Thursday, 24 July 2014

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TE motorway

Embedded sensors aim to curtail fatigue-related accidents

24 Jul 2014| By Jason Ford

Injuries and fatalities caused by fatigue-related accidents could be curtailed with sensors embedded into seatbelts.

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The Iter tokamak will be the world's largest fusion reactor

Fusion foundations: the civil challenges underpinning Iter

21 Jul 2014| By Stuart Nathan

As construction of Iter begins, Stuart Nathan looks at the fusion reactor’s supporting structures

An Airbus A350 wing being assembled at the firm's Broughton plant

Opportunities in the aero industry supply chain

22 Jul 2014| By Julia Pierce

The UK aerospace industry’s rich and varied supply chain offers a host of exciting and rewarding career opportunities

Christofer Toumazou, Regius professor of biomedical engineering at Imperial College London

Health creators

21 Jul 2014| By Stuart Nathan

The inventors behind some of today’s most exciting medical devices explain how they brought their ideas to market

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The Engineer - most recent commented stories The Engineer HMS Queen Elizabeth makes successful transition to water Great to see the ship launch, Hope the PoW works as well. problem is still the Lightning II though. Are we now at a position where the Govt ought to be talking to BAe about what can be engineered either from existing Aircraft or Aircraft designs or a new fixed wing aircraftto populate the ship, surely at worst we could resurrect the Harrier and reengineer the Avionics and Engines in the light of the improvements made in the last 50 years. Or what about investigating other launch and recovery systems, No room for a steam catapult sure, what about a powered sled? Chemical or electromagnetic. at the moment it looks like we are going to end up with two Helicopeter carriers because there is no plan B at all Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:46 GMT 24 Jul 2014 4:46 pm 0 Poll: Russia and the UK's energy security CB - The troubles in Russia I refer to have nothing to do with the Ukraine and everything to do with President Putin returning Russia to a state controlled collective. Watch what happens to their exports of anything if he succeeds... So, I stand by what I said above. Germany has disowned Nuclear and I gather is now importing Nuclear generated Electricity from France (Hah!), Natural gas from Russia and simultaneously building a large number of 'Brown coal' burning power stations. This despite vast numbers of Wind powered generators. Hardly the greenest approach. The CO2 'footprint' for all this infrastructure must be colossal. MikeB - re coal mines being re-opened...As I understand it, our coal mines were left to flood after Scargill ensured the closure of most of them and they are now largely irrecoverable. To me it seems like a few million pounds spent on researching Thorium or other Nuclear waste using reactors would make some sense for the mid-term, but for now we need to use whatever we have while planning ahead (Fracking, Inland Gas/Oil wells, whatever). I also think we should re-instate the old practice of 'local' CHP installations. So much electrical power is lost in transmission (I've been told c.50%), that local generation, using the waste heat to warm homes and factories, provides for an overall plant efficiency up to 85% so it seems to make all kinds of economic sense. Finally, the UK urgently needs a 30-50 year 'Powering the UK' plan sanctioned (and supported by grants) by an Independent Energy Council. In my view it should start by removing all subsidies from Wind. Let wind find it's market share without state aid. We should instead support all Marine driven generation, and keep a toe in the Fusion arena. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:53 GMT 24 Jul 2014 1:53 pm 0 UK spaceport shortlist unveiled Looking at the choice of locations only Newquay sticks out. Why? If the decision was to be made prior to the Scottish independance vote, capital investment may be commited to a Govenment no longer in the UK alliance. Likewise Wales could similarly be discounted as 'if' Scotland did achieve its aim of independance it would follow that Wales shortly sought the same level of autonomy. This then only leaves Newquay from the intended location list. As an alternative UK site however Lyneham airfield will be relatively unused despite the rest of the site being used for a Defense College of Technical Training. What better place to put cutting edge aviation of a spaceport, adjacent to a cutting edge technical training college. With many of our current engineers having cut their teeth in the military sector, which arguably also drives the civilian sector the possiblilty of shared resources and cross funding of training between establishments could be a win-win scenario. Or is this too far out-of-the-box for the relevant ministers to see the potential for a UK centre of technical excellence? Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:19 GMT 24 Jul 2014 1:19 pm 0 Third of gay engineers hide sexuality from colleagues The article mentions the distinction between tolerance and acceptance. Ted, I'm afraid your comments barely count as 'Tolerance'. Have you spoken to any gay people recently? You will probably find that they are not interested in telling you about what they do in the bedroom. But they may want to tell you about their lives, their partner, their holidays or their friends without being guarded, or using neutral pronouns, or pretending to do 'straight things'. It's the 21st Century and time to accept that some people live differently. Discrimination of all types varies by industry, and it is entirely appropriate and timely that The Engineer has raised this, in the same way that the TV and Film industry is currently trying to address sexism. