June 2008 Archives

Father's Day Present

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Due to my travel scheule and my daughter's schedule as well, when I got home from Pittsburgh she had my Father's Day present waiting. She gave me a bear that she made and naed Commander Unsat. I was very touched that she took the time to make the bear for me and the name is a bit of an inside joke betwen us which makes it even more special. I'll try to post a picture later but for now, here is the birth certificate.

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Dr. Bruce Seeley, soon to be the Dean of the College of Science and Arts at Michigan Tech was a distinguished lecturer today and gave an interesting talk on the history of engineering education. It seems there always been a call for a more liberal engineering education but we never seem to make the change. Either there is competition for students which kills any 5 year programs or there are other competing interests that reduce number of credit hours available in an engineering program. The room was packed but there was not nearly enough space for everyone that should have been there.

The afternoon brought the release and press conference by the National Academy of Engineering on their new report about changing the message of engineering. The NAE has put a great deal of thought and study into how to better get the message of engineering across to different people. I agree that we do need to be consistent in the message and it does need to appeal to the right ages, but we also need to have people who are able to make good presentations. I was struck by the fact some members of the panel were quite adept at making presentations while others were painful to watch. The problem is that those who were painful to watch probably think they were doing a good job. This ties in, I believe, with another presentation I heard at the conference in which it was stated that engineering students fail to understand the importance of good composition and spelling because they have the right answer. I think that applies not only to engineering students, but also to engineers. It is exacerbated by seeing good presentations made next to bad ones.

ASEE Schedule Conflict

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Given the ASEE Conference is only 3 days long, it figures I would have a schedule conflict. The Engineering and Public Policy Division, of which I am the chair, had a session at the same time as I was to present a paper somewhere else. So, I went the first part of the EPP session then went to do my portion of the paper presentation, then returned to the EPP session.

The paper presentation went fairly well but then ASEE is always a civil bunch. Time did go by quickly, however. We had 20 minutes and I thought that would be more than enough time but we only had time for one question. I shouldn’t have been surprised—I’ve done enough of these to know that time always passes faster than expected.

ASEE Conference

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Arrived in Pittsburgh, PA for the ASEE 2008 Annual Conference and Exposition. Not a bad trip, flights were on time and lay-over in Atlanta was minimal. I’m looking forward to the conference.

Travels

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I arrived at the Navy Strike Cell this morning and completed all of checks to ensure we had closed out our part of CWID. Once that was done we said our goodbyes and most everyone left. I remained for the hotwash which was actually pretty good. Seems most all of the sites had the same complaints/problems I had and I think things will be better next year.

I did receive some good news though. The results of the NAVSEA detailing board were released and I was selected for command of a unit in Houston. The billet is scheduled to be deleted after a year but that should free me up to have another command tour should the good Lord and the folks at NAVSEA see fit to give me that privilege again.

Once that was over, I took a drive down to Richmond to catch my plane. I had a little time on my hands so I thought I run by Circuit city. That is when I learned that TomTom maps are not always 100% accurate. I selected Points of Interest near me, picked the Circuit City and then navigated my way over. Only thing is there was no Circuit City. In fact, it didn’t look there had been one there in the recent past. So on to the airport.

Checking in was easy—I had already checked in on-line but needed to print boarding passes given I didn’t have a printer with me. I slipped a Pepsi in my computer bag on the way out of the BOQ room and meant to drink it on the way to Richmond but I forgot about it. Well, what I forgot TSA remembered. They pulled it out of my bag and tossed it in the trash. I felt so much safer knowing they were on the job and I was flying on a plane with one less dangerous Pepsi Cola in the plane. I wonder; would they have done that if it had been a Coke instead?

Navy Com #3

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Today I was given another Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for the work I did in support of CWID. It is nice to be recognized

Visit with the Admiral

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Today Rear Admiral Browne came to visit CWID 2008 in Dahlgren. He took the tour of the entire exercise and then spent some time in the Navy cell. We secured a conference room and converted it into a make-shift Wardroom for lunch. We broke into two shifts so that the watch stations could be manned and had lunch with the Admiral. It was a nice visit and nice conversation. Perhaps the most important thing is not what we discussed but the fact that he took the time to come down for the visit and see us. Leadership—it is all about leadership.

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