I’m guilty too. The AIAA club I advise sells pads of engineering paper purchased in bulk to raise funds for the club. It’s a great fundraiser because most engineering faculty around the country still require homework to be completed on engineering paper.

What’s engineering paper you may ask? To quote the wiki:

  • Engineering paper is traditionally printed on light green or tan translucent paper. The grid lines are printed on the back side of each page and show through faintly to the front side. Each page has an unprinted margin. When photocopied or scanned, the grid lines typically do not show up in the resulting copy, which often gives the work a neat, uncluttered appearance. In the US and Canada, some engineering professors require student homework to be completed on engineering paper.

The real question is why? I remember occasionally having to make a hand-drawn graph as a student when a professor wouldn’t allow us to use Excel, engineering paper didn’t help much. Moreover, those days are long gone. No professional engineers are handing work to customers still on engineering paper. Everything is electronic– word processors, math processors, computer aided drafting, you name it. Compare the prices: traditional copy paper- $0.92/100 sheets vs. Engineering pad- $8.79/100 sheets. That’s 1 order of magnitude difference! If it we’re an unsolved problem, it would be Google X worthy.

See what happens when engineers draw outside the lines and stop the abuse: #endengineeringpaper