Monday, 16 March 2009

A Conference in Bangalore

Some of you might have heard or read this joke. I thought I have heard it before. But hearing my colleague, Sanjay telling it in his version with his Indian slang and spices, tilting head and enlarged eyeballs was as good as hearing it the first time. So this was how Sanjay presented the joke as I recalled it, more and less...

There was a conference in Bangalore, attended by all kinds of top engineers in the whole India. They discussed a hypothetical topic which is, if God is an engineer, what kind of engineer he could have been when he created human beings.

An electrical engineer was the first to say, "He must be an electrical engineer. Just look at the veins all over our body. They are like the electrical wires, which only electrical engineer could understand. So he must be an electrical engineer". His fellow electrical engineers clapped their hands to support.

One electronics engineer was next to add, "He must be an electrical engineer with good knowledge in electronics. Otherwise we are all blind and deaf without sensory and control devices to see, to hear, to smell, to feel and to react accordingly". This remark created a huge applause. The mutual respect among the electrical and electronics engineers was visible.

A mechanical engineer was all out to disagree. He reasoned that, "Human beings are active, reactive and can be pro-active. The human anatomy is supported by excellent motors work, powered by strong and complex structures of bones, joints and muscles. This is definitely the work of a mechanical engineer!!". The team of mechanical engineers were on their feet with their hands up in the air and making the wave of supporting sounds.

A chemical engineer got up from his seat and started his argument. "Ladies and gentlemen, this morning, we all had great breakfast of paratha, puri and masala dossey, veg and non veg, as we like. The food and water we consumed are all processed and converted to energy to make us do our things physically and mentally. Now tell me, who can handle a process better than we do?". There was a soundless moment of reflection. The chemical engineer sat down, satisfied.

It was not long enough that a civil engineer stood up to break the silence. He first mimicked the chemical engineer's word. "Ladies and gentlemen, this morning, I had 4 pieces of paratha with egg masala. The breakfast has been processed and now must find its way out. Now tell me, who can handle the drainage system and solid waste pipeline all the way to my manhole, as well as we do. So God is a civil engineer. Anyone has problem to deal with this?". Apparently, nobody.

When I was in the college filling up the enrolment form that required me to list my selection of engineering school. My first choice was chemical engineering, followed by electrical & electronics and material engineering. Civil Engineering was not in my list. I enrolled to the school of my first choice and did all my things. All this while I was rather ignorant about civil engineering. It is only when I set my feet in Dubai, I see the powerful contribution of civil engineering work that makes the right first impression, creates opportunities, accommodates the mass community and ensures sustainability. If only the prospect of their career can be as strong as what they have built and as sustainable as what they have contributed.

I dedicate this entry to the civil engineers and their constructions workers who had left Dubai after the completion of their projects. Some of them have to leave unexpectedly and unwillingly as their projects were cancelled or pushed back due to the lack of funding. Some of the lucky ones are here to stay and continue the legacy of their civil work in Dubai.

Image from Google - The aerial view around Burj Dubai under construction months ago

Image from Google - One of a civil engineer's duties is to ensure safety at sites

Image from Google - The less happening sight of a construction site now

The unhappy face of a construction worker probably worrying about the future of his family

(Photographed by Paul Keller in Flickr)


Inah said...

the tallest building right??..lots of development in dubai nowadays..

now i know why my uncle wont come back and stayed in dubai :P

hady said...

oh, why all engineers?

i think human is a creation of an architect

thats why human has beauty but at the same time functional..

p/s: do u know that menara telekom yang berkonsepkan pucuk rebung actually just straight up without twisting. until one of the designer (perempuan) suggest to my ex boss - why dont we make it a bit soft, just like a woman twisting her body..

tadaaa... jadilah menara telekom sekarang ni..

azizi said...

engineer rules :-)

Yap! It's 3088.. said...

I found your blog from Nik's. Your take on Dubai is very interesting and enlightening for someone like me who hasn't been to that part of the world. Congrats on your marathon too!

orangmuar said...

... Argument between engineers will never stop and concluded...
.. But in the end, all the brilliant mind who become engineer, ruled by politician who are mostly from business and admin, economic, law, and... art stream..
.. and most corporate figure in our country are from accountancy field... that's probably one of the reason not many of our companies become world or at least Asia leader...Accountant don't take risk....
Engineer play with calculated risk each day....

ms.d said...

hahahah engineers likes to argue between them!, civil engineer, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, process engineer, piping engineer, structure engineer..
everyone wants to be an engineer...engineers loves to say they are the best...

architects always discuss and change things or their design for the best, thats why human loves to be in the best position in their everyday life...


Jumper said...

Yes, it's the tallest building and yet there's another plan to break the record and it's going to be in Dubai also. We'll see...

The entry is a biased writing since the writer is an engineer by profession. There is no offense intended for any other professions contributed equally well to Dubai construction.

It depends. If the architect can go beyond the process of ideation on papers and the structural simulation on a computer screen, to take the extra mile, I have no problem to support your opinion. The extra mile I have in mind is, to consolidate all the different supporting systems, digest the details that co-ordinate all the functions, to maintain reliability, to trouble shoot and to control deviation from design, to calculate the dynamics of growth, maturity and aging factors.

Thanks for that interesting historical background of Menara Telekom.

Yeah, we rule but only by our principles of work and thinking. We start good in our career but overtime, we're overworked and underpaid.

Thanks for coming. Great to know you're a runner too.

Our country needs to tap more juices in the engineering field to become more competitive. What we have now is a little too much of hot air from those politicians and also professionals playing politics in their field. Engineers who are true to their existence, would not care who rule them, so long they are able to use all the resources to deliver their objectives.

It's our human nature to argue and challenge one another professionally. It's our human way to find what is best for us, the right thing to do and to make changes where and when they are necessary and feasible. It makes no difference if you're an engineer, architect, lawyer, doctor, etc.

Peace to you, too!

Ms B said...


re your comment, I'm a professional but probably unlike some, I speak for my mind and hardly tolerate politics. Hence people say I'm more suited to work abroad cos it aint a place for me, esp for a lady.

ps: ur comment was hillarious. *LOL*

Jumper said...

Ms B,
You're lucky that that you're well-placed. You've got a place to practise your professionalism without having to watch your words and keep on assessing whether they're politically correct.

Thank you but I was just reacting to a funny entry of yours.