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places to effectively meet scientists/engineers

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places to effectively meet scientists/engineers

Postby YAG » Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:28 pm

where are places where you can consistently meet and interact with scientists and engieners on a regular basis? (I mean aside from a job)

eg. volunteering events, fairs, clubs

looking for anything I havent thought of yet.

thanks
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Re: places to effectively meet scientists/engineers

Postby P.C. » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:50 pm

The local pub down the street from the workplace on a Friday night?
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education" - Mark Twain
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Re: places to effectively meet scientists/engineers

Postby Rich Lemert » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:34 pm

I'm assuming that you're talking about 'regular' as in "two or three times a week," and not "twice a year at a technical conference? There's no such thing as "an engineer's hangout", so you can't just "look for the bar with the pocket protector on it's sign."

There are, however, two places where you're likely to find scientists and engineers in a somewhat social setting.

- Local meetings of professional societies: A lot of professional societies (IEEE, ACS, etc) have local chapters that get together for monthly meetings - especially in areas where there are a lot of people in those fields. These meetings usually start with a social hour where you could get to know the other attendees, then have a guest speaker talking about something relevant to the field. There will most likely be a cost to attend, but it's no worse than going out to dinner that night.

- Toastmasters clubs: Many scientists and engineers understand how important public speaking skills are to their careers and join Toastmasters to improve their skills. Some clubs are "closed" - which typically means that members work for the host company and may wind up talking about work-related issues, but most clubs are open and welcome anyone. My club is an open club, for instance, and we have at least three engineers as members. (I can help you find a local club or two if you want to contact me by PM.)
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Re: places to effectively meet scientists/engineers

Postby YAG » Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:08 pm

yea exactly, I would like to meet people every week, and be able to stay in touch with them. I haven't been very active on my job search, but I know online applications is more or less a dead end. I've only two years of industrial experience (not even in a lab), so I'm in that perfect crevice where nobody looks, and I think my applications are a easy toss. Entry level positions are predominantly filled by fresh college grads. And I'm not as qualified as my competition for the more experienced positions. So if I want to find a job I actually like, I'm going to have to step up my networking tactics.

Another thing I was wondering about is whether it's plausible to volunteer for a professor once a week - keyword volunteer. I'm pretty good in the lab, and I haven't worked in one in over 2 years. I could get some experience, learn something, and improve my chances should i choose to apply for grad school this fall. I'll do it once a week because the drive is a couple of hours each way...
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Re: places to effectively meet scientists/engineers

Postby R.J.G. » Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:38 pm

If you're a women in a major city, any of match.com, Plenty of Fish etc. is full of engineers.
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Re: places to effectively meet scientists/engineers

Postby A. M. Faust » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:10 pm

I'm a "professional scientist" and I rarely or never go to professional society meetings or toastmasters' clubs, but that may not be the case for others in my field. I'd suggest checking out science or engineering-related Meetup groups in your area. You can join a local professional organization, but a lot of those groups are also full of people looking for jobs or career changes, few are full of established professionals. Also, don't knock "hanging out in a bar next to a major research institution" as a way to meet science, engineering, and tech professionals. My friends and I play bar trivia, and some of the university bars host these kinds of trivia nights. However, as with other groups, science and techy people tend to hang out with those they already know, so don't worry too much if each outing isn't successful.
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Re: places to effectively meet scientists/engineers

Postby YAG » Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:33 pm

R.J.G. wrote:If you're a women in a major city, any of match.com, Plenty of Fish etc. is full of engineers.


I'm a guy. but can I replicate the same result by impersonating a woman on match.com?
YAG
 
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Re: places to effectively meet scientists/engineers

Postby YAG » Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:37 pm

so far, I've got toastmasters, aiche, acs. any others? I'll also check out meetup for any business networking sessions. But to be honest, those type of meetups are exactly like what Faust described, filled with people who are seeking jobs, or just want free drinks and hang out, lacking substance. If it's small, it's highly unlikely to meet people from the same field.

What about the idea of volunteering for a lab once a week? I'm planning to travel to Houston and Austin on consecutive days to do bike races, hopefully on a weekly basis. I was thinking I could use the rest of the day to meet people, work in a lab, and make the best use of my time. I live 2 hours from houston, and around 4 hours from austin. I can stay over night in houston, go to austin, and make that a habit.
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Re: places to effectively meet scientists/engineers

Postby Rich Lemert » Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:07 pm

If you're willing to settle for a subset of scientists and engineers, you might try checking out the seminar schedules in departments that interest you at UT, UH, and Rice. The audience will be mostly grad students and faculty, but some of the speakers may be from industry. A lot of these will be open to the public, even though not many people outside the school ever attend.

You aren't very likely to find anything similar in industry. Industrial seminars tend to be more irregular, and they're provided for the benefit of the company's employees.
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Re: places to effectively meet scientists/engineers

Postby YAG » Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:23 pm

excellent idea. thanks
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