a Technical Profession.

 

"To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be."

- Unknown -

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Rolling the Super Decathlon

I was flying in formation with a camera plane when I rolled my Super Decathlon to the inverted position. This shot was taken just as I started to roll inverted.

AT-6D (Texan) 1972

This WWII advanced trainer was used by many cadets on their way to our battles in WWII. The Pratt and Whitney R-1340 600 Horsepower engine and 9' 2" propeller makes this plane a true classic. Photo by Curtis Guillet.

Vindicator Being Tested

This photo was taken at Lake Hawkins near Tyler, Texas. My safety divers were there to help should the unexpected have happened. Luckily the test was nearly flawless.

Stearman PT-17

I purchased this plane in 1970. It was formally a WWII primary trainer. I was 19 in this photo taken at Magnolia, Arkansas.

5 Vindicator at Home

My submarine The Vindicator is located at home for a day or two as we have a party celebrating a successful test.

Downtown Airshow Photo

Barry Guillet, Marion Cole, Chris Wank, and Gary Boucher

Steve and I Testing Sub

I was happy that the first dive was successful. You don't count dives. You count surfaces!

My Plane

I still love flying airshows!

Vindicator at Full Power

This photo was taken at Lake Hawkins during the first set of dives. Vindicator was at full power on the surface.

Downtown Airshow

Marion Cole, Barry Guillet, Gary Boucher, and Wyche Coleman, Sr. from Coushatta

Decathlon Row

Photo from an airshow in Carthage, Texas in the mid 1980s.

WHEELMA Returning to Lab

WHEELMA (Wheeled Hybrid Electronically Engineered Linear Motion Apparatus)

Flying at Barksdale

This photo taken by a professional photographer as I flew over him just feet above the ground. A very nice photo!

Rock N Roll!

Ready to Rock N Roll! WHEELMA can most easily turn in this position. She can also take steps with her front set of wheels raised.

Natchitoches Airshow

This show in 1985 featured a number of aerobatic acts and also a bevy of beauties who rode down the flight line with the performers after their performance.

Gary and Marion

I flew for years with Marion Cole at many airshows. This is one of my favorite photos of the two of us taken at Springhill, Louisiana during a donated airshow.

Jenelle My Daughter

Jenelle was about 7 when she posed for photos with my first Decathlon. She has grown a bit now and lives in New York City.

Knife Edge Flight

Plane to plane photo of me doing a knife edge maneuver. As long as the speed holds up, one can fly a Decathlon on its side.

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What is an Engineer?

Personal Thoughts

I personally believe that some engineers are simply born with an ability.  I am not saying that engineers come from the womb calculating and creating, but I do believe that some have leanings from early childhood that others do not.  For lack of a better word, some simply call it “The Knack.”  Whether the knack is real or imagined, some people gravitate toward engineering because of a natural love and understanding of the practice, and others chose engineering because it can afford them a good stable income for life.  After watching this short educational video you may also agree. 

I was born in 1950.  My generation was far from what we see today in our youth.  We had no video games, no computers, and not much television.  So what did we do with our time?  Many went out into the yard, yes that grassy area surrounding the house, and built something, took something apart, or simply tinkered.  Often times, we tried to mimic things that we had seen adults do with tools.  This seems to be lacking in our youth.  In my laboratory work at LSUS, I often find students that don’t know how to use a screwdriver.

I had a very unusual maternal grandmother, born in 1894, she was never happy with the typical female endeavors of her generation, but opted to build and create like many of the men.  Perhaps I have her genes for engineering, but one thing is for sure; I spent many hours watching her do carpentry, plumbing, foundation work, roofing, brick laying, and many other types of work related to her personal projects.

One thing I learned from my grandmother was that if you want something, build it.  She was virtually never deterred by any project, large or small.  She would tackle it with the tenacity of a bulldog.  When I was around 5 years old, I learned to drive nails and I was off and running!  When I was 13, I learned to use a oxyacetylene torch for welding and cutting steel, and I ascended to a new plateau.  At 15 I started arc welding and at that point, I saw no limits.  I simply had it in me, and I had to express my desires to create much the same as a painter needs to express his thoughts and feelings on canvas. 

Perhaps my history gave me my knack, but perhaps it’s something simply inherited.  Can one learn the knack?  I do not know the answer to that question, but many learn engineering no sooner than college, and do quite well in the profession.   

My advice for students contemplating any profession, including engineering, is straightforward; go into a field that you enjoy, and never chose a profession based solely on income.  If you want to be a doctor, don’t do it for the money.  Do it for the love of the profession.  If you want to be an engineer, do it likewise for the same reasons.  You can have the greatest career in the world, make excellent money, but if you hate what you are doing, you are going to be an unhappy person.

My engineering work spans both personal efforts, such as my submarine and robots, but also academic work such as my research at LSUS.  If you are interested, please take the time and view the different sections of my site for a partial view of my own versions of engineering.

"To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundimental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil."

Charles Krauthammer

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