Monday, 23 June 2014

An Applied Guide to Process and Plant Design

Elsevier's website has a link to the book...Draft is almost complete, and I have a couple of ideas for other books to pitch. I'm really enjoying writing.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Electrocoagulation and other Experiments

I have been pricing up bits for an electrocoagulation trial this morning as part of an ongoing process development contract. I have quite a few little experiments going on over the summer supporting process development, troubleshooting, optimisation and improvement exercises.

This is what happens when you start working in a university - people start thinking of you as an experimentalist. I see more of this stuff now, and less of the hands-on overall-wearing stuff I used to do. I don't mind coming in from the rain, and it is all still practical problem solving rather than blue sky research.

In devising the rig I am going to use to test the process, I see that this is also a design exercise. I have to purchase commercially available equipment and materials to make a device to do a specified job to a given degree of precision.

Perhaps the reason why so many of my academic colleagues do not understand design despite having to devise test rigs is because they have technicians to do the rig-building for them, so lecturers can avoid thinking about how to make things which work.

This might also explain the low status in academia of design practice. Despite the politically correct answer which many of them would give if asked, it is very clear from their attitudes that most university lecturers consider themselves a cut above their technicians.

Technicians have told me in the past about the vague descriptions and still vaguer sketches they receive from lecturers of the experimental rigs they want building, which makes it clear to me that that a lot of the thinking which goes into rigs actually comes from technicians rather than academics.

Design looks easy until you try it, especially if you have been watching someone with a lot of experience.

“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.” ― Yogi Berra

Thursday, 5 June 2014

I Just Flew In From Malaysia, and Boy Are My Arms Tired...

Old jokes apart, it's a long way back. I've been in Singapore and KL doing some networking and training for a couple of weeks, and it was well worth the trip.

I have got some prototyping to do over here for a confidential design job, and I'm hoping to get stuck back in to writing the textbook as soon as the jetlag wears off- I'm about halfway done now. My latest TCE article was published this week, and so far all of the feedback is very positive.

There are lots of potential training opportunities, mostly overseas, as well as a possibility of some design work in Singapore.

It's never boring....