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What do I (the engineer) do?

posted Apr 26, 2010, 12:18 PM by Matt Francis   [ updated Apr 26, 2010, 12:38 PM ]
Many times I need to explain, to non-technical people, what it is exactly I do.  I'm sure many engineers have run into this issue before, and end up explaining how the entire universe works before they finally end up with "... and I design the X that goes in Y..."   Well, it can be even more baffling when your area is modeling and simulation, where the work contributes to something physical, but isn't a terribly tangible thing.  It occurred to me that I can draw upon some of the more recent phenomena of the merging of social networking and games, such as interactive worlds (e.g. secondlife, the Sims, etc).  Thus, what I do, day in and day out, is create virtual worlds (modeled transistors/circuits/semiconductor devices) for electrons.  The simulator is just the platform that pushes the little electron "people" around.  See, its that easy!