Yefim Kotlyar’s origin story is a great lesson to anyone entering the oft-times confusing world of gears. If you read closely, you will note that he had to overcome many language and cultural differences to achieve success in this trade. While mathematics is truly a universal language, you won’t get far just being able to manipulate equations and summarize results.
Yefim, like many other brilliant engineers I have met, rose to the challenge and brought a unique and valuable perspective to our standards development work. The AGMA Helical Gear Rating Committee greatly benefited from his participation.
I often credit him for teaching us an important problem solving concept — BOB vs. WOW — in a wonderful technical article on resolving gear noise issues. BOB stands for “Best of the Best,” while WOW is “Worst of the Worst.” By comparing these extremes, measuring the differences, and cleverly swapping parts, his team was able to insure a reliable supply of “quiet” engine timing gears.
This is what employers and clients need from the engineering department, i.e. — problem resolutions that are based on fundamental logic, not a series of equations that seem intended to confuse them into submission. No issue is truly resolved until everyone involved understands the way forward. Strive to be a “BOB” like my friend Yefim.