October 5, 2023
Our next “origin story” author is another consulting engineer, Ernie Reiter. Consulting engineers are “on call” to assist clients with design or failure analysis questions. We are a small cohort but other than the wonderful biennial dinners our esteemed publisher hosts in conjunction with the Gear Expo (now Motion + Power Technology Expo), we rarely have face to face contact with each other. Ernie and I have both been involved with the AGMA Helical Gear Rating Committee [HGRC] over the years. Unfortunately, travel budgets have limited the number of actual meetings that technical committees hold so I cannot recall ever shaking Ernie’s hand. In coming years I suspect more collaborations will be “virtual” so another measure of collegiality will be needed. A person that Ernie credits with mentoring his consulting career, Irv Laskin, was one of the titans of our trade that I met in my early days on the committee. Under the terms of the popular Internet game “six degrees of connection”, that makes us only 2 degrees apart. If you dig up a roster of the HGRC from 1979 to 1984, many of today’s top level gear engineers are probably no more than 3 degrees away from those opinion leaders. The efforts of today’s gear educators, like last week’s author Ray Drago, are insuring that the trade remains close knit in the years ahead. Why not do your part by attending a seminar, volunteering for a committee, or presenting a technical paper [with a high chance of it being preprinted in our magazine]? Everyone’s experience matters and we can learn a great deal from each other.