We are fortunate to have our trade, our businesses, our ability to produce highly engineered components that make a difference in peoples lives by making technology operate safely and as expected.
I call the satisfaction from my work the “existential joy of engineering,” though that phrase is not original to me.
The holidays are a great reminder of the blessings that we have, and the fact that we are more fortunate than others.
I hope that your celebration of the holidays remind you of what is right in your world, and of your opportunity to help others as you see fit.
And like the Medina Post of the Ohio State Patrol, I hope that you too get to “capture” a bit of the holiday spirit (or elf) to share with your family and friends.
Thanks to the Medina Post of the Ohio State Patrol for their part in the “Can the Cruiser” food drive.
And our best wishes and gratitude to you, the men and women of the precision machining industry, our world is safer and more reliable because you do what you do.
We have many blessings in our lives, the love of family, friends chief among them.
Most of us enjoy an unparalleled material well-being, and a lifestyle of modern convenience that is the envy of the world.
Today, I would like to thank the engineers, and machinists who have designed and built these modern technologies that keep us safe, comfortable, and make our modern lifestyle possible.
As I got out of bed this morning, I reflected how every almost every aspect of my day was in some way made possible by precision machinists and engineers.
- If you have carpet, thank the machinists who made the specialized parts that allowed the carpet to be manufactured.
- If you had hot running water today- thank the machinist who made the fittings, the faucet, shower head and the safety valve components on the hot water heater.
- If your refrigerator kept your food safe at low temperatures, thank the machinist that made parts for it as well.
- If you had cereal for breakfast today, thank the machinists who made the precision nozzles that allowed the cereal company to glue the box together to keep the contents uncontaminated, and fresh.
- If your heating system is gas, electric, or central hot water, thank the machinist for the connectors, valves, control components, burners, nozzles, and backflow preventers that make these systems work.
- If your car ran today, thank the machinists who made a host of components, as well as the engine itself, and even the hardware on the fueling hoses at the gas station.
- If you flew by airplane for the holiday, thank the machinists who made a host of parts, fasteners, connectors and other parts that help the plane to fly. But most importantly, thank the machinists who made that little button on the arm of the chair that allow you to gain a bit more room by reclining the seat. Unless you are the person behind the person who rudely just forces the seat all the way back , crushing your laptop or jostling your drink.
Precision machined components enable almost all modern technologies to function safely and efficiently. I know the companies and the machinists and engineers that make the components for the technologies mentioned above. It makes me happy to understand where all this behind the scenes “magic” is sourced.
Thanks to the machinists who make them, the engineers that design them, and the investors who tool up their shops to be able to produce them.
I am thankful for the blessings of my family and friends.
I am also grateful to live in a time where technology makes my life more about the joy of their company than about battling forces to merely survive. Technology works, thanks to machinists.
Sunday, Austrian Felix Baumgartner rode a balloon to the edge of space, stepped off his balloon- borne capsule into a 128,100 feet, 830 mph, 4 minute, supersonic free fall.
It was the highest jump ever recorded, and at Mach 1.24, the fastest descent.
Temperature– minus 70 Fahrenheit.
Pressure– without the pressure suit, his blood would have vaporized.
This is just one example of the existential joys of engineering.
- Having a dream.
- Understanding the challenges.
- Engineering solutions.
- Daring to test them.
This is how science drives human progress.
In the future, astronauts will be better protected due to the lessons learned from Baumgartner’s Jump.
Congratulations to the Team at Red Bull!
You built that! With the help of a lot of skilled engineers, technicians and manufacturing talent.
We wrote about the Red Bull Stratos Project’s preliminary test flight earlier this year here.
Integrity. Motivation. Objectivity. Ability. Audacity.
Integrity is the foundation of our technical profession. Without credibility, how can we expect others to rely on our work?
Motivation gives us the passion to see the work through. The discipline to do the
impossible difficult calculations, to find the answer in the data available. To complete the assignment. And verify our solution.
Objectivity is the greatest tool of our profession. Learning, understanding, and applying the facts to a situation that we have analyzed, and anticipating the consequences is our objective work. We rely on facts and data.
Ability is how we execute. We have served our apprenticeship, learned our profession. We have spent time with the books. We have learned to do the math, and understand which mathematical relationships apply to the situations we are asked to solve. We have rolled up our sleeves. Used the tools. And learned from doing.
Audacity is the engineer’s greatest gift to mankind. How audacious- to seek a better way. How daring to invest time and effort to solve the difficult problem. How dare we tackle the greatest problems facing humanity- safe water systems, safe transportation systems, safe medical devices, utilities and technologies to make our world a better place.
How dare we try to find a better way?
Photo credit: Thanks to the Audacious Engineers of NASA Apollo 8