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:17 GMT 23 Jul 2014 9:17 pm 0 Power games Just remind me, didn't we once have things called coal-mines which were places where, albeit after substantial 'toil' by burly men (and many hundreds of thousands of such) coal to power our generating 'stations' was brought to the surface. Whatever happened to these? If I recall prior to the second strike of those burly men (led by King Arthur) the Government imported 2 years supply of coal from just about everywhere in the world, to make sure that we would not run out during the strike. [I know more about this than many, as I was asked to design and oversee the installation of a series of a flexible barriers : to keep the coal dust in and Arthur's hoards out of the places where this coal was stored/dumped!] Somehow, even with the possible excesses of Arthur and his band, relying -after that dash for gas- on the former Soviets to keep the lights on seems a worse option. Presumably we did at least keep the mines going on a 'moth-balled basis' so that we could return to using the one in-house (should that be under house?) resource we have. Did someone say ,We didn't, why in heavens name not. We could have kept them all looked after for 50 years and re-usabe for the price of an aircraft-carrier, particularly the one that is going to be kept in the toy box? Didn't a politician in the days after the War (never mind which one, they are all the same) suggest that it would take a particular skill on the part of central planning in an island built on coal and surrounded by a sea teeming with fish to manage to create a shortage of both? Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:51 GMT 23 Jul 2014 7:51 pm 0 Competition, innovation and picking races Arising from the changes being made to worldwide agriculture,one British Innovative SME hsa developed [from a starting base of £100 in 1973]an entirely different kind of farm tractor for the new Conservation Agriculture {CA} world of Sustainable,low-carbon farming which FAO hacve been promoting for 12 years at least.In EC the ECAF organisation has realised that this new tractor concept{ from UK} is every bit as important as that which Harry Ferguson created for that olde fashioned {NOW} system of ploughing focused Agriculture. Now that TSB has focused its attention on the new kind of AG_TECH Strategy for UK it should certainly support the innovation that this NWUKSME has been developing for over 40Years with many evaluation customers in 15 different countries. This work ought be considered for a significant & fundamental design award and especially so when UK used to make 185000 tractors p.a., with 75% going to exports but now makes a few thousand only per,annum. Innovation of this worldwide market-focused orientation, which leads the great farm machinery companies of KUBOTA,Japan,DEERE & AGCO of USA.FIAT,ARGO & Same-Deutz of Italy & 3 FSU-makers ..................needs to be recognised and it ought to be a key part of the new UK,AGRI-TECH STRATEGY. G Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:28 GMT 23 Jul 2014 6:28 pm 0 Study points to fire-related wind turbine failures Among the issues left untouched: Most large turbines use over 200kgs of rare earth elements (REE), the Chinese mining and refining of which release massive volumes of radioactive thorium and acids into the Pacific Ocean, via the Yellow River. Further, by creating a high demand of REEs, the limited REE supply reduces their use for other advanced electronics that might otherwise save power. In the US, wind turbines are killing tens of thousands of raptors and other birds per year. As for their power output, most published stories describe their theoretical output, not the 30% average, and some of that is sent to 'ground' because it isn't needed. We pay for it all, one way or the other. The argument that wind turbines are good for the environment are false. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:26 GMT 23 Jul 2014 6:26 pm 0 Still buzzing I share his enthusiasm. I hope that we can all work together to resume manned spaceflight as soon as possible! Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:29 GMT 23 Jul 2014 3:29 pm 0 HS2 makes an early arrival in Birmingham As the old lines fill up, we will need more rail capacity on the WCML, Midland Mainline and ECML - and HS2 is the cheapest way to achieve that. Widening each of those THREE old lines through all of the towns those lines go through would cost more (due to disruption etc etc) than building this new route around those towns to take LONG distance traffic off each of the old lines. The old lines also become more efficient if fast trains are moved to their own new line and fast/slow train conflict is removed. So the HS2 Y (to Manchester & Leeds) actually means far more commuter seats on the OLD lines too. And better transport boosts the economy in the 8 cities connected by HS2 and 100 towns on the 3 old lines (with extra rail capacity) to earn MORE TAX to pay for schools & hospitals from thousands of extra jobs created - over the 150 yr life of the line. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:33 GMT 23 Jul 2014 11:33 am 0 Universities must prove they can help close the skills gap British universities nowadays are little more than degree factories and profit making businesses. They are in the game for the money and students are in the game for the paper qualifications. The days when universities were seats of learning have long since gone. So have the days when all it mattered was that somebody attended university but their class of degree (or whether they even graduated) was immaterial. I always recommend anybody proposing to attend university to read the article University, the Best Choice? by Gareth Lewis. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:10 GMT 22 Jul 2014 5:10 pm 0

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Universities must prove they can help close the skills gap

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Digital Edition

The Engineer July Digi Issue


Should deepening tensions with Russia - and concerns over the impact of economic sanctions - influence the UK's energy policy?

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Europe's largest tidal array in the Pentand Firth off Orkney will eventually generate up to 86MW of power. What will it take for tidal energy to make an appreciable contribution to the UK's energy needs?

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