Trust me I’m an Engineer !


A sample of images of how we sometimes get things wrong – enjoy !

Plus below a link to video clip of Peter Kay as a light way to end the year !

Happy & Prosperous 2017

All the best


Posted in architecture, civil, design, Engineering, failure, humor, humour, mechanical, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, mistakes, project engineering, technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vinyl Revival

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When I was growing up in the 70s & 80s vinyl albums and separates hi-fi units including top of the range turntables were essential to life ! I guess we thought it was all over when CDs came in, then later  iTunes and Spotify – but no vinyl is back! There has been strong growth in the market for the last 5 years. On the back of this, specialist turntable manufacturers are enjoying steady growth too. One such company is Rega based in Essex, which was started in 1973 as a hobby by Roy Gandy (ex automotive engineer) and friend Tony Relph. The early 80s saw a peak in the company’s production to 2000 units / month and then to drop down to 500 – today it’s risen to 4500 / month, and employing 120 staff ! Success has also been passed on to their supply chain, where many of the components are manufactured in the UK.

The turn tables themselves are high end products costing up to £3000, backed by intense on going research & design to continually eek out improvements to sound quality output. One area is the turn table platter that needs to be made from a high stiffness material such as phenolic resin, specialist glass or a ceramic called aluminium oxide. Other components under the spot light are the: light weight cartridge, balanced & light weight tone arm, diamond stylus, minimal friction bearings, smooth low noise motor, all meticulously scrutinised to eliminate vibration and friction, and ultimately wow, flutter and drift, to faithfully replicate the original recording.

For more info:

Have a great month

All the best,



“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”

– Bob Marley

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”

– Albert Einstein

Posted in acoustics, business, design, Engineering, humor, humour, manufacturing, material science, mechanical, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, music, precision engineering, quotations, quotes, recordings, research science, sound technology, technology, tracking motion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Virtual & Augmented Reality Design Tool

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Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AR) is progressing at a steady rate in many sectors but especially in engineering design. VR is often associated with cumbersome helmets and video gaming, but within industry ‘powerwalls’ are used. A projector displays a large 3D image, where multiple users wear 3D glasses, similar to those used in the cinema. The system optically track the position of the user via the glasses, automatically adjusting the position of the image to suit the user’s perspective. Interaction with the image – normally a CAD model – is via a handset control which is also optically tracked.

The application of this design tool is helping companies to design much more efficiently. Bombardier, the train manufacturers, uses VR to demonstrate design modifications to customers, before going on to the next stage of mock ups, saving both time & money. They have found VR & AR is reducing costs in the region of 70% in producing prototypes – quite a saving. Jaguar Land Rover who are also early adopters of this technology, state £8 million was saved in development costs in prototype development in 2010 – again very significant!

VR & AR are making real improvements in engineering design work, and it will be interesting to see where it goes in the next 10 years !

Hope you have a good month

All the best



My computer could be more encouraging. You know, instead of “invalid password”, why not something like, “Ooooh, you’re so close!”?”
– Lisa Porter

AT&T to wed T-Mobile. Following the ceremony there will be no reception.”
– Richard Lerner

The problem with quotes on the internet is you can never be certain they’re authentic.”
– Abraham Lincoln









Posted in 3d, business, cad, COMPUTER SIMULATION, design, Engineering, humor, humour, Industry, manufacturing, mechanical, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, project engineering, research science, technology, tracking motion, Uncategorized, vitual reality | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Solar Aircraft pioneering transatlantic crossing

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solar-impulse-2_2_  solar-impulse-2_3_


The solar powered aircraft Solar Impulse 2 has set a world record by completing the first solar, electric and zero emission crossing of the Atlantic ocean. The plane began it’s 22,000 mile round the world trip in March 2015, but has suffered several set backs along the way. Pilot Bertrand Piccard landed the plane at Seville Airport on 23 June, after a 3 day historic flight across the Atlantic from New York.

The plane is built from carbon fibre, a single seater, has a 72m wing span – larger than a Boeing 747 and ways only 2300 kg – equivalent to a family car. The 17,000 solar cells built into the fuselage supply the solar power to the four electric motors (17.5 hp each) that can take the plane to speeds of up to 60 mph.

The Solar Impulse team hope this venture will inspire the adoption of clean energy technology to create a new cleaner world for the future.

The plane will fly on to Abu Dhabi in the UAE, to complete the round the world flight adventure.

Hope you have a good month



The following are broadcasts between pilots and control towers – enjoy …

Tower: “Height and position?”
Pilot: “I am 1,80 m and I’m sitting.

LH741: “Tower, give me a rough time-check!”
Tower: “It’s Tuesday, Sir.”

Pilot: “…Tower, please call me a fuel truck.”
Tower: “Roger. You are a fuel truck.”

Tower: Mission 123, do you have problems?
Pilot: I think, I have lost my compass.
Tower: Judging the way you are flying, you lost the whole instrument panel!

Tower: “Delta Fox Alpha, hold position, Marshall will park you.”
Pilot: “Roger. Looking out for John Wayne.”

