Regardless of the field, engineers are bound to use Microsoft Excel. This program is now considered a standard in conveying, transferring, interpreting, computing, and even analyzing information and numbers for engineering designs and methods.
Excel is even considered as the most common engineering tool. Not that it means it is the right tool for every engineering task, but there are 3 major reasons as to why Excel is a must-have program in the laptops of engineers and engineering students: flexibility, prevalence, and integration.
Defined as a spreadsheet program used to store and retrieve numerical data in a grid format of columns and rows, Excel has a wide variety of applications.
From calculations, graphing tools, pivot tables, and even a macro programming language, it opens up to many possibilities. Excel has the flexibility in solving for just about anything with the right inputs, like experimental data, and formulas.
For this, engineers can have great use of the program – after all, design and analysis is what engineers essentially do, and Excel is a great computing assistant.
Computation by Alex Tomanovich
Excel is also an essential tool among engineering project managers. This is where they plot project schedules or Gantt chants so they could track the project’s activities and also where projects costs are monitored.
As already said, Excel is the most common engineering tool. That makes it an accessible program for all engineers that can be shared to users across the globe through the internet. Even personal laptops and computers have Excel installed in them because it has become the standard platform in making and opening spreadsheets. As early as 1996, there are already more than 30 million Excel users that easily grew over the years as computers became more common.
When engineers want to do finite element analysis, they usually go for ANSYS, Abaqus, or Nastran. When they want to perform computational fluid dynamics, they seek programs like Fluent, Star-CCM+, CFX, or OpenFOAM. As to the rest of the engineering topics requiring calculations, there are especially designed code for them.
But these specialized programs all have something in common: they are integrated with Excel. Developers of these programs recognize the prevalence of Excel so they play nice with the world’s most common engineering tool through integration. Excel links its spreadsheet data to different engineering applications as well as to its comrades in the Microsoft Office like Word and Powerpoint.
For engineers to remain competitive and keep up with modern computing technology, they should start with learning Excel. Such a program is encountered in any engineering field anyway, but it’s not enough to learn Excel – engineers have to master it.