When I first got here to EWI, I became aware of some intimidating concepts being thrown around. Obviously there was the technological jargon, but I kept hearing this recurring push to “get published” and “present papers.”
I appreciate that writing a blog technically doesn’t qualify as “being published”, but it does come close enough for me to tweak the engineers here. I push the button to post my blog and I proudly stand up and shout “I just published on an article on the debt crisis.”
But in six years here, I’ve never¹ “presented a paper”.
He started going on about what it was about and why he needed my help, but he had me at “co-authoring a paper to present.” The concept was how much does implementing a laser process really cost on a per part basis. That was all well and good, but he wanted to present it in a way both an engineer and accountant could understand. I had been wanting to develop a robust model to compare relative costs of all the welding processes under various operating environments so this just gave me a willing partner to work with and, more importantly, a deadline. Plus I would be a co-author of a paper (in reality it was a powerpoint) being presented by a PhD engineer.
By all accounts, the presentation went over well (I heard 2nd hand as I wasn’t invited… really… it’s ok… I didn’t want to go), the model did a nice job articulating the cost impact of all possible variables, and the video showed that even accountants have a sense of humor.
I’m currently working with our Arc Welding engineering manager Steve Massey to expand the utility, flexibility, and comparability of the model so that it can be used to add some further data for our members when they are evaluating different welding processes. Aside from being a value to our members, if Steve presents the tool at an Arc Welding conference, I can now claim “multiple papers published and presented”.
If you have any thoughts on variables that need to be considered in developing such a multi-technology model, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment below.
¹Editor’s note – I have presented / spoken 7 times at Miami University’s business school, but for the sake of this blog, I will pretend I didn’t already count that as presenting a paper when interacting with our engineers.