Emergency Engineers

As engineers we are often asked to drop everything and work of some other task because its crucial to the business. Sometimes, one has to dash off to production to fix something thingy-me-bob so they can make a shipment date. However last week I got some training for some engineering types that know the true importance of being Emergency Engineers.

My three day course started on Wednesday last week and to be honest I was a little nervous as to what would be involved. I mean it’s not like the product we would be trained on was new to me or to any of us that turned up. However being in a situation were its critical how long you have to fix it really adds pressure.

It’s important when looking at emergency engineering however not to look at the product as a whole but the part within they system and how each is important or has an effect of each other. This way you can assess what function to keep functional and which can be ignored, well to start with anyway.

So the product we were working on – looking at it from a function block point of view is quite basic. There is a quite powerful processing core that handles all the day to day running of the system. To keep the processing unit running it needs a good supply of liquid that is used to stabilise its temperature. This also means we need a good good supply of air too. The system has no redundancy so if the pump fails you have minutes before the processing core is damaged permanently.

There is a fair amount of mechanical part to the system too which can be easy to break. Damage to mechanical parts due to their close proximity to the plumbing means you also risk loss of fluid and hence risk again to the core. You may wonder why anyone would design a system like this in some ways however its pretty cool kit when you see one up and running.

So coming back to the engineers and the training I have to say these guys really know there stuff. They are very good at getting these systems stable should there be a failure. There aim it to keep it stable until the service engineers and maintenance people can get on site and carry out full repairs and or take the unit away for monitoring and or replace parts.

What makes this type of engineering different from others is the time frames involved. You can’t just shut this stuff down and expect it to boot up again without problems. This is what’s important about my training. This three day course now means I should hopefully be able to keep our units at work, should there be a failure, stable. So the people training up have a lot of responsibility to get us well trained and ready for anything. That anything failure just can’t be put into words or in terms of money how important it is to keep this kit running – it really is a case of life and death!

Many people may not consider my trainers as engineers to be honest and its not a term they use. Nor will many people consider the engineering aspects of these products however as engineers we can see why a First Aid At Work Course is very important to the work force. The product, a human or real living and breathing person is often ignored as a critical system until it fails. Without the hard work of people like these trainers teaching First Aid a lot more people would die or suffer serious injures.

Maybe this First Aid stuff is something us as engineers should all take a little more time to think about, and spend some time learning a little Emergency Engineering.

One response to “Emergency Engineers”

  1. Mike Burr

    Something of interest along those lines. I worked in Military Avionics maintenenace before graduating to the real world and embarking on my second career in engineering. We were required to maintain current CPR qualifications, which usually had basic first aid response, based on what we did. We worked with voltages from 115/3ph/400hz supplies to 5v/1ph/400hz. More than enough times I’d been bitten by the power monster, and was always aware of what was around me. Having the first aid training always made me aware of what could happen if we ever lost situational awareness, and what that power monster could really do.

    I think all disciplines, not just electrical, should be aware of ways to help out their fellow Carbon Based operational units when engineering events happen.

    Good article.