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Old 01-26-09, 12:19 PM   #1
MrCrassic 
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Engineering Economics.

So I'm taking an Engineering Economics course now, and I'm really interested in the material. It seems more like a general accounting course, but I'm not sure yet.

For those that have taken a class like this, what are the most important takeaways from this course? Would it also be a good idea to supplement this course with courses in micro- and macro-economics? The information presented here seems to be for most of the general cases, but not for more "interesting" situations.

Thanks!
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Old 01-26-09, 12:37 PM   #2
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Old 01-26-09, 12:38 PM   #3
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I don't think I've really used much of the material from the class when I took it. It was an interesting class, but more in the "good overall rounded knowledge" sense than applicable. Possibly if you got in to management and needed to work the numbers for projects or something it might be slightly more practical.

Unless you really, really love the class (in which case you'd probably be in the wrong major), then just blow through it, enjoy it and get the easy A.
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Old 01-26-09, 12:41 PM   #4
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Old 01-26-09, 12:42 PM   #5
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I really like that kind of course. It combines practicality with pie-in-the-sky engineering. Really lets you get a grasp on bang-for-the-buck types of balancing you have to do in the real-world.

Good example is concrete versus asphalt for roads. Lots of city-engineers balk at the higher-cost of concrete. But when you compare cost-per-mile-per-year of a concrete road versus asphalt, it wins. First because you use a lot less concrete per mile of road than asphalt due to its higher-strength. And second, it lasts 2-3x longer than an asphalt road, thus needing a lot less repair and maintenance costs.

Kinda like the steel-vs-alloy-vs-titanium-vs-carbon fibre debates we have here.
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Old 01-26-09, 12:48 PM   #6
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^

I figured that this course would help quell those differences, but would it also be advantageous to supplement that knowledge with more general information provided by courses in micro- or macro-economics courses?
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Old 01-26-09, 12:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingTermite View Post
I don't think I've really used much of the material from the class when I took it. It was an interesting class, but more in the "good overall rounded knowledge" sense than applicable. Possibly if you got in to management and needed to work the numbers for projects or something it might be slightly more practical.

Unless you really, really love the class (in which case you'd probably be in the wrong major), then just blow through it, enjoy it and get the easy A.
Same here, I took it in 1990, our "professor" was a PE for Consol, so every example was somehow mining related. Interesting class but it's mostly to let you know where "management math" comes from.
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Old 01-26-09, 02:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Good example is concrete versus asphalt for roads. Lots of city-engineers balk at the higher-cost of concrete. But when you compare cost-per-mile-per-year of a concrete road versus asphalt, it wins. First because you use a lot less concrete per mile of road than asphalt due to its higher-strength. And second, it lasts 2-3x longer than an asphalt road, thus needing a lot less repair and maintenance costs.
however, when you factor in the kickbacks and skimming from corruption in department of transportation, it actually pays to have the roads in a constant state of disrepair. Hence, asphalt.

I think you'd want micro-economics to supplement this.
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Old 01-26-09, 02:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
I really like that kind of course. It combines practicality with pie-in-the-sky engineering. Really lets you get a grasp on bang-for-the-buck types of balancing you have to do in the real-world.

Good example is concrete versus asphalt for roads. Lots of city-engineers balk at the higher-cost of concrete. But when you compare cost-per-mile-per-year of a concrete road versus asphalt, it wins. First because you use a lot less concrete per mile of road than asphalt due to its higher-strength. And second, it lasts 2-3x longer than an asphalt road, thus needing a lot less repair and maintenance costs.

Kinda like the steel-vs-alloy-vs-titanium-vs-carbon fibre debates we have here.
only if done properly in the first place. Trufax.
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Old 01-26-09, 03:02 PM   #10
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Managerial Accounting, cost accounting. Total cost, average costs, marginal costs, break even analysis. This has very little to do with the basic accounting course which is about the balance sheet and income statement of a profit company.

I would imagine that the industrial engineers know a lot about this kind of thing.
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Old 01-26-09, 03:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 01-26-09, 03:44 PM   #12
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I only kept my notes from that class (and my notes from study sessions for the Eng Econ portion of the EIT test), but the biggest takeaway for me was many years later when my then-fiancee (now-wife) and I went to buy a home. The math behind the mortgage-- and the value of paying down the principal ahead of schedule-- made perfect sense to me and I was able to grind the numbers for myself. So time value of money was the big one for me. We also did some investment exercises that were semi-useful.

And in reference to Garfield Cat above, it was an Industrial Engineering class at my school, but all engineers (I was Materials/Metallurgical) were required to take it.
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Old 01-26-09, 03:48 PM   #13
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All engineering students at my school (myself included) are required to take the course that I'm taking now. It's a good thing that I'm taking it; I think I can learn a lot of the stuff from my uncle, but it's better to learn on my own.

I just hope that I do well enough in it that I can TA it next year.
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