Commissioning Like a Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Commissioning Like a Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Oliver Zhou

Oliver Zhou

Commissioning engineer at Organica Water

"I think your commissioning method is sort of western-style."

My client told me today when I asked him to do more lab measurements regarding influent and effluent on a regular basis (Occasionally, I would ask operators to do more lab measurements in different locations of the biological reactors to evaluate nitrification and denitrification, etc. However, I am not so demanding at all, I only ask them to do whatever is necessary to make a decision. Data is crucial in evaluating the performance and status). Apparently, he was NOT super enthusiastic about doing all the lab work.

It seemed that I just came crossed another tough client who may or may not be so cooperative. After staying in the office for almost one year as a commissioning engineer overseeing multiple plants remotely on my laptop and giving instructions or suggestions on operation optimization over the phone, I really have nothing to complain about, I am so happy to talk with any clients in person whether he/she is tough or not.

And I was smirking inside when hearing this feedback, I was saying to myself "Man, don't get me started, I once made a presentation about my commissioning job or my commission style".

I told him that my way of commissioning was not western-style at all, on the contrary, I usually did my commissioning like a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine.

Here is why:

A practitioner of Chinese Medicine uses 4 ways to diagnosing potential illness from his clients, so do I.

First, LOOK(望). When visiting a site, usually I will have a tour around to see what's going on with all the equipment and the processes (which is a usual drill of what my boss would do when visiting a plant). When the color of the mixed liquor is brownish, I know more or less there are no significant issues for the operation. Meanwhile, if I see any malfunctioning equipment of importance, I know most likely what would be severely influenced. And so on and so forth.