Back in 1987 I wrote a book about gears aimed at the novice engineer or purchasing agent. An Introduction to Gear Design was originally a work assignment, but by the time it was completed my boss had lost interest and cut the funding. Not long after that he cut my job, too, and I printed two dozen copies at my own expense and mailed them off with resumes.
The gambit paid off — with twenty interviews and a good job offer — so I have always been grateful for the writing assignment. The book was updated in 1997 and has been a staple of my training classes ever since. It has gotten a bit dated-looking though, and a revamp looms.
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet a start-up technical writing firm saw my book on the Beyta Gear Service website (www.beytagear.com) and offered to modernize it for me. The new version will soon be available for free download at the Beyta Gear Service Website; if you have a technical writing project that is stalled, or one that needs a new look, Brian Dunn at BDTechConcepts can help you.
I hear from readers occasionally, asking for advice on becoming a consulting engineer. Among the first things I mention are the need for a broad base of experience along with a “personal brand.” If not for being assigned to write a book on gears I doubt I would have ever been emboldened to submit even one technical paper to the AGMA Fall Technical meeting — much less undertake a twice-weekly blog.
If you don’t want to write reports, papers, and books, you may want to reconsider whether consulting is for you. History forgets those who don’t “make their mark” on something in a permanent way. If AGMA and public presentations aren’t for you, Gear Technology is always willing to consider previously unpublished content on gears and gear-related issues. If you have an idea for a story that would be of interest to our readers, let us know.
And, we are more than willing to help with mentoring, proof reading, and editing.