David Sear - 17 March 2016
What is so special about valves and the valve industry that keeps engineers so motivated and passionate about their work, even after retirement? Take Dr Baumann, for example, who has an incredible zest for innovation.
In recent months, Valve World has run three articles on control valve technology that were authored by Dr Baumann. There’s nothing new about that of course – after a distinguished career in flow control Dr Baumann’s reputation is practically set in stone so all his contributions are gratefully received.
No, the reason I want to discuss Dr Baumann stems from a simple question I asked about his initial inspiration to become an engineer. His answer, stated in a purely matter-of-fact way, was to discuss his experiences at the end of the Second World War and how that motivated him to work hard in life.
Following tertiary education in his native Germany Dr Baumann moved to the United States where he pursued his academic studies and quickly rose to higher and higher positions in engineering and management.
Along the way, he authored hundreds of technical papers, wrote several books, contributed to numerous standards, received various awards and was granted over 200 patents. It’s a fascinating story, so if you want to read more about Dr Baumann’s career path please do check out his “Portrait” article in the April issue of Valve World magazine.
But back to his original answer, about being a teenager. When I did the maths, I realised that Dr Baumann is in fact an octogenarian – and a very active one at that!
At an age when many people have been retired for twenty years or more, Dr Baumann still has an agenda packed with engineering assignments. In his own words, he simply doesn’t want to become bored. And in that he is not alone, for he has numerous peers who remain just as active well into their seventies and eighties.
So here’s my call for help – are you a retired flow control professional who maintains an active role in our industry? Or do you know of someone who deserves some recognition in a future “Portrait” article in Valve World magazine? Then please do get in touch! I would be honoured to help acknowledge the work done by some of the people who have helped shape our great industry.