Technical Writing Essentials for Engineers

In This Section

This course is designed for engineers tasked to write technical reports, proposal technical volumes, and engineering process documents. The course techniques and guidelines were assembled by the instructor through his experience working on these types of documents during his career, and through the tutelage of technical document editors and proposal development consultants involved with these documents. The material is specific to writing needs of professional engineers. Almost half of the course is dedicated to learning a disciplined process for organizing and drafting documents and figures. The remaining portion consists of learning essential writing guidelines for efficient communication with a reader. Students spend course time practicing the techniques introduced in the lectures. Students must be able to use Microsoft Word, and experience in Microsoft PowerPoint is helpful. 

Between classes, students will be encouraged to complete optional assigned exercises that simulate the process for organizing and drafting technical documents. The students will email completed exercises to the instructor for review among the class in the following session. At the last session of the course, students will also get the opportunity to review other students’ (anonymous) document drafts.

Learning Objectives
- Gain expertise in the multi-step process for organizing and creating a technical document.
- Learn, through practice, essential technical writing guidelines that help the student produce easily-read and clearly-understood technical writing.

Who Should Attend
This course is intended for any engineer tasked with creating a research paper, research report, proposal document, or technical process description.

Contact: Please contact Jason Cole (jasonc@aiaa.org) or Customer Service if you have any questions about the course or group discounts.
Outline


o Introduction
o Lecture – The Technical Writing Process: Six-Step Process
o Exercise – Create a Module Layout
o Review Student Module Layouts

o Lecture – Creating Effective Figures
o Lecture – Big-4 Effective Writing Essentials w/Mini Exercises
o Exercise – Create Sample Draft Figure and Module Bullet Statements

o Review Student Figures and Bullet Statements
o Lecture - Guidelines for Clear and Succinct Writing w/ Mini Exercises
o Exercise – Create First Draft Text for Module

o Review other students’ document drafts
o Final Exercise – Edit This Memo
o Summary

Materials

Instructors

Paul Park is a retired Lockheed Martin engineer with over 40 years’ experience in advanced aircraft design. During his career he led preliminary design teams developing advanced fighters, bombers, rotorcraft, and hypersonic vehicles. He led the configuration design effort for the F-35 program, serving as Air Vehicle Integration Integrated Product Development Team Lead and subsequently Deputy Chief Engineer. Paul also led and authored major sections of proposal technical volumes and reports for the F-35, Joint Multirole Rotorcraft, National Aerospace Plane, Next-Generation Long-Range Strike, and Air Force R&D programs. Paul recently served as a consultant to Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, and General Electric Global Research, and is currently and Adjunct Instructor at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Paul is an AIAA Associate Fellow and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the AIAA Library of Flight series. He was a recipient of the 2002 AIAA Aircraft Design Award. Paul is the author of this short course, which he has taught to engineers at Lockheed Martin, Bell Helicopter, Northrop Grumman, and engineering students at University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas at Arlington, North Texas University, Stanford University, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.