Education, Engineering

Variations of people’s understanding of Logic and common sense.

Common Sense

During the course of my studying and throughout my life, I would have never expected that I would meet totally different people with different prospective. I never realized that common sense is not necessarily understandable by all kinds of people. Ever since I was growing up, my father used to tell me how to work my mind and realize things by logic. It was natural and only required guidance when I was a kid. With time passing, I implemented the concept of logic, common sense, and critical thinking almost in every aspect of my life. It became a habit and a second nature that helped me throughout my personal life, college and later on at work. Throughout my life I have come across many people who literally can’t understand that if you tilt a bottle filled with liquid with no cap on, the liquid will start pouring on the floor. You might think am exaggerating with this simple example but trust me I am not. There are people out there that cannot realize the logic behind simple facts and the chain reaction it can produce!

Being an engineer, it is very crucial that you realize common sense. There is that engineering logic and common sense that differentiate the engineer from the doctor, lawyer or simple worker (no offence to all occupation as they are all equally important). However, if you are an engineer and you are lacking this ability, then it is safe to say that you only hold a degree of engineering but no engineering at all. The critical thinking resulted from understanding the common sense shall not be underestimated. Like I stated earlier, I used to think that all people can realize it but they don’t. Let’s take this example I had from my previous work, a pump failed due to overload (when the motor withdraws too much current) and tripped. Before I came to know about the issue, the people involved (with no disrespect intended) spent almost 2 months without figuring out the problem and just assumed that it was due to wrong assembly. They re-assembled the pump and again failed to the same problem. The third time when it happened, the problem was assigned to me to investigate. My first thought was that, if the motor was overloading, that means that the motor is requiring more power to turn the shaft which indicates that there was friction and something obstructing the movement of the shaft. This basic logical assumption led me to investigate the service of the pump and what are the possible reasons that might affect mechanical properties of the shaft after confirming that assembly was conducted properly. It turns out, that the pump was a steam condensate pump which is a high temperature operation that affects the thermal expansion of the pump components.  These pumps, and any pump in general, when subjected to higher temperatures than designed and/or was running dry will develop higher shaft diameter due to thermal expansion which will then lead to higher friction on the bearings and bushings of the pump. As a result, the motor will withdraw more current to overcome the friction and hence a trip or severe failure will occur to the pump internals. It turns out that after obtaining all necessary data, the case was as stated earlier and the operations department did operate the pump several times dry. I know this a bit technical and seems straight forward. However, the engineers (who were given the title due to experience only not a degree) did not realize that and couldn’t understand that even after explanation. I was shocked of how some people can really be stubborn and not welling to understand the logic behind anything.

Too many similar situations I have faced socially or during conduction of transactions with different people that I can’t remember at the moment. However, I hope that the example I stated prior can meet the purpose of this blog. Moreover, it is very vital to realize that not everybody understands logic and relate to it. This is the first step that you have to take in order to be able to know how to deal with people with lack of common sense understanding and try to elevate the mentality of the people around you to have the same logical mentality, common sense understanding, and critical thinking.