Obsessed – or just being an engineer?
By Kirk Cooper on Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
I knew it was early as I rolled over to check the time. The bedroom was still dark, but I was wide awake and my mind had already been mulling over a problem – a WORK problem! 5:48 am . Well, at least I slept in a little compared to a weekday!
It was Sunday morning, and we didn’t need to leave for church for almost 4 hours. I threw on some clothes, went downstairs, got my coffee, and grabbed my notepad. I then started sketching the joint out – here’s the carbide, there’s the steel. The thermal expansion coefficients differ enough that simply brazing them directly wouldn’t work – the joint would fracture as it cooled . We’ve kicked ideas around with the client for some time . But that morning, I was pretty sure I had some ideas that would work. The details went on the sketch. I outlined several approaches, but a few questions remained . How could I finish the assembly? I sketched out one way but wasn’t sure about it. Today, two days later, discussion with colleagues yielded a great answer!
So – am I obsessed with work? Not usually, but sometimes I find myself in dogged determination to come up with a solution to a client’s problem – like I did Sunday morning. It was really satisfying to lay aside my notebook after nearly an hour and have several workable options, then to get input today to finish it out. Devising answers to our client’s needs can be a lot of fun – even early on a Sunday morning!