Ground Control: “123DG, bear to the left, disabled aircraft on the right.”
Pilot: “123DG, Roger, I have the disabled aircraft in sight, but I don’t see the bear yet.”




Posted in aerodynamics, AIRCRAFT, carbon fibre, design, Energy, Engineering, environment, green power, humor, humour, mechanical, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, power generation, project engineering, quotations, quotes, record breaking, renewable energy, speed records, technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Team GB Bike Design for Rio


This blog is particularly interesting to me as I ride road bikes for a local club, and I am always looking to find ways to go faster !

From what I gather the rapid engineering advancement in bike design began with Dimitris Katsanis (ex aerospace engineer) in 2001, using carbon fibre composites and improved aerodynamics. Chris Hoy used his bikes to win several medals at the Olympic Games in Beijing. He was originally commissioned by the UK governing body for cycling in 2001, a few years after National Lottery funding for sport began in 1997. Chris Boardman then took on the role up to 2013, carrying on the success with several wins in the 2012 Olympics in London.

Today Professor Tony Purnell, the former F1 team principal (Jagaur & Red Bull) heads up the Research and Innovation division at British Cycling – or ‘Room X’ nicknamed ‘Bletchley Park’ – who still teaches one day a week at the university of Cambridge. He has a team of post grad & PhD research engineers, and former rider Jason Queally, who helps with wind tunnel testing. Gains made in overall performance of 5% are considered major, and the cyclists notice the improvement !

A collaborative project between Purnell’s team and Cervélo, has produced the Cervélo T5GB bike for team GB for 2016 Rio games. Tony Purnell states, “This means that, even after the fantastic success we enjoyed at London 2012, we have been determined to work alongside Cervélo to build and improve on the equipment that has served us so well in the recent past. Without question, this bike represents that quest for continuous improvement.”

Investment in UK sport, advancing training knowledge combined with advancing equipment design, has lead to amazing number of medals in Rio – go GB !

Hope you have a good month,

All the best,



“When your legs scream stop and your lungs are bursting, that’s when it starts. That’s the hurt locker. Winners love it in there”

– Chris Mc Cormack (Ironman champion 2007 & 2010)

My biggest fear is that when I die my wife will sell my bicycles for what I told her they cost.”

– unkown

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

Posted in aerodynamics, business, cad, carbon fibre, cycling, design, Engineering, humor, humour, mechanical, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, project engineering, record breaking, research science, technology, Uncategorized, university | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brexit: engineering a new future

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What a close call this referendum was – 52% to leave. How will things pan out for engineering companies and industry in general? Article 50 still needs to be invoked by parliament with cross party MPs officially voting in favour of brexit. The details of the mechanism to exit this side in the UK and in Brussels is not always clear, and is unchartered waters for both . The effects of this political upset are still rippling through Europe and the world one week later.

The pound to the dollar exchange rate is the lowest since the 1980s, which will effect our businesses. FTSE100 share prices have dropped significantly but have recently bounced back.

For exporters, the drop in the pound makes their goods cheaper overseas and could help lift flagging demand. Until recently, manufacturers had been complaining that a relatively strong pound was hampering their competitiveness and contributing to a slowdown in the manufacturing sector. Conversely for importers, materials & certain goods are more expensive and so hamper profit margins & profitability. Profitability may well be affected also by new trade tariffs with Europe.

Business leaders and politicians all agree choppy waters are still ahead.

I feel we need to look heavenwards as a nation in these times, for help & wisdom to see us through these unsettling times to a new prosperous and peaceful future.

Hope you have a good month

All the best


Posted in Brexit, business, Engineering, Europe, Industry, manufacturing, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bloodhound 1000mph record attempt

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The Bloodhound project was launched nearly 8 years ago. The aim & vision is to break the land speed record, and ultimately achieve 1000mph. The project has been very much ‘open source’ regarding it’s design and innovative technology. CAD drawings are readily available on the net of the car’s design, plus youtube videos of it’s progress to date. The reason for this, as I understand it, is ‘share’ the  project to help promote & enthuse engineering amongst the younger generation. There are over 300 sponsors & commercial partners, including the Institution of Mechanical Engineers that share this vision. Regarding budgets and costs, £16 million has been spent thus far, and another £7 million is needed to achieve it’s goal at the Hakskeen Pan, South Africa.

Not surprisingly the design has changed & evolved along the way due to computer simulations, low speed testing and new technologies, materials and products coming to market. I perceive this to be expected for such a long term ground breaking engineering project as this. They are now on the last stage, with just 10% left to go before the trip to South Africa.

Let’s hope Bloodhound is amazingly successful, and has good media coverage, that will encourage the younger generation into engineering.

Hope you have a good month

All the best


For further info:

ps please also see my previous blog on Bloodhound in June 2015 for more videos


“You will never win if you never begin.”

-Helen Rowland

“People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”

– Isaac Asimov

“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”

– Woody Allen

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike



Posted in aerodynamics, cad, COMPUTER SIMULATION, design, Engineering, ergonomics, humor, humour, jet engine, manufacturing, mechanical, project engineering, quotations, quotes, record breaking, research science, rocket engine, speed records, technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment