• How the use of digital technology can transform your business effectiveness

    How the use of digital technology can transform your business effectiveness

    IET TN for Nuclear – Webinar “Nuclear” is undergoing a significant renaissance within the UK. There is talk of new reactors, SMR technology, Nuclear Fusion is being explored and is on the (distant) horizon, GB Nuclear has been formed and, suddenly, Nuclear Power is a clean energy and is a potential saviour from climate change, rather than the pariah it was not that many years ago. Timely then that the IET Technical Network (TN) for Nuclear has recently been re-invigorated and re-launched. The TN Committee, ably supported by IET staff, is comprised of experienced nuclear engineers, scientists from a wide range of organisations in the broad nuclear industry. Our purpose is to be a cross-industry working group supporting the IET and its members, providing a range of member-focused services…

    Aisling Mattinson
  • Striking in the heart of the capital

    Striking in the heart of the capital

    On This Day in (Engineering) History… King O'Malley drives in the first survey peg to mark the commencement of work on the construction of Canberra, February 20 th 1913 February 1913, Summer in Australia. Gathered on Kurrajong Hill in New South Wales, (and perhaps sweating already in the 28°C heat) are a small crowd of Australia’s great and good, among them the minister for Home Affairs, King O’Malley. They all gathered here on this barren, unremarkable piece of scrub to witness the very first piece of work to build a new capital city for a new country - Canberra, the federal capital of the Commonwealth of Australia. O’Malley would be the one to strike the first surveyor’s peg into the ground , Charles McDonald, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, would strike the second, a…

    Stephen Phillips
  • Additive Manufacturing: Advancements and Applications

    Additive Manufacturing: Advancements and Applications

    Additive Manufacturing: Advancements and Applications Additive Manufacturing (AM) is reshaping the way we create and innovate. Let’s explore its recent advancements and diverse applications that are revolutionising industries across the globe. Additive Manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, has evolved from a niche technology to a game-changer in the manufacturing landscape. Unlike traditional subtractive methods, AM builds objects layer by layer, offering unprecedented design flexibility and efficiency. The journey of AM has been marked by continuous advancements, making it a versatile and increasingly accessible manufacturing method. Advancements in Additive Manufacturing Material Innovations: Additive Manufacturing is no longer confined to plastics. Innovations in materials…

  • Do you see disasters unfolding and wish you could help?

    Do you see disasters unfolding and wish you could help?

    Hi, my name is Dorrie Giles, and I want to tell you about volunteering with Foothold, the IET Benevolent Fund , because disasters can happen to any of us, and we can all help. For me it is a privilege to work with a fantastic group of Foothold staff and IET volunteers to provide a huge range of support services as well as financial assistance to thousands of IET members and their families, from students and working age members, to those in retirement. It is humbling to be aware of members, who face incredibly difficult circumstances with courage and determination and get back on their feet, return to the workplace or just live their lives as fully as they can. You can see some who have agreed to share their stories on Foothold’s website. I have benefitted too, as you always do from volunteering…

  • The death and (partial) resurrection of an urban river

    The death and (partial) resurrection of an urban river

    On this day in (engineering) history… February 13, 1867 - Work begins on covering Brussels’ River Senne Picture this, on a cold February morning (the 13 th in fact), in 1867 you’re standing on the muddy bank of the River Senne, the main river running through the heart of Brussels, Belgium. It is revolting to the senses. The depleted, slow-moving river is polluted with rubbish thrown into the waterway, industrial effluent and raw human sewage. The smell is overpowering. The river often floods and carries this toxic mix into the homes of residents in the city’s nearby working-class areas. Clearly, something must be done, but what? Well, today, the city begins to bury the river. Like many rivers flowing through the heart of Europe’s cities cities in Europe, the River Senne (as opposed to…

  • From Waste to Watts: Transforming Food Scraps into Electricity!

    From Waste to Watts: Transforming Food Scraps into Electricity!

    Every now and then I get to work on a video project that has me travelling around the country shooting all sorts of glitz and glamour. This latest project however, was quite the opposite! Having grown up in Baldock, a small town in the Hertfordshire countryside, and now living in the surrounding villages I've always been accustomed to the distinct seasonal scents emanating from the surrounding farms. The fragrant blend of freshly ploughed earth, blooming crops, and the occasional whiff of manure has become an integral part of my somewhat rural upbringing. However, nothing in my experience could quite prepare me for the intriguing aroma of Biogen. Biogen is a pioneering company dedicated to organic waste recycling, employing advanced technologies to convert biodegradable materials into renewable…

  • Jack the Giant Maker, the Man Who Made the Modern World possible

    Jack the Giant Maker, the Man Who Made the Modern World possible

    On this day in (engineering) history… February 6, 1959, Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments files the first patent for an integrated circuit. On the mild winters day of February 6, 1959, Jack Kilby, of Texas Instruments (TI) is granted a patent, one of more than 50 he would be awarded for his inventions. The invention protected by that patent would ultimately change the world and everything about human experience: the integrated circuit, popularly known as the microchip. The story properly begins during the previous summer when Kilby joined Texas Instruments . He had become interested in miniaturising electrical components and Texas Instruments was the only company that would let him work on it full time. At this point, electronics was dominated by the reality that producing electrical devices…

