Engineering & Science

Engineers – a protected species – part deux

by mel starrs on February 28, 2008

in The Profession

Remember about a year ago there was an epetition floating around regarding the use of the word engineer? Because I signed up to the petition (along with 1,726 others), I received the response in my email. I’ve copied it out in full in case anyone’s too lazy to click through. Basically, they aren’t going to […]

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PVSYST 4.21 – software for PV design

by mel starrs on January 15, 2008

in Renewables

This has been sitting in my del.icio.us inbox since April 2006.  I can’t remember where I found the link originally.   PVSYST 4.21 is a PC software package for the study, sizing, simulation and data analysis of complete PV systems. It is suitable for grid-connected, stand-alone, pumping and DC-grid (public transport) systems, and offers an extensive meteorological […]

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BRE have just issued ‘Micro-wind turbines in urban environments: an assessment’ (BRE Trust report FB17, ISBN 978-1-84806-021-0) and although I haven’t managed to get a copy myself the Guardian have and they dissect it here. The gist of things is that micro-turbines aren’t a great idea in urban areas on a domestic scale.  Good to see […]

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Interactive map of UK renewable energy locations

by mel starrs on November 30, 2007

in Renewables

Since August 2006 this resource has been available and I failed to mention it until now. http://maps.restats.org.uk From the press release: The collection of renewable energy statistics – began in 1989 via a project carried out by ETSU (now FES – a part of AEA Technology Environment) on behalf of the UK Department of Trade […]

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Creative engineers?

by mel starrs on November 19, 2007

in The Profession

Spotted this great retort to Jonathan Glancey from Chris Wise in the Guardian: This need is poorly served by specialised research universities and corporate engineering practice, rooted as it is in the postwar era and a scientific tendency to avoid responsibility. Nowadays, sums are so easy that many engineers try to analyse their way to […]

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Is BIM the future?

by mel starrs on November 13, 2007

in Engineering & Science

BIM (Building Information Modelling) has long been the way I think the industry ought to work. It just seems so logical to me. The premise is simple – build an intelligent 3D model of a building which can be exported and manipulated by various designers, including architects, structural engineers and building services engineers. This model […]

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Backlash against turbines

by mel starrs on November 9, 2007

in Renewables

 I wrote this back in December last year and for the life of me I can’t remember what else I was going to add to it. It’s mostly all been said now, but the most interesting tidbit (which is why I’m publishing it now, woefully out of date) is the prediction from Arup – I […]

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Degree Days redux

by mel starrs on November 2, 2007

in Building Physics

Hidden away in the archives is this post on degree days.  Martin Bromley from BizEE Software Ltd recently added a comment to the post highlighting an article he has written called “Degree Days – Handle with care“.  I thought it warranted a mention, rather than being stuck in the comments.  One point he makes in […]

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Wind resources

by mel starrs on May 22, 2007

in Renewables

The CSE (Centre for Sustainable Energy) have quite a few new documents on wind power available at their website here. Delivering Community Benefits from Wind Energy Development: A Toolkit looks a useful tool (pdf, 46 pages).

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Skills shortage

by mel starrs on April 18, 2007

in The Profession

I’ve had many a conversation over the past few months lamenting the lack of engineers available for hire at senior and associate level. These figures from 2004 show that we’re not imagining this shortfall – look at the massive gap in age bracket 40-44: General concensus is that in the early 90’s when the industry […]

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