February 2018

Columns

Engineering Practices: Develop a questioning attitude

A questioning attitude is a trait that all engineers should cultivate. Most scientific inventions have resulted from such an attitude, and the classic example is Sir Isaac Newton’s story of developing the law of gravity while seeking the answer to the simple question of why an apple had fallen from a tree.

Tharakan, J., Suncor Energy Inc.

A questioning attitude is a trait that all engineers should cultivate. Most scientific inventions have resulted from such an attitude, and the classic example is Sir Isaac Newton’s story of developing the law of gravity while seeking the answer to the simple question of why an apple had fallen from a tree. Each time a question is asked or a challenge arises, the problem should be viewed through a different lens. This opens up opportunities to uncover alternate solutions. Pursuing solutions A plant engineer sought advice on a new shell-and-tube exchanger that was being installed. The equipment manufacturer (EM) charged the shell-and-tube side with nitrogen at 5 psig before shipping, but th

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