Hey Larry,

Just to prove to you that I’m still reading your materials, I already have feedback for you on your December “mailbag” article. Actually my co-author Bob Mott found it before I did, but I would have gotten to it.

In it you say, “… These concepts are not a refresher. You didn’t study this in college. This is not taught in engineering school … These words don’t appear in your ‘Fluid Mechanics’ textbook except as theoretical and illusive First Law of Thermo…”

It is actually true that I did not get a good analysis of energy balance in my college fluid mechanics textbook. I didn’t graduate knowing how to size a line let alone select a commercially available pump. I’m mostly writing just to make another connection with you, and of course what you are saying is still true for too many graduates. I happen to know though that you own a college textbook that addresses the energies involved in pumped systems and teaches the keys to matching the system curve and pump curve in a way that results in an operating point very near the best efficiency point (BEP). It is our book, Applied Fluid Mechanics, seventh edition, available from Pearson Education’s college books. I know you own it because I gave it to you!

Bob and I appreciate the prodding you do to move engineering education to be more practical and more attentive to the needs of industry. We share your concern that too many engineering programs focus on theoretical manipulations at the sacrifice of solid application of the fundamentals. There are, though, thousands of students using our book, mostly in engineering technology programs here and abroad, and hopefully getting professors that emphasize these concepts.

Larry, we want you to keep pushing this in the right direction with your articles and courses, and Bob and I will keep providing an up-to-date text for those who choose to listen.

Hope all is well!
Joe Untener

Hello Joe and Robert,

Thanks for writing, and thanks for the textbook. I use your book about once per month as I research my articles and questions from clients. Your textbook is easy to read and practical.

In the future, I’ll be sure to say, “For most engineers, energy balance and properly mating pumps into pipe systems is not a refresher. It is a refresher for a few engineers who studied fluid mechanics at the University of Dayton by two great professors and authors, Joe Untener and Robert Mott. Energy balance is in their textbook.”

In a few more months, we will do a Pump Guy Seminar right down the road from you. We will be in Indianapolis June 7-9, 2016. I believe Indianapolis is about 100 miles from Dayton. Maybe you both can come and bring some other instructors and professors with you.

Larry Bachus

Thanks for the quick reply to Joe Untener’s message and for your kind words about our book. I was pleased that Joe was able to attend your Pump Guy Seminar while we were preparing the manuscript for the seventh edition,  so we could build some of the concepts he learned there into the book. I would welcome the opportunity to attend the seminar scheduled for next June in Indianapolis. That is just a two-hour drive from here.

Joe also established a strong relationship with ESI Inc., the developer of the PIPE-FLO® software used by many large and small companies, and he built that into some of the chapters of the book. During that process, we provided Ray Hardee, ESI’s founder and CEO, with the sixth edition, and he was very complimentary about the practical applications emphasized in the book while also providing strong coverage of the fundamentals. He did a thorough review of the book and made some good suggestions for making it even better, particularly for the parts related to pumped fluid flow systems. We implemented many of those suggestions into the seventh edition. Our approaches in the book are directly in line with the analysis methods built into PIPE-FLO® so that students and instructors can solve a problem by hand using our book and then get the same result from PIPE-FLO®.

I do read your Pump Guy articles in every issue of Flow Control, and that helps me ensure that the book speaks to the practical implementation of fluid flow systems.

Keep us in the loop on the June

Bob Mott


The Pump Guy is Larry Bachus, a pump consultant, lecturer and inventor, based in Nashville, Tennessee. Bachus is a retired member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and lectures in both English and Spanish. He may be reached at larry@bachusinc.com. For more information, visit bachusinc.com.