Category Archives: Engineering

The Korean Ferry SInking

In the BBC’s report of the ongoing Korean ferry sinking, this line stood out (in the analysis, off to the side): The speed with which it flipped over and sank is a major concern. This is a well-known problem with … Continue reading

Posted in Engineering, Korea | 6 Comments

Forget the Medium Term

A Royal Marine officer friend of mine, who took part in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, explained to me how he coped during a particularly fierce action.  Paraphrasing: “Well, it was complete chaos and I didn’t really know what … Continue reading

Posted in Engineering | 3 Comments

The Best Business in the World

I have heard the following quote attributed to both J.D. Rockefeller and John Paul Getty, although I have been unable to verify its actual source.  Not that it matters, as it’s as true as true can be: The best business … Continue reading

Posted in Engineering, Oil & Gas, Recruitment | 6 Comments

Buncefield Incident Revisited

Anyone remember the explosion at the Buncefield fuel depot in December 2005?  At the time I wrote this: Being a risk engineer in the oil and gas business and all that, here’s my take on it: the root cause is a … Continue reading

Posted in Engineering, Oil & Gas | 4 Comments

If oil companies ran resturants…

…they’d be something like this. (A middle-aged couple emerge from a taxi, smiling, happy, looking forward to an evening of good food and fine wines in each other’s company.  They enter the door of the restuarant, over which is displayed a sign reading: “11,541 Dishes Served Without … Continue reading

Posted in Engineering, Oil & Gas | 5 Comments

Engineering Consultants’ Standing Orders

(Based on Rogers’ Rangers Standing Orders)  1.  Don’t sign nothing. 2.  Have your CV clean as a whistle, job market scoured, 30 days notice given, and be ready to quit the project at a minute’s warning. 3.  When you’re late … Continue reading

Posted in Engineering | 5 Comments

If engineering consultants ran restaurants…

…they’d be something like this. Waiter: Evening sir!  Are you ready to order? Customer: Yes…I’d like the fillet steak please, done rare.  And a bottle of your red Chateaux Neuf de Pape to go with it. Waiter: (scribbling away) No problem, … Continue reading

Posted in Engineering | 7 Comments

Chernobyl and Nuclear Power

Normally I agree with Sean Guillory when he writes about Russian and ex-Soviet affairs, but I must take issue with the penultimate paragraph of his latest post: In addition, what is more disconcerting is that the lesson of Chernobyl and the dangers … Continue reading

Posted in Engineering, USSR | 7 Comments

UK Fuel Depot Explosions

Reports have been coming in about an enormous explosion at a fuel depot in Hemel Hempstead, north of London: Three large explosions have rocked a fuel depot near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire shooting flames hundreds of feet into the sky. … Continue reading

Posted in Engineering | 15 Comments

Shake Zayed Road

Yesterday residents of the UAE we all excited about the occurence of an earthquake in Iran which was felt by those in the northern emirates and part of Dubai. This is interesting for me, because the company I signed up … Continue reading

Posted in Dubai, Engineering | Comments Off