As I was doing the electrical concept definition for the Mariwasa-Siam expansion plant in Santo Tomas, Batangas when I took my Professional Electrical Engineering licensure examination, I planned to submit it as my Engineering Design Report.
The design drawings are not a problem but drafting the report itself took me several months even before my board examination. As a preparation, I bought a personal computer from Virramall Shopping center at Greenhills. It was the most famous computer center then. The computer that I bought was an IBM PC XT compatible, 8086 processor, 4.7MHz with turbo boosting to 6.5MHz, 640kB RAM, 640kB 5.25" Floppy, no hard disk, a paper white monitor and a dot-matrix printer. It was the first computer that I bought. It cost me PhP 25,000 then in 1991. Today, I could buy a top of the line computer with it or even a laptop.
The operating system is DOS and I need to swap floppy disk if I want to run a software. The word processor software that I used was Wordstar. To do some graphics, I need to use extended ASCII characters. Its difficult to use but fun.
The scope of the report was from the utility connection up to the individual load centers at several locations. It does not include the power distribution inside the buildings and lighting. Incorprating this into my report will make it very complicated and I may not be able to complete it before the deadline which is two (2) months after the last day of exmaniation.
I did some research on my company, its corporate background and the estimated project cost. The Engineering Report has a section requiring me to detail all of these in addition to the actuall design itself.
Bit by bit, my Engineering report was being formed. I have sacrificed my 5 o'clock drinkies after office and I spent most of my time in front of my new computer. When I was finally finished. I printed a draft copy and I have a 120 pages report. It took me several hours to print it all notwithstanding the noise being created by the printer. It was finally completed and I did my proof read, corrected my errors and improved on some things which needed improvements.
When I was happy of the results, I need to print five (5) copies of my Engineering design report and have it hard bound. Likewise, I have requested Engr Sirio Reyes Sr to certify that the report is my personal work including the plans that I need to attach. The plans alone was about 20 sheets of A1 paper.
All set has been checked and double checked. I went to CM Recto, Manila to have it hard bound. I was told that it will take about a week to complete. I was then very happy as I have finally completed my report and in a few days time, it will be ready for submission to the Board of Electrical Engineering examiners.
My happiness was short-lived. After three (3) with the binder, his shop was raged by fire. I have seen it on TV. I almost cry then as I knew that my Engineering report was in that shop that was burnt. The very next day, I went to the shop, and luckily, I found the owner. I did not waste time asking how is my Engineering Report. He happily replied back, your report was safe. It was moved to the house just when the fire was starting.
I did a good gasp. I was relieved. I need not go back to the process of having to print another 5 x 120 pages reports again plus the 20 sheets of A1 drawings. I was told by the shop owner that I need to come back in two (2) days time. The next day, another calamity happened. Mount Pinatubo errupted and the whole of Metro Manila was experiencing ash fall. When I went to the binder on the agreed date, my Engineering report was not yet ready as it is full of ashes from Mount Pinatubo. I was a little bit nervous. The deadline of submission is just a few days now. If I will not be able to beat it, then it will be a big problem. I request the shop owner if I he could bind it at once, I will just have to wait for it as I needed to submit it to the Board.
The shop owner was very considerate. He bound my report and after several hours of waiting, it was ready. The smile on my face was ear-to-ear. I said to myself. I don't want any incidents happening again. By all means, I need to submit this report. And I was successful. My Engineering Report was receipt and acknowledge by the board administrator.
Despite the troubles I experience with my Engineering Design report preparation, I got a good grade from it. I was the First Placer for the April 1991 Professional Electrical Engineering examination.