Crawford, Duffer 2008-05-01

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Duffer Crawford talks about his experience as an engineer and the problem solving skills he derived from his career. He also discusses his personal perspectives on different social-political issues in modern society.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Duffer Crawford

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: May 01, 2008

Location: Houston, Texas

Interviewer: David Marshall

Length: 03:32:53


Background information; Duffer Brooks Crawford; Born August 5, 1919; History of the name; Story of the name; Reason for moving to Ranger, Texas; Origins of his parents; Occupation of grandparents; Childhood; Health conditions; Mobilization in WWI; Stanford, Texas; Father’s business; Old house; Kick the board and other games; First job digging grave; Got first pony after he got paid; Bought another horse when he got older; Selling a horse; Started school; Started school one year older than other students; Easier to make above-average grades; Advantage of going to school later than normal; Activities in high school; Benefit from debating team; Influence from debating team and application to engineering problems; Language and conception; A professor from MIT’s standard in test; Solving problems in engineering; Example in natural gas plant; Natural gas business; Surprises in natural gas industry; Operation of the natural gas plant; Heat exchanger; The art of commissioning; Process of cooling; Areas not foreseen; Instrumentation problems; Troubleshooting procedure; Troubleshooting in natural gas industry; Percentage of problem solving approaches; Experience and brainstorming problem solving; Invention to remove carbon-dioxide; Utilized the design that has already been used; Ways to calculate before computers were invented; Collaboration of minds; Access to the library; Publications on natural gas plant operation; Safety concerns; Administration of the company; War time and new position; Joined N. W. Kellogg Company during war time; Duties in the secret project; Different ideas and designs; Problems encountered; Constant traveling during the project; German technology related to Manhattan Project; Secret level of the project; Lessons learned from this job; The value of mistakes; Extreme pressure during the project; Pressure and opportunity; A story of “Corvette, Ferrari and bicycle rider”; Education at Texas Tech and first job; Chemistry test; First distinguished engineer award; Choices of work; Job interview process; Problem with a compressor project; Pressure problem; Comparison of food making and engineering problem; One basic concept solves a lot of problems; Welding without goggles; Project management and people management; Earnings of the company; Left the first job after three years; A story told by father. His second job; Reference letter from the company; “Satisfied after you left”; Started working for Air Products in 1956; Reason to work for Air Products; Russian influence; Plant to make liquid hydrogen; Difficulties to overcome in the building process; Transportation of liquid hydrogen; Insulation technology of liquid hydrogen; Personality’s effect on the accomplishment of the project; Ability to receive criticism; Mentalities of the people who lived in the ‘50s; Talents people were born with; A cat’s story of instinct; Critical role to play; Moved to a new job; Experience gained from former job in building heat exchanger; Utilized the heat exchange in city service; Refrigeration system; Old heat exchanger still running; An order from Boulder, CO; Utilization of gas turbine drive system; Application in L&G plants; Worked overseas for different projects; Shell Oil’s plant failure; Metaphor of box and basketball for engineering project; Plant built in Malaysia; Another problematic plant of Shell Oil; Started performing the role of diagnostician from 1956; Combination of different possibilities; Brainstorm and problem solving aspect; Comparison of engineering project and food making; Challenges faced; The characteristics of liquid; Consequences of not realizing the condensation properties; Thinking pattern; Pressure from the job; “Nature tells you what needs to be done”; Character of childhood; Effect of childhood experience; Experience of watching high school football; Formation of the defensive line of football game; Two linebacker system; Quick kick techniques; Analyzing the technique newly introduced; Moving to Houston; Climax of the U.S. space program period; Opportunities to learn new technology; R. C. Goodwin, former president of Texas Tech; Progressive mind in 1950s; Mentality of modern society; Shoe shop; Example of truck driver; Correlation of interest and job; Concept of unemployment; Medical insurance; Knowledge that cannot be taught; Open style of thinking; Ideas should be subjected to challenge; Open thinking in university; Subjects that are not taught in public schools; Money and promises in trading; Money printing pace and population growth rate; JFK assassination and crucifixion; Different religions; Current politics; Afghanistan and Iraq; Different solutions for Iraq; Al-Qaeda’s prosperity connection with American support.

Access Information

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Transcript: No transcript available

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