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Inst. Pet. Branch Lecture: Chemist or Engineer?

Industrial Lubrication and Tribology

ISSN: 0036-8792

Article publication date: 1 April 1954


Space does not permit us to reprint the whole of this Lecture presented by Mr. Evans to various Branches of the Institute of Petroleum, but we do give hereunder the second part in full. In the first part of his paper, Mr. Evans said that we heard more lately about the lubrication engineer than the lubrication chemist which was largely due to a want of understanding of the duties of each. He discussed the opportunities of young men leaving school and entering the engineering field, “chemistry and engineering are equally necessary” he said, “consequently the chemist must become a pseudo engineer and the engineer a pseudo chemist”. Mr. Evans also said, “Those who decide, as engineers or chemists, to specialise in lubrication, will soon find it is a long story …. Lubrication is not based upon some academic dream, but upon a simple evolution dating back to the Sumerian days when primitive sledges were the only means of transporting loads and the advantage of putting fat under the skids was known then”. Mr. Evans traced the growth of engineering and pointed out that modern machinery would not be possible without modern lubricants. “We cannot conceal that without the inventiveness of the engineer, there would have been little incentive to study lubrication”. To the young student he said, “Having acquired the necessary fundamental knowledge and the ability for expression, there may be an inclination to get into a plush‐lined rut which may be stuffed with plums, but more often with chestnuts or, alternatively, to bulldoze one's way through the foggy jungle of adventure. Whichever decision is reached, it is always a good thing to get surrounded by creative people, not ignoring those with grey hairs whose maturity of judgment is sometimes useful, although those who know most are least willing to venture a clear opinion. The word “research” is often a bait which lures young people into an unsuitable or highly competitive atmosphere. I would say that experimenters who do not care for its tediousness should enrich science in some other way.”


EVANS, E.A. (1954), "Inst. Pet. Branch Lecture: Chemist or Engineer?", Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 19-32.




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