Engineering Materials Blogs

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

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Government must put its money where its mouth is

The Government has thrown its weight behind an all electric car that will be designed and developed solely in the UK.  Read More


Richard Noble's Bloodhound Project diary

I failed to get the September blog together in good time, and Nick Chapman is not pleased again – we're into November, and here's the October report!  Read More


More ‘real engineering’ needed

Delivering the Hinton Lecture to the Royal Academy of Engineering earlier this week, industry secretary Lord Mandelson called for more 'real engineering'.  Read More


BEEAs finalist Matthew Luethi blogs his subsequent progress with his silent vertical axis wind turbines

We had an exceptional good meeting with Hisko Baas from, part of, and the UK mast manufacturer CU Phosco.  Read More


Will the UK get left behind?

After a recent trip to the Motek automation show in Stuttgart, one thing was apparent. While figures may suggest that the German economy is through the recession, it was hard to find exhibitors that shared the optimism. Things are still tough and are likely to remain so for some time.  Read More


Will we implement our renewable solutions in time?

While there are endless acres of information about the likely impact of global warming, and equally large areas of information about alternative sources of energy that will not wreck the planet, the big question is whether we have the collective will to address the problems in time.  Read More


Designing with users in mind

Now here's an idea, why not design your promotional and technical literature and your product in conjunction with end users?  Read More


Richard Noble's Bloodhound Project diary

The end of September is, I hope, going to be a huge waypoint for BLOODHOUND; hopefully JP and the design team will have made their decision on the final external layout of BLOODHOUND SSC and reached what we call Aero Solution. Over in the US, Daniel Jubb and his team will have successfully fired the full-scale hybrid rocket. Can we achieve all this? – I am beginning to learn that we have a really outstanding series of teams here and I reckon it can be done.  Read More


All steamed up

Another land speed record for the UK. This time, it's the record for steam driven vehicles and one which has stood since 1906.  Read More


Richard Noble's Bloodhound Project diary

My apologies- this is late again! Nick Chapman asked for this update in July, but the pace and demands of the project are so great that I have to give precedence to activities that make money, structure the programme and help the rest of the team achieve their objectives. The project is moving very very fast now on a very wide front and it's doing really well.  Read More


Electric vehicles already becoming dominant in China

The good news that Nissan is investing in its plant near Sunderland to manufacture batteries for new electric cars should be tempered by the fact that China, which announced a move to go electric a few months ago, is already heavily into the production of such vehicles.  Read More


Apply online for your electric Mini

I don't know if this is going to be a trend in marketing desirable green leading edge cars, but drivers that want to be the first to get behind the wheel of the new electric Mini, The Mini E, will be able to apply for them later this year.  Read More


Variable speed drives now supported by government

Engineers have long known the basics of the energy saving potential of variable speed inverter drives. For 20 years they have been promoting their uptake, either as energy efficiency improvers or simply as good practise. Each case needs to be looked at individually, but as a rule of thumb we can say that a drive will payback its capital cost in 12-18 months, then continue saving energy – and therefore money and carbon – for the remaining 5-10 years of its working life. It total, there will have been a substantial saving in both financial costs and carbon emissions.  Read More


Fascinating, but has anybody got a use for this?

Rapid prototyping has been used to make Gömböcs, which are solid shapes that have only one stable and one unstable position of equilibrium.  Read More


Lead scientists offer hints of vast energy

A series of recent lectures given by some of the UK's leading scientists under the auspices of the Institute of Physics have all mentioned the fact that around 75 per cent of equivalent mass of the universe is made up of "Dark Energy", and that this energy is almost certainly what some call, "The energy of the vacuum field" or "Zero point energy" and dropping hints that it is worth investigating further just in case we can use it.  Read More


Engineer’s forum lives again

The engineer's problem solving forum, formerly known as "Design Dilemma", is, by popular request, once more to grace the pages of Eureka.  Read More


Is Britain about to miss the electric boat?

According to a GfK NOP survey for the RAC foundation, some 6.75million motorists are thinking about purchasing a vehicle powered only by batteries.  Read More


Richard Noble's Bloodhound Project diary

Apologies - my update is late yet again, but I need to explain what is going on!  Read More


The BBC and technical accuracy

I am an ancient multi-disciplined engineer and have worked in a number of areas including tool making, railway signalling, Controls and instrumentation and latterly what we call the defence industry  Read More


Changing with the market

An overseas moulder explains how he has adapted to the crisis in the automotive business in order to flourish  Read More


Is the LHC a waste of money?

CERN has been investing billions of euros/pounds in the Large Hadron Collider – the UK contributed 186 million Swiss Francs in 2008, second only to Germany. Unfortunately this mega investment project failed in less than a month's time, and is now consuming yet more cash. What do British tax payers get out of it?  Read More


Look before you fall in

Beware of dodgy imported safety equipment  Read More


Women in engineering

A recent survey has suggested that women need to think like men to get ahead in a career. But I think that is cobblers.  Read More


Gearing up

I have in the past written about a number of clever ways of achieving very large gear reductions in a single stage, but what about going the other way?  Read More


What is the difference between an engineer and an FD?

Someone said to me today, 'financial directors spend money, engineers invest it.'  Read More

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