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  • Writer's pictureScott Irwin

My Experience on a Train Ride

I recently took a train ride from Eugene Oregon to Tacoma Washington. We rolled by all these different industries along the way. Food processors, lumber mills, cement plants and many others. I started thinking about my abilities and what skills I could bring to these potential customers as a successful maintenance and reliability consultant.

The realization occurred to me, as I was pondering my experience as a marine engineer, how broad and diversified my experience truly is.

Out on the water for extended periods, on a floating self-sustaining complex, does require a broad range of engineering skills to be an accomplished chief engineer. Ultimately, to keep it running AND keep it afloat!

That entails knowledge of all facets of diesel power plant operations. Knowing your way around electrical, hydraulics, industrial refrigeration, watermakers, fuel centrifuges, pumps and motors. Heavy equipment like cranes and winches. Let's not forget an entire fish processing and freezing plant as well.

As new technology was developed, being well versed with computers, alarms systems and IC components came into play. Additionally, wheelhouse equipment such as navigation and communication electronics.

Most importantly, keeping the whole crew safe, while surviving the harsh environment of the Bering Sea. Out at sea, you can't call in the repairman. But, thankfully with today's technology, we can communicate readily for assistance.

I excelled in my ability to troubleshoot in all these areas and get back online quickly, under sometimes insurmountable simultaneous challenges, like darkness, huge seas and flooding.

During my over 35 years as a licensed chief engineer, I have to say, I have gained some valuable wisdom and overcome a lot of engineering challenges along the way.

So, after giving it some thought during my travel down the tracks, I concluded that I do bring a lot of value to my customers. I have a great deal of experience and skills to share with my maintenance and reliability piers. I'm eager to get into industries that are new to me. I love to keep learning as well.

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