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Posted 9/8/2017

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By Tom Conning, Public Affairs Office

We asked Portland District engineers to give their unique perspective on football. Here are some of their thoughts.

Kevin Brice
Deputy District Engineer, Packers Fan

The teamwork and the multiple skills, whether you’re on the offense – if you’re a blocker, you’re a runner, you’re a quarterback, you’re a receiver – or on defense, you have to perform your skill. We have our engineers, we have our biologists, we have our accountants, we have our program analysts and everything has to come together for us to be able to execute our project. Well it’s the same thing in a football game. So from my view of engineering and executing projects, that’s a cool comparison between the two.

David Shielee
Mechanical Engineer, Seahawks Fan

What makes football great from an engineering perspective is all of the aspects that go into developing the equipment and playing the game itself. To be a good player, you don’t have to know the engineering, but if you look into it more, you can use the concepts from engineering, to actually make you a better player. When a quarterback’s looking to throw a pass, he’s looking at a vector problem. When you’ve got multiple bodies moving at different angles, different speeds, you have to make them connect properly.

Capt. Aaron Anderson
Civil Engineer, Lions Fan

I look at a football team as a collection of different specialties that all come together for one certain goal and I think engineering is that exact same way. We come together to build a project of some sort. If you are missing any one of those pieces, it’s almost like you don’t have the right players on the field, you’re destined to fail and engineering and football are kind of in that same way. You’ve got to have the right specialties and you’ve got to be able to employ them in the right way.

Jared Burns
Electrical Engineer, Seahawks Fan

When it actually hits the ground…it’s part of what makes the game interesting is you have no clue where it’s going to go. And even with modeling, that’s kind of chaos theory. It completely depends on the starting point; you’d never be able to model that because you don’t have precise starting points. So that’s what makes it really interesting and what makes the game kind of random.

Sean Kim
Structural Engineer, Ravens Fan

There’s a lot of physics in engineering. I would say engineering is probably just practically applied physics and there’s a lot of physics happening in football. You don’t have to be a big guy to deliver a large hit. You just have to have the right momentum and accelerate at the right time, since force is mass times acceleration. You can have small mass, large acceleration and deliver a hard tackle.

engineer engineering Football NFL