Engineering Materials Blogs

Read the views and opinions from the materials community. Share your thoughts and write us a blog. Just email editor@materialsforengineering.co.uk and let us know your thoughts, dilemmas, questions and opinions.

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07/10/2011

Are we avoiding the graduate issue?

At World Skills this week, much of the conversation revolved around the need to inspire the younger generation, make them believe that they can and will succeed, and give them ambition. There was also a great deal of talk about 'practical learning', and the connection between these two themes.  Read More

28/09/2011

Is it time to slow down the design process?

I've been struck recently by programmes like Radio 4's 'In Business' questioning the benefits of rapid growth and the mess that often results from it. David Cameron's 'happiness index' was also aimed at looking at the wider issues in life, and not just the rapid acquisition of cash.  Read More

09/09/2011

The case for PLM

Modern manufacturing has succeeded in delivering levels of quality, safety and sheer variety that would have been inconceivable to the enterprise owner of even 20 years ago.  Read More

08/09/2011

Will electric cars ever be the future?

As I walked up to the entrance of the Low Carbon Vehicle Show yesterday, I was passed by an electric Smart car. It made me smile. It was cute. And novel. 'While they may have a place in niche applications, they are often just as much as about branding and image as they are about reducing carbon emissions.'  Read More

02/09/2011

Drawings or data?

We've all given up on the idea of the 'paperless office', and grudgingly accepted that new technology often creates more, not less waste, but is this as true for engineering data as it is for office paperwork?  Read More

02/09/2011

Latest manufacturing figures 'deeply worrying' warns IMechE

August's CIPS/Markit report on manufacturing has raised concerns that the slowdown in the global economic recovery is starting to hit the UK manufacturing sector hard.  Read More

17/08/2011

Is this the end of the factory?

The Economist carried a leader earlier this year entitled 'Print me a Stradivarius – how a new manufacturing technology will change the world'. The violin in question is indeed impressive – and made using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) by German company EOS – one of the leaders in the field of 'Additive Manufacture' (AM).  Read More

11/08/2011

Cutting through the red tape

In the wake of some disappointing growth figures, it is hardly surprising that government should be seeking to stimulate the manufacturing sector in any way it can.  Read More

13/07/2011

Overcoming the 'boffin' cliché

Lord Sugar's recent assertion that he had never come across an engineer able to turn their hand to business has been so thoroughly and deservedly debunked by so many different and illustrious bodies that it is superfluous for me to add my voice to the chorus of disapproval.  Read More

07/07/2011

Time for IP reforms to be implemented

Intellectual Property (IP) is one of those areas which the legal system has, to an extent, contrived to ignore; some of the legislation which is applied can be traced back more than 300 years. The result is a bit of a mess, particularly if you're an IP developer.  Read More

20/06/2011

Can an engineer turn his hand to business?

The latest eviction from The Apprentice was Glenn Ward, dismissed from the programme by Lord Sugar with the parting words: "I've never come across an engineer who can turn his hands to business. You're fired."  Read More

14/06/2011

Helping you to do things better

This month's cover story concerning the soon-to-be-opened National Composites Centre is to some extent designed to pique the curiosity of those who may have considered using composite materials in their designs, but have been hampered by a lack of information or advice to help them do so.   Read More

02/06/2011

BEEAs entries now accepted

Entries are now being accepted for the 2011 British Engineering Excellence Awards; the celebration of all that is good about UK engineering.  Read More

05/05/2011

Financing Innovation

A common complaint from manufacturers relates to the difficulty in obtaining finance to fund innovation, research and development. The complaint alleges that - even prior to the financial crisis - banks were simply not interested in lending to manufacturers, preferring to lend to more glamorous, high-risk, high-return sectors.  Read More

14/04/2011

A concrete commitment

At the risk of hyperbole, it is probably fair to say that the recent Budget was possibly the most positive for manufacturing that most of those reading this can remember.  Read More

10/03/2011

The poor relations?

The subject of this country's ongoing engineering skills shortage is one that Eureka has covered many times. This, of course, is because it continues to represent a significant long-term threat to the prosperity of the manufacturing sector and, by extension, the UK economy as a whole.  Read More

10/02/2011

Is engineering boring?

When Business Secretary Vince Cable's recently expressed shock that that 49% of seven to 11 year-olds think it would be boring to be an engineer, it is tempting to think he may have been the only one in the room who was at all surprised. Can the poor image of the profession that has been allowed to seep through to our media and educational establishments really come as a surprise to anyone? Indeed, some may have been surprised the figure was that low.  Read More

13/01/2011

Good figures for a Happy New Year

The appearance of the New Year is traditionally a time for making resolutions to amend your errant ways and set yourself on the right path – a path that will lead to health, wealth, happiness, etc. But not always.  Read More

29/11/2010

Recycled plastic barrels create cheap wind power for developing countries

After a long struggle, an important step forward has been made with the development of a 250W turbine, designed to charge batteries at remote locations.   Read More

03/09/2010

BEEAs shortlist announced

The judges have convened, the votes are in and the shortlists for this year's British Engineering Excellence Awards have been drawn up.   Read More

26/07/2010

Bloodhound SSC's cockpit instruments

Bloodhound SSC's cockpit instruments:  Read More

18/06/2010

Richard Noble's Bloodhound Project diary

I apologise – my web updates always seem to be late and I feel I am letting you down! The reality is that with a team hell bent on achievement, Bloodhound moves at a massive pace and we find ourselves working all hours.  Read More

09/06/2010

Are you hiding your light?

It could be argued that the UK has never needed its engineers to innovate more than it does now.   Read More

17/05/2010

Andy Green's Bloodhound Project diary

We've been talking about the move from 'research programme' to 'build phase' for the last few months. Having proved that we can build the world's first 1000 mph Car, it's time to get on with it. For reasons I can't really explain, the change has happened quite suddenly and noticeably. In military terms, we're now on a 'war footing' – the preparation is largely over and it's time for action!  Read More

17/05/2010

Manufacturing is a priority

Now the political horse trading is over, it's time to get on with running the country again and the consensus is the economy - and reducing the country's borrowing - is priority number one.  Read More

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