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Engineering Resolutions for 2019

by Francis A. Di Bella, P.E. on Dec 28, 2018 10:15:00 AM

I am an engineer and teacher, so as the year draws to a close, I like to look back on memorable events where an engineering activity went, or almost went, awry. Luckily all were caught in the nick of time.  Once the problem was adverted, my engineer’s sense of humor kicked in, and the result is the list below.  Hopefully, some of these lessons learned, or learnt, as my colleague Kevin would say, will serve as examples of what to be watchful for in the new year.

Do You Design Turbomachinery with a Pocketknife or a Sushi Knife?

by Thiago Ebel on Dec 21, 2018 9:47:00 AM

Years ago, I got a pocketknife as a gift, and I absolutely loved it, still do. It came in handy during my college years, when I was really into camping and trekking. As the years went by, it stayed relevant to my new interests, such as motorcycle trips and surfing. It has helped me open cans, remove sea urchin spurs, and install shelves in my apartment. It has also saved me time and money on several occasions by fixing my bike. It is incredible how tightening some screws and pulling some wires can save towing costs – and a sunny day.

The Wright Stuff for Turbomachinery

by Dr. David Schowalter on Dec 14, 2018 9:17:41 AM

As an engineer, you probably have at least some familiarity with the story of how two bicycle mechanics, named Orville and Wilbur Wright, invented controlled-powered flying machines at Kitty Hawk, NC. While I knew the basic story, I learned a lot more reading David McCullough’s book “The Wright Brothers,” which, I highly recommend. I could not help but make the connections to what we, in the turbomachinery industry, owe to these dedicated and industrious brothers. Their groundbreaking flight, pictured below, on December 17, 1903,  is often cited as the birth of modern aviation.

Reverse Engineering - Going from Part to Art

by Sharon Wight on Dec 7, 2018 9:12:37 AM

Have you ever needed to know the exact geometry of a compressor that has been running for years in your process plant? Perhaps you need to analyze how it would perform if the process fluid had to be changed to meet new government regulations. Or maybe there has been damage to the impeller and a complete mechanical analysis is required before a new one can be put into service. Eventually, everything, even well-designed turbomachinery, needs to be replaced or upgraded.

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