Engineering Experience: Example 3

Here is another example entry from my mammoth engineering experience record for the PEO. This was my first job in the field in which I had obtained my Master’s degree (Biomedical Engineering) and the company developed QA hardware and software for the medical physicists and radiation oncologists.

Work Experience

Nothing too special here. One of my supervisors was a P.Eng., so that helps.

Start Date(2009-ish)
End Date(2011-ish)
CompanyAcme Medical Products
PositionSoftware Developer
Supervisor(A P. Eng.)
(Mailing address)
P. Eng reference (colleague)(A former colleague, who was a P. Eng.)
(Mailing address)
License: 123456789 (PEO)
ResponsibilitiesDeveloped software applications for the control of quality assurance devices in the field of radiotherapy oncology. The majority of work focused on a product line of description of specific product I spent most of my time developing.

2.2.1 Application of Theory

Note the active language, as suggested by PEO. Try to write your summaries as “I designed… “, “I tested…”, etc. so that it is abundantly clear that you, and no one else, performed these tasks.

AnalysisThe motor controller for the product had ethernet connectivity, which had previously only been used through a direct connection. I assessed, by developing a programming language prototype, the feasibility of controlling the device over local area network (LAN), which became a major feature of the software upgrade.
Design and SynthesisI was responsible for the entire design and development of the new version of the software application. This included motor control of the product, visualization of the active simulation, and the generation, management, and editing of product-specific patient data.
Testing MethodsI developed, documented, and executed a regression test plan for the software application that covered all features, functionality, and use cases, in order to ensure that the software functioned as specified.
Implementation MethodsI designed and tested the software to comply with CSA standards such that operation ceased in a safe manner if the communication between the device and software was interrupted.

 2.2.2 Practical Experience

The “significance of time” section can be a challenging one and, as you can see below, I had to a reach a little bit in this case.

Function of components as part of the larger systemThe software was designed and tested to function on a number of operating systems (Windows XP, Vista, 7) and to be able to control the product over a direct or LAN connection.
Limitations of practical engineering and related human systems in achieving desired goalsThe motion motor used in the product was limited in the maximum accelerations and velocities that it could achieve. The software was designed to accordingly limit both generated and measured patient data from exceeding these physical limits.
The significance of time in the engineering processThe previous versions of the software was developed in an older technology (C++ MFC), which, as the customer's operating systems were being upgraded due to newer versions becoming available, caused a degraded user experience. I transitioned our software to the Microsoft .NET Framework, which ensured portability across the majority of our users Windows-based platforms and a more consistent user experience.
Knowledge and understanding of codes, standards, regulations and laws that govern applicable engineering activitiesI was required to understand the CSA standards for our product and what functionality the software required to comply with them.

2.2.3 Management of Engineering

This is an example of how, even at a job where someone is not a “manager” or directly supervising anyone, you can still be exposed to management-related activities.

PlanningLed a full review of the initial version of the software (to be replaced) with all product stakeholders. Requirements for the features and performance of the next version of software were established.
SchedulingI was responsible for the software development schedule, including estimation of internal development tasks, managing external dependencies (e.g. motor controller firmware development), and keeping management informed on changes in the product release date.
SupervisionI implemented a web-based software code review system and gave a technical presentation to introduce development team to this process improvement.
Project ControlN/A
Risk AssessmentN/A

2.2.4 Communication Skills

Preparing written workI wrote detailed test reports and release notes for all product software. I also provided technical input to written marketing material for several products.
Oral Reports or PresentationsI performed internal demonstrations of software to the management team.
Presentations to General PublicN/A

 2.2.5 Social Implications of Engineering

One benefit of working in the medical sector is that the social implications are fairly direct and not difficult to articulate.

The value of benefits of engineering work to the publicProducts such as the MyProduct and its control software help to assure that radiation therapy systems are functioning as expected, which benefits cancer patients.
The safeguards in place to protect the employees and the public and mitigate adverse impactsThe product is a quality assurance device and provides medical physicists with the means to test the product-specific aspects of their radiation therapy systems. Radiation therapy quality assurance helps to ensure that cancer patients receive the proper dosage of radiation, delivered to the correct anatomical location. Lack of quality assurance in radiation therapy leading to disastrous results have been well documented (e.g. Therac 25 case study).
The relationship between engineering activity and the public at largeN/A
The significant role of regulatory agencies on the practice of engineeringThe American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) published a task group report (TG-53) containing recommendations for clinical radiotherapy treatment planning. The recommendations in the report included rigorous testing of the systems involved, establishing a need for products such as the MyProduct.

4 Replies to “Engineering Experience: Example 3”

  1. Dear P.Eng. Applicant, a quick question. In your work experience for each company you describe one project and I assume that you were hired for that particular project. My job involves working on multiple projects, do you think that I should pick one or just describe everything I do as I would in a resume?
    P.S. Your website and responses are extremely helpful, thank you so much!

    1. Hi Lou,

      Thanks for the question and the kind words!

      (as usual, the advice below is my own, is not based on any inside information, and is coming from someone who has a sample size of 1 when it comes to a PEO application)

      It’s true that in some jobs, I was primarily working on a single, multi-year project. However, in other positions (that are included in my experience record), I worked on multiple projects, but only wrote about a single project. They key is that you only need to detail enough experience to tick all of the PEO’s proverbial checkboxes for your experience. More is obviously better, but experience can also be redundant. So if you worked on Project A and Project B while at Company XYZ, if you can completely fill out a work experience record based on Project A alone, by all means, do so. At that point I would consider project B redundant in terms of qualifying your experience. However, if you’re not confident in the experience you are providing, more is generally better.

      The reason I decided to focus on one project for each was mostly brevity (and limiting how much information I had to remember!). You’ll see that for each section of my experience record, I briefly described the job and project. If I were to incorporate multiple projects, I would advise briefly describing each at the start, assigning each project a simple and clear name, and then referring to that name in each subsection of the record, to indicate to the reader which project you are referring to at that juncture. So I don’t see any issues with including multiple projects, but some additional care (and writing) needs to happen to make sure the reader doesn’t get lost in all the context switches.

      Good luck with your application and please let us know how it goes!

  2. Dear P.Eng. Applicant,

    I want to say there is nothing like this website out there, has been really helpful with this disorientating task, so thanks a lot!
    My dilemma is that I work in a shipyard where I am a project engineer leading ship repair projects. Each project, lasts about 20 days, encompassing about 10-60 jobs which have some of the 5 criteria but not all.
    I was wondering whether it will be a problem if I pick 5 different jobs from 5 different projects to demonstrate the use of 5 criteria. Or does it have to be 1 job from 1 project fulfilling all 5 criteria?

    1. Hi Rochdi,

      Thank you for the kind words! Picking from multiple projects to demonstrate use of the 5 criteria should not be an issue; that’s what I did. It is not expected that every project you do covers all of the categories, but rather, as a whole, they should. All the best!

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