A time when Will Power had no willpower

 Photo by USA Today

Photo by USA Today

When IndyCar driver Will Power became a first-time Indy 500 Race winner on Sunday, he reacted in a most non ‘Will-like’ manner. The Australian, known for being calm as a kangaroo while amassing his double-digit IndyCar career wins for Team Penske, instantly knew this win was different. This was the race that to date, had eluded him. This was THE Indy 500 that Power had just won, and boy did his joy pour out.

He screamed with excitement over and over. Even though he is lactose intolerant, he gladly drank milk from the winner’s bottle – an Indy 500 tradition – then sprayed it everywhere dousing himself and the 500 Festival queen standing nearby. No apologies needed. Unbridled excitement ruled the moment.  

Power was overcome with emotion in Victory Lane and in doing so, it illustrated just how hard he had worked for that moment. His exuberant reaction showed everyone how important that achievement was to him.  

Sometimes when events go really well and a hard-fought goal is met, some people are caught off-guard and react in unexpected ways.

Have you ever felt that giddy child-like euphoric feeling that comes from accomplishing something great – maybe surprisingly so? What was it like? How did it make you feel? Hopefully, that has happened at least a few times in your life.

For me, I got that feeling every time one of my gearbox designs was assembled in the plant and then installed in a customer’s machine. Knowing the customer was satisfied with my design always got me charged up.  And when the US Patent Office notified me not once, but three times that each of my patents was approved and issued, I was animated. For a gearhead like me, that’s saying a lot.

We all can’t win the Indy500, or a gold medal at the Olympics, but we all can achieve an important and valued goal and capture some of that feeling.

Education: The gift that keeps on giving

As my alma mater’s basketball team, the Purdue Boilermakers, prepares itself for what I hope will be a deep run in the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, I’m reminded of how my Purdue mechanical engineering education set in motion my profound thirst for knowledge.

Throughout my engineering career, I’ve never stopped learning. Whether it be a technical conference or webinar, researching and authoring a technical paper or taking a deep dive into a colleague’s publication, I am intentional in seeking out knowledge to better me personally and professionally. And you should too.

Purdue University president Mitch Daniels said, “Every successful enterprise has a very clear strategic purpose.” My personal strategy, one that has served me and my consulting business well, is to be curious and to never stop learning. 

Rick Miller's technical paper featured in Gear Technology Magazine

Indianapolis, Ind. - Innovative Drive Solutions LLC proudly shares that Rick Miller, president and sole member's technical paper was published by Gear Technology Magazine. Miller's technical paper, "Designing Very Strong Gear Teeth by Means of High Pressure Angles" was originally presented by him at the American Gear Manufacturers Association's 2016 Fall Technical Meeting and reprinted in the June 2017 issue of Gear Technology.

 Photo by AGMA

Photo by AGMA

Miller presents a method of designing and specifying gear teeth with much higher bending and surface contact strength (reduced bending and surface contact stresses). His paper shows calculation procedures, mathematical solutions and the theoretical background equations to do this. Read here.

Rick Miller issued patent for invention of a dual rack output pinion drive

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Indianapolis, Indiana - Rick Miller announces the issuance to him by the U.S. Patent Office of a patent for a dual rack output pinion drive. 

Issued on December 27, 2016, patent No. 9,531,237 is an invention intended to be used for the lifting and lowering of the legs of off-shore oil rig platforms. This patent is Miller’s third and the second in the last 15 months.

This patent describes a device which enables a single motor to drive a gearbox with two outputs, each one of which is a spur gear pinion which then drives a rack. The invention allows for and helps assure torque and load sharing so that near equal torque is applied to each of the two output pinions.

Rick Miller is president of Innovative Drive Solutions, LLC, an Indianapolis-based mechanical engineering design consulting firm.

Miller has 40 years of experience in the gear industry, including 37 years with Oerlikon Fairfield Mfg. Co. in Lafayette, Indiana, the last 16 years as chief engineer. With more than 300 original designs, Miller helps clients in the United States and around the globe with his gear and gearbox design and analysis expertise, creativity and out-of-the-box problem solving abilities. Visit InnovativeDriveSolutions.com.

