Pump Pioneer Igor Karassik Outlined the Need for Pump Systems Matter

While the Hydraulic Institute (HI) is known for creating new industry pump standards, a letter from Igor Karassik, a true pump pioneer in the engineering world, outlined the urgency for a new educational foundation now known as Pump Systems Matter. 

In 1988, Karassik, a loyal supporter of the International Pump Users Symposium, advised HI members to further address end user needs. He explained why education and training were critical tools in helping pump end-users to better operate and maintain pumping systems.  Part of his letter read: “Pump manufacturers should exert greater efforts in the education of users in several important areas such as pumps and energy conservation, adequacy of suction piping, monitoring pump performance and proper lubrication procedures.”

So impactful, his letter prompted HI to gather its training materials and those from notable organizations such as the U.S. Department of Energy, Fluid Sealing Association and Europump in developing a curriculum to address specific topics. HI eventually formalized its training by establishing Pump Systems Matter, an HI education subsidiary.

Who is Karassik?

Karassik (1911-1995), a Russian immigrant known as the “pump user’s engineer”, developed several industry breakthroughs including the concept of suction specific speed, which proved a more reliable method for determining the flow at which recirculation could occur in the suction of a pump.

One of Karassik’s frequent quotes was, “operators deserve to sleep nights, too.”

Other successes included the prevention of catastrophic boiler feed pump failures in open-cycle steam power plants and the development of high-speed boiler feed pumps.  In addition, Karassik authored more than 500 technical articles and many books including:

  • Centrifugal Pump Selection
  • Engineers’ Guide to Centrifugal Pumps
  • Centrifugal Pump Clinic

He was co-editor of the Pump Handbook regarded as the industry bible. An article on Karassik in Pumps & Systems April 2014 authored by Joe Evans points out that “In addition to his vast technical knowledge, Karassik had a keen business sense. He believed that the only way business can prosper is by helping customers succeed in their endeavors. A major goal was educating end users about pumps so they could apply them properly.”

SOURCE: Hydraulic Institute: A Century of Service to the Pump Industry, pumps.org