How to Fill your Summary Statement (Element 3.4)?

Stepping into the forth element of competency of the final part of the Engineers Australia Summary Statement for the professional engineer’s assessment, this week we take a look at: “3.4 Professional use and management of information.”

On this part, applicants will have to demonstrate their ability to locate and utilize information, critically assess the gathered information, and establish information control procedures. This is another key part of the engineer’s skills set, as comprehensive and reliable information leads to safe conclusions on technical matters, and allows for the planning of targeted actions with predictable outcomes.

a.) Is proficient in locating and utilizing information – including accessing, systematically searching, analyzing, evaluating and referencing relevant published works and data; is proficient in the use of indexes, bibliographic databases and other search facilities.

Example: During the preliminary study phase, I researched for relevant published papers and journals in jstor.org, scholar.google.com, and papers.ssrn.com. After pinpointing what I needed, I directly downloaded the freely available titles, and sent a copy request to the authors of what wasn’t.

Example: I researched on the company’s knowledge database to find user cases that were similar to the one I was facing. As the tagging system had only recently been established, I managed to locate what I was looking for by developing a PHP script that would filter HTML blocks and compare the content with keywords that I had previously designated.

b.) Critically assesses the accuracy, reliability and authenticity of information.

Example: Every information source that was brought to the first meeting by the team of the R&D engineers was assessed based on whether it was written before or after the December 2004 incident that fundamentally changed our understanding on earthquake scales and global planetary ground effects.

Example: My Company was using the same platform to gather customer and service agent’s feedback. To decisively increase the reliability of the incoming data, I set a unique public key for each agent to authenticate themselves and securely connect to the platform through a secure socket layer.

c.) Is aware of common document identification, tracking and control procedures.

Example: I established an information control procedure according to which everything that was uploaded to the database should contain info about the author, publication date, and a picture of the front page of the book/report/paper. This way, everything could be checked and verified.

Example: I selected four employees who were experienced experts in their respective field. All related information should pass their assessment first, and then it would be submitted to the management for final evaluation and approval.

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