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Achievement Unlocked: Brian Estep Appointed Vice Chair of ASME’s Thermal Committee

Nov 06, 2017

Brian Estep and John Olin

Brian Estep (L) with mentor Dr. John G. Olin (R), founder of Sierra Instruments & leader in Thermal Mass Flow innovation

To solve problems and build solutions in the modern world, an engineer must have clear focus, an ability to think critically under pressure, and a willingness to work long hours. When skills are developed over time and knowledge is refined, meaningful innovation can and does come to fruition.

However, what allows one to rise above day-to-day work to make a positive impact on the engineering community and bring lasting benefit? We recently interviewed, Brian Estep, Head of Fluid Dynamics at Sierra to learn more…


The Organization Setting the Bar in Engineering

ASME, the American Society for Mechanical Engineers, has the goal of promoting the art, science, and practice of multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences around the world. ASME sets the standards that engineers follow in order to promote innovation through collaboration, knowledge sharing, enrichment, and investing in the development of others to create solutions to benefit lives.

Recently, members of the ASME Measurement of Fluid Flow in Closed Conduits Committee elected a new Vice Chair to the Thermal Mass Flow sub-committee. One of Sierra’s own was unanimously selected for this role.

Congratulations Brian Estep, Head of Fluid Dynamics at Sierra Instruments, on being appointed as Vice Chair of ASME Committee on Thermal Mass Flow! Today, we go behind the scenes with Brian to learn more about his relentless drive for innovation, why this achievement matters to him, and how he will impact ASME for the better.

Q & A with Brian Estep-NEW Vice Chair of ASME Committee on Thermal Mass Flow

What inspired you to become an engineer? Where have you worked? What has propelled you to move forward?

I have always liked building things from a young age, so maybe Lincoln Logs and LEGO? I’m still playing with them now with my sons. My first job was at a video store. I have installed stereos, delivered furniture, built websites. Before I worked at Sierra, I was at a digital publishing company that produced IEEE Conference proceedings.

I have been propelled by a desire to learn and master new skills and utilize them for creative purposes. I like when a plan comes together and a process or machine comes to life.

Who are some of your mentors?

My father, John Estep, was my first “engineering” mentor. He always made sure that my brother and I learned about and eventually participated in anything mechanical that he was doing. I remember being dragged off angry from the Nintendo to change the oil in a car or fix a vacuum cleaner. But those teaching moments have really paid off in the end. I can maintain and repair things on my own now instead of being left to the good graces of plumbers and mechanics.

At Sierra, Dr. Olin has been a great mentor. In my work with him on ASME Standards and mathematical models, I have basically gained a Master’s degree of understanding in Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer. It is a bit like being a Wizard’s Apprentice. I have really enjoyed the experience and look forward to continuing our work.

Please describe the role of Vice Chair for ASME’s ASME Committee on Thermal Mass Flow

The role of the Vice Chair for the Thermal Mass Flow Committee is to support the Chairman in producing and maintaining all ASME Thermal Standards. The position is elected by members of the ASME Thermal Committee along with the members of the greater ASME MFC (Measurement of Fluid Flow in Closed Conduits) Committee. I have already been doing this to an extent in my role at Sierra, so I should be able to transition easily into this formal position.

What inspired you to apply for the role?

Dr. Olin has produced two of the most important ASME Thermal Standards for Capillary Tube and Thermal Dispersion type meters. I will do my best to help maintain and improve these documents and carry on the work that Dr. Olin has started. This role of Vice Chair symbolizes the faith that Dr. Olin and the other committee members from the ASME have in me to continue their traditions of excellence on into the future.

What plans do you have as Vice Chair in the near-term and long-term?

ASME excels at bringing together engineers from all over the world to develop the rules for accomplishing common tasks. Through the framework of the ASME, important decisions are made that could never have been done by all of the members independently. So the responsibility is great, and I take it very seriously. In the near-term, I plan to learn as much as possible from Dr. Olin and other members about working within the ASME and use that knowledge to improve and maintain the Thermal Standards that exist. Long-term, I hope to do a good enough job as Vice Chair that I will be able to take over the reins from Dr. Olin when he is ready to pass them on to me.

Wrap Up and Takeaways

There are rules for a reason. Standards provide us with the frameworks and guidelines that create order from chaos. That doesn’t mean that rules can’t evolve over time — change is part of life, after all.

With Brian’s help, ASME will continue to maintain and improve industry standards, allowing for growth and adapting to new developments in technology. ASME Standards serve as a strong foundation for the future of Engineering and enable the real-life solutions that improve all of our lives. Here’s to the future!

Need Solutions?

Want tools that will empower you to create solutions for thermal mass flow applications? Check out the world’s most accurate Thermal Mass Flow meter.

Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Sierra Instruments

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