Seven Things: That Engineering Grad Students Keep Near By

So first off, school has started, I’ve been helping my advisor with projects for a conference she’s in charge of that’s had me on call pretty much all the time, we’ve been running around like mad people trying to finish up wedding check list items AND enjoy and put up the fruits and veggies that are so beautiful right now. So we’ve been a little busy.  And we managed to catch a cold at the same time, and came down with it yesterday. So I haven’t exactly had my act together enough to write this post.  But here I finally am.  Phew.

I spend 60ish hours a week in a lab or with other grad student engineers, and we keep some fairly unique stuff nearby.  Now I’ll admit, my lab is a bit unique among many of the other labs, but I’d imagine there are some similarities across the board.

1. Snacks.  We do pretty well in this department because at least two of us like to bake but don’t like to keep sweets around.  So we often have cupcakes or cookies around, and usually a stash of candy or pita chips somewhere as well.  When you work long and odd hours sugar is a must.

Like these lemon poppy seed cupcakes I made for B's birthday.

2. A tape measure or a calipers.  We constantly are measuring things.  What else is there to say?

3. Graph paper.  Either for sketching designs, doing calculations, or homework.

4. Technical drawings.  Preferably with notes.

5.  Remote control helicopters.  No, legit.  We got these last summer because they feature the material that we design with in their missile launchers.  Sometimes you just need to take a break and try to land a toy helicopter on your lab mates head.

6. Parts catalogs.  But used to hold up your monitor to a more ergonomically comfortable position.  We don’t actually use the catalog to find and order parts, that’s what the internet is for.

7.  Headphones.  Because with 8 people trying to get work done in the same space, sometimes you just need to be able to tune everybody else out.

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