Mechanical Engineering is a branch of science, engineering to be exact, which deals with problem solving, designing and manufacturing. Quantitative data analysis and data simulations are two most important and basic discourse convention used by mechanical engineers to communicate effectively within their community. This depicts the importance given of this field to quantitative process-based approach. Case Studies, Research Papers and Design Reviews are common/shared communication strategies used by people of this field to present their ideas.
I will be examining this approach of quantitative data-based analysis in case studies, research papers and design reviews, while communicating amongst mechanical engineering professionals. I will be analyzing specific patterns of communication used in three published papers; A Comparison of Energy Consumption in Bulk Forming, Subtractive, and Additive Processes: Review and Case Study, by Hae-Sung Yoon et al., Study on Mechanical Properties of Natural – Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymer Hybrid Composites: A Review, by M.R. Sanjay et al., and Comparing the Design Cognition of Concept Design Reviews of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering Designers, by John S. Gero et al.
A Comparison of Energy Consumption in Bulk Forming, Subtractive, and Additive Processes: Review and Case Study, by Hae Sung Yoon et al. is a case study published in International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing Green Technology on July 2014. The text reviews the objectives, scopes and fundamentals of the research about reducing energy consumptions of manufacturing process. The review was concerned with energy consumption of three different manufacturing processes. Case study, however, used results of reviews and compared them with results of initial research, which highlighted the fact that all three processes followed a liner trend with respect to reciprocal form of productivity. The sentences used are assertive and are intended not to create any ambiguity. The use of acronym was noticeable as it saves a lot of time of both, writers and readers. Quantitative data was the heart of analysis of the data of the research.
The writers and editors have put an extra care on these three linguistic approaches which is visible on this extract of the text “All three process categories followed a linear trend with respect to the reciprocal form of the productivity. Similar to the SEC, the productivities associated with injection molding were ~100-fold higher than that of AM techniques. The MRR of subtractive processes also varied considerably, depending on the process scale.” It is a conclusion of the research review and specific case study which asserts the result of the study with the help of quantitative data.
Assertive statements present research result very effectively most of the times but it could cause a problem when results of the research are not definitive and are open for discussion. Acronyms could come very handy to get rid of sense of repetitiveness, but acronyms can cause ambiguity in research paper sometimes, thus clouding the understanding of the critical readers. Statistical data analysis is very good to present objective data, but case studies also need subjective analysis which is not possible if we use quantitative analysis and quantitative analysis alone.
Study on Mechanical Properties of Natural – Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymer Hybrid Composites: A Review, by M.R. Sanjay et al., is a research paper analyzing the mechanical properties of natural-glass fibre reinforced polymer composites published in Materials Today: Proceedings 2 on 2015. The researches weigh advantages and disadvantages of using natural fibres instead of synthesized composite polymer fibres. They conclude with the fact that natural fiber reinforced composites are used in many engineering applications, because of its superior properties such as specific strength, low weight, low cost, fairly good mechanical properties, non-abrasive, eco-friendly and bio-degradable characteristics. Incorporation of natural fibers with GFRP can improve the properties and used as an alternate material for glass fiber reinforced polymer composites.
They do not use research result of any other sources. The text uses controlled research results based on a rigorous research approach. Past tensed third person were used to present the results of the research while Engineering jargons have been used anywhere possible. Compare and contrast approach has been used to prove natural fibres are better than composite fibres. The extracts from the text itself depicts the lingual approach of the writers better. “The strength properties of natural fiber composites are somewhat lower, because of less stiff and typically less brittle.
Reinforcing glass fiber into the sisal polypropylene composites enhanced tensile and flexural properties without any effect on tensile and flexural module.” It has been used to persuade reader to accept their analysis of natural polymer being better than composite fibres. The writers, however, have not used quantitative approach to establish their fact, but instead used persuasive rhetorical technique to do so. Past tensed third person statements authorize the authenticity of the research but would not let writers to include a small but important experience of their research which might have changed the course of their entire research. Engineering jargons are effective way of communicating amongst professionals, but it would not be as persuasive as they would have expected it to be while actually executing the results of the research in real life situations.
Comparing the Design Cognition of Concept Design Reviews of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering Designers, by John S. Gero et al. is a comparative review published in Design Thinking Research Symposium on 2014 at Purdue University. It provides preliminary results of comparing the design cognition of concept design review conversations of two product design disciplines: industrial design and mechanical engineering design. This paper extends the exploration of commonalities and differences of design cognition into the field of concept design review conversations, by comparing two cases of industrial design and mechanical engineering design review sessions. Based on these preliminary findings, the inter- disciplinary differences of design review sessions are mainly consistent with the patterns found in prior studies of commonalities and differences between industrial designers and mechanical engineers while designing.
Industrial designers are generally more problem-focused than mechanical engineering designers in both designing and review sessions. The writers use cautious language in an attempt not to support any of the designing approach instead plainly present the information. They use quantitative data analysis with effective data simulation to present unbiased, comparative summaries of the design review patterns used in different forms of engineering. They often use data and search results of researches made earlier. These lexical approaches are evident on this extract from the paper” In general, these two design review sessions are solution-focused, indicated by the P-S Indexes being less-than-one. The inter- disciplinary differences of these two review sessions are revealed by inter-row comparisons in Table 3.” The language use suggests the quantitative data analysis with the help of data simulations providing unbiased opinions about two interdisciplinary engineering fields.
Though every pattern of communication is flawed in a way or a two, quantitative process-based approach and data simulations are two most widely used way of expressing scientific research conclusions amongst professionals of this field. I think they use these specific discourse conventions since statistical studies are well complemented by simulations as it provides process of generating data. Thus, they reduce chances of misinterpreting the results of the research.