Technical Writing Essentials for Engineers

When:  Mar 24, 2021 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (ET)
Associated with  Open Forum


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.

Paul Park 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.

Course Logistics:

  • From March 24 – April 14, 2021 (4 weeks, 4 Classes, 8 Hours)
  • Every Wednesday at 1300-1500 Eastern Time (classes will be recorded with replay available)
  • This short course introduces students to essential technical writing skills for proposals, technical reports, and process documents.
  • The course presents (1) a multi-step process for organizing, drafting, and writing documents, (2) techniques for creating figures, and (3), guidelines for creating clear and succinct technical prose.
  • The course consists of lectures, in-class exercises, and recommended (but optional) between-class exercises that give the student practical experience
  • All students will receive an AIAA Certificate of Completion at the end of the course