Category Archives: Engineering

Fallen Idols

A few nights ago a giant, 328-foot tall windmill came crashing down in a field in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.  To say that questions need answering is an understatement.  Take a look at the photos. The failure mode here is buckling, … Continue reading

Posted in Engineering, UK | 17 Comments

Ah, so it was all bullshit?

This is long overdue: The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) says electronic devices such as mobile phones can be left switched on during flights. EASA says that electronic devices do not pose a safety risk. The restriction on using mobile … Continue reading

Posted in Engineering, General Observations, Travel | 22 Comments

The False Start of Electric Cars

I have noticed that there is considerable optimism in some quarters about the future of electric cars, and many people are pointing to Norway as a sign that the internal combustion engine may be on the way out: Norway may … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Economics, Engineering, Norway, Politics | 13 Comments

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 | 18 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