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Work with Meaning and Impact (Tough Act to Follow) - Zer Netmouse
February 4th, 2015
11:09 pm

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Work with Meaning and Impact (Tough Act to Follow)
My father helped invent and develop the life-support systems (cardiopulmonary bypass, or heart-lung machines) that are used for open-heart surgery and transplantation.

In the locker room at the gym tonight, I overheard a woman recounting the experience of having a loved one wait for and eventually receive a heart transplant. Felt so much pride and joy as I realized the fears she remembered and related to her friend had only to do with wondering if he would get a donor heart, and if his body would reject it. NOT about whether he might die on the table during a surgery where his heart was stopped and removed from his chest.

I remember so clearly how dad extended his engineering education to include hydraulics and hematology as well as specific material chemistry in order to reduce the damage to the blood caused by mechanical pumping and oxygenation to within acceptable limits. He also learned how to do 3D modeling on the computer and rapid prototyping with a programmable milling machine in step with developing technology. He attended surgery and interviewed surgeons and perfusionists to improve the design of the whole system and interface. His experience convinced me that the best career is one in which you are constantly learning and challenging yourself.

Talk about work you put your heart into. So proud of you, Dad.

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From:gerisullivan
Date:February 5th, 2015 08:39 am (UTC)
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Wow. Thanks for writing this up.

We know people who are doing, who have done, the most interesting things, don't we? And, yes, sometimes they're even in our immediate family. :-)
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From:icedrake
Date:February 5th, 2015 02:06 pm (UTC)
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That's wonderfully motivating and inspiring. Thank you.
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From:apostle_of_eris
Date:February 5th, 2015 06:15 pm (UTC)
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I'd had no idea.
Thank you.
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From:rono_60103
Date:February 5th, 2015 06:32 pm (UTC)
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I know that my dad did significant work in his 40 (or so) years as an electrical engineer at Sandia National Laboratories. But, since most of his work was classified, I don't know much of the details.

Alas, I do know that his work tends to have a less positive impact on the individuals directly touched by it than you father's work.
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From:muffyjo
Date:February 6th, 2015 03:20 am (UTC)
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That's a pretty amazing accomplishment, indeed. I love the curious, (sometimes curmudgeonly) , often so very deeply engaged in the world engineers who find ways of tweaking the world to be more compatible with humanity's better sides.
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From:the_leewit
Date:February 6th, 2015 05:08 pm (UTC)
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That. That is what I want more than just about anything--- the ability to leave a legacy my kid can be proud of at random moments.
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From:_earthshine_
Date:February 10th, 2015 10:45 pm (UTC)
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Wow ... That's just damn cool!

Somewhere in a parallel universe, you and i have learned a shite-ton about silicates as our growing company is cranking out processes for making high-purity silane as we revolutionize the energy industry. I'm not complaining about this universe or anything, but dang that one sounds fun, too, ehy? ;)
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