The Engineer in the Wild

Business Week recently featured an excellent feature detailing the tragedy of Kate Matrosova. The 32-year-old trader with a love for adventure set out on an epic solo hike across New Hampshire’s mountains and encountered “the most hellish weather seen in many seasons.”

Photo credit: weesam2010 / Source / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo credit: weesam2010 / Source / CC BY-NC-SA

Friends remember her as a brave woman with a power within her who, although equipped, was beaten by the elements. “It was a contest she could not win,” we’re told. It’s too bad. She sounded like a woman with a great deal of promise and a strong inner drive.

Yet, what does this sad end have to do with solid-liquid filtration. Treating her tragedy as a cautionary tale, the article put me in mind of certain advice in my book.

  • We can’t be so eager to accomplish something that we fail to follow proper procedures.
  • Don’t rely on experience and intuition alone.
  • Safety matters, so prepare for the unexpected.

As Sherlock Holmes himself might note, there’s no replacement for combining experience with careful planning.

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