August 28, 2023
This past week I had the opportunity to participate in a wonderful seminar for process engineers. My fellow presenters were all industry veterans with wide-ranging experience in our trade. The best part of the program, in my opinion, was those unscripted moments when the “panel of experts” answered questions from the students and each other. Writing things down, as I noted in a previous posting, is important but authors cannot anticipate everything that a student might want to know. The real-time back-and-forth of the classroom greatly enriches the information exchange. Most of us can vividly recall a moment or two from our own school experience where some comment or phrase made the “light go on” and we finally understood what the instructor was saying. For a variety of reasons many companies have suffered a disruption in their “corporate memory.” Others are attempting to expand into products or services they need to know more about. Well-organized seminars are a great way for them to meet those needs. Conversely there are many people with valuable knowledge sitting on the sidelines that could be a positive influence on our younger engineers. It would be great if they could find a way into the “pulpit” and participate in those “unscripted moments.” I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend AGMA committee meetings from a relatively young age. The insights of the esteemed engineers at those gatherings were like a graduate school seminar. If only I could go back and ask them the questions that have come to mind in the years since! My own work in this very public sphere is a small way of repaying the kindness shown to me back then. If you have knowledge and experience to share from your gear industry days, why not write a paper or participate in an educational seminar? Gear Technology is always looking for content of interest to our worldwide audience; contact us via the website. PS: Engineers are notoriously shy. One of my favorite engineer jokes: How can you tell if an engineer is an extrovert? He looks at YOUR shoes when he talks to you! Please help break that stereotype and share your knowledge.