Gear Solutions magazine Q&A with Rick Miller

I was honored when the editor of Gear Solutions magazine, the number-one B2B publication in the gear industry, selected Innovative Drive Solutions LLC - my design consultancy business - to profile in its November 2016 issue.  

"As an inventor, I am always discovering a solution to every problem to the benefit of my customers," as told to Gear Solutions.

Read the full interview online here or download it here.

Giving back to the profession that has given me so much

Each year, the American Gear Manufacturers Association Fall Technical Meeting provides an outstanding opportunity to share ideas with others in the gear industry on design, analysis, manufacturing and application of gears, and gear drives and related products, as well as associated processes and procedures.

 Photo provided by American Gear Manufacturers Association.

Photo provided by American Gear Manufacturers Association.

And last week in Pittsburgh, the founding location of AGMA, I was among the selected authors to present the results of their work to an audience of knowledgeable professionals from the United States and around the world and to participate in discussions with that audience.

 

It was a career highlight for me to contribute to the engineering profession as a whole, especially during AGMA’s Centennial Year (1916-2016), while enlightening my peers on a subject I know well.

My technical paper, Designing Very Strong Gear Teeth by Means of High Pressure Angles, illustrates a method of designing and specifying gear teeth with much higher bending and surface contact strength than that of conventional gear teeth. To obtain the abstract, go here.

Miller to present at fall technical meeting

I look forward to presenting my technical paper at the American Gear Manufacturers Association's Fall Technical Meeting on Oct. 3 in Pittsburgh. By sharing with my industry peers the latest methods and cutting-edge technologies, my technical paper - Designing Very Strong Gear Teeth by Means of High Pressure Angles - illustrates a method of designing and specifying gear teeth with much higher bending and surface contact strength than that of conventional gear teeth.

    Hot job: Mechanical engineers keep things working

    Recently the Indianapolis Star identified my career field as a "hot job" and asked me a few questions to help illustrate how mechanical engineers blend technical skills, science knowledge and creativity to improve and advance mechanics. 

    Indy Star hot jobs 1-8-16

    For as long as I can remember, I knew I was going to be an engineer. For others, their talent, training and intellect opens many professional doors one of which might be engineering. To learn more about the career I love and the hot job others seek, click here.

    Rick Miller is president / sole owner of Innovative Drive Solutions LLC, an Indianapolis-based engineering consulting firm specializing in gears and power transmission devices.

     

    Rick Miller issued latest patent for invention of a torque sharing drive and torque sharing process

    Indianapolis, Indiana - Rick Miller announces the issuance to him by the U.S. Patent Office of a patent for a torque sharing drive and torque sharing process.

    The patent is for invention No. 9,145,956 issued on September 29, 2015. Miller’s invention is intended to be used for the lifting and lowering of off-shore oil rig platforms.

    The latest patent is the second of Miller’s inventions and a third patent is pending. The U.S. Patent Office issued Miller Patent No. 4549449 in 1985 for his original design of a gear reducer. This invention is a two-speed hydraulically shifted planetary speed reducer serving industries such as construction equipment, road building and general industrial.

    Rick Miller is president and sole owner of Innovative Drive Solutions, LLC, and Indianapolis-based mechanical engineering design consulting firm. Miller has 40 years of experience in the gear industry, including 37 years with Oerlikon Fairfield Mfg. Co. in Lafayette, Indiana, the last 16 years as chief engineer. With more than 300 original designs, Miller helps clients in the United States and around the globe with his gear and gearbox design and analysis expertise, creativity and out-of-the-box problem solving abilities.

    Miller earned a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering technology from Purdue University. He is a member of Society of Automotive Engineers International, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and vice-chairman of the Vehicle Gearing Committee of the American Gear Manufacturers Association.

    Innovative Drive Solutions, LLC is proud member of the American Gear Manufacturers Association. To learn more, visit InnovativeDriveSolutions.com.