Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice… Understanding Through Simplified Concepts…


One of the biggest problems I see facing most new grads as they enter into the workforce is their inability to grasp simple concepts related to their field.  This is such a common issue I’ve seen, particularly the engineering professions.  I have seen it time and time again, where these very bright and highly intelligent individuals come in for an interview, but mess it up because they simply can not show their understanding for the simplest of concepts.

But I don’t blame them… I believe the issue lies in the educational system which seems to value  theoretical based knowledge over more practical and simplified concepts.  As a new graduate, I fell under the same problem… and it took me years to finally be able to grasp all these concepts that should have actually been learned in the curriculum.

My dad played a huge role in helping me to see the importance of learning through more simplified concepts. As a new engineer, I was overwhelmed by the pressures of being under the microscope of one of the most accomplished and creative structural engineers I have ever known – my own dad…

Growing up I have seen my dad tackle the biggest and most complicated of structural problems… many of which, I have seen most structural engineers would try to avoid out of exposing their actual knowledge and understanding (or lack of) in the very field that they claim to be so-called experts. Instead, my dad took every problem head on and he found the most creative of solutions to all of them…

Training under his wing, he taught me to look at engineering through a more practical approach.  He explained concepts, not in terms of complicated theory, but in the most simplified and easy to grasp concepts… concepts in which the “average” (non-engineer)  would be able to understand, given the explanation.  He taught me the complexities of structural engineering through the simplest concepts and ideas, which allowed me to finally grasp this theory that would be meaningless without a true understanding of the simple mechanics behind it all.

Today, I do the same with my own… I train my team through the simplest concepts and ideas… ideas to which to an accomplished structural engineer may seem almost laughable at the surface, but which in no means cannot be denied…

ZLS Consulting Inc. (c) 2017

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