Which studies are more useful to ‘engineer managers’ than even engineering?

Richard L.Meehan, a civil engg graduate from MIT, was retained by General Electric as a consultant  to testify before Nuclear  Regulatory  Commission  about the capability of GE’s nuclear plant in California, U.S.A. to withstand earthquakes.

He found, while trying to understand the effect of earthquakes on nuclear plants, that

1.   His basic study of physics is more useful in studying this area compared to the more advanced studies in engg.

2.   His understanding of risk analysis was based not only on probability theory but also on value judgement about safety.

3.   But more interesting was that understanding people was more important than anything else.

4.   Person oriented skills are as important to engineers as technical skills.

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