    Stephen Phillips
  • China aims to take the lead on green strategies and skills

    China aims to take the lead on green strategies and skills

    China’s questions about net zero targets aren’t helpful in moving international negotiations forward but are understandable. Having seen other countries rise to prosperity through decades of fossil fuel use, why should China obstruct the economic progress it’s now making by cutting back its own use without some compensation? Politicians use hardlining to achieve a compromise they are happy with, and China’s position seems to be softening at the same time as it makes some effort with technical developments like ramping up renewables. If recent research by the IET is to be believed, its companies are also making the running when it comes to implementing net zero strategies and tackling a shortage of green skills. The IET engaged the independent research firm YouGov to survey over two thousand…

  • Advancing the Future: Sustainability in Manufacturing through Eco-Friendly Practices and Innovations

    Advancing the Future: Sustainability in Manufacturing through Eco-Friendly Practices and Innovations

    The global call for environmental responsibility has led the manufacturing industry to reassess its practices and embrace eco-friendly solutions. This article explores the crucial role of sustainability in manufacturing, highlighting innovative practices that contribute to a greener and more efficient future. Manufacturing, as a vital economic pillar, plays a significant role in shaping the world we live in. However, it also bears the responsibility of addressing environmental concerns such as resource depletion, pollution, and climate change. The urgency to adopt sustainable practices stems from the recognition that traditional manufacturing methods are not only resource-intensive but also contribute substantially to carbon emissions. Eco-Friendly Practices in Manufacturing Resource…

  • Thunder and lightning

    Thunder and lightning

    By Anne Locker What connects meteorology, the siege of Paris and the first air mail deliveries? A book in the IET Library’s S P Thompson Study Collection, Thunder and Lightning by Wilfrid de Fonvielle. Thunder and Lightning (1868) The original text of Thunder and Lightning , titled Éclairs et tonnerre , was published in France in 1867 and ran to four editions. This English translation by T L Phipson was published in 1868. The book is a colourful description of the causes and effects of thunder and lightning, taken from scientific studies, newspaper reports and folk literature. Wilfrid de Fonvielle was born in Paris on 25 July 1826. He was a journalist, popular science writer and meteorologist but is best known as a balloonist. In 1867, de Fonvielle was writing about the wonders of…

  • Green skills need to be about more than just cutting carbon emissions

    Green skills need to be about more than just cutting carbon emissions

    The UK isn’t the global industrial powerhouse it once was. One area where it’s an undisputed champion though is in producing top of the range wildlife and nature documentaries. Not so long ago, these were an excuse for David Attenborough to show us a parade of beautifully filmed sequences of exotic wildlife in their native habitats. With Planet Earth III , just finished broadcasting but still available via BBC on-demand services, the focus has switched dramatically. Conservation isn’t just about preventing endangered species from going extinct at an alarming rate. The stories of these animals is inextricably linked with climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions. And finding alternatives to the rapacious techniques that are devastating habitats across the globe isn’t going to…

  • Technology can’t overcome net zero barriers without the right skills in place

    Technology can’t overcome net zero barriers without the right skills in place

    Recent attempts to achieve a global consensus on what needs to be done to tackle climate change, and how quickly, have generated a lot of talk, but at least there’s a consensus gradually emerging. With a broad acknowledgement even by countries that rely on fossil fuel revenue that something does need to be done, attention switches to the question of ‘how’. Politicians who blithely throw talk of ‘innovative technologies’ into the debate, in the hope that the boffins will eventually come up with something to match their pledges, may be hoping that artificial intelligence will provide a silver bullet for identifying ways of reducing carbon emissions without having a devastating (and politically unpopular) impact on modern life. The truth, as engineers will be well aware, is that while AI is…

  • Which green skills are missing, and how does the world fill the gap?

    Which green skills are missing, and how does the world fill the gap?

    Now that the dust has settled on COP28 there’s a feeling that the politicians who finally hammered out a resolution all the countries involved could sign up to will be looking around with a sense of ‘Well, who’s going to make this happen then?’. Whether the semantics of making a transition to renewables rather than phasing out fossil fuels turns out to make any significant difference to how the net zero agenda plays out, the IET spoke up in UAE with events to highlight the results of an important new survey that identified an underappreciated obstacle. In August and September 2023, The IET commissioned independent research agency YouGov to quiz more than two thousand engineering employers from all over the world about their current priorities and challenges around climate change. The focus…

  • A World First: A Bridge Suspended In The Sky, Anchored To The Ground

    A World First: A Bridge Suspended In The Sky, Anchored To The Ground

    On this day in (engineering) history… Menai Bridge, the world’s first modern suspension bridge, opens January 30, 1826 It is January 30th, 1826. The moment everyone has waited years to see has finally arrived. A crowd has gathered on this chilly, grey January morning to watch the ceremonial cutting of a ribbon, musical accompaniment from a band, to open a new bridge. Today is momentous because the ceremonial is to open the Menai Bridge, the world’s first iron suspension bridge. Before the bridge opened, travel along the road from London to Holyhead, the closest port to Ireland, would take 36 hours and involved crossing the Menai Strait by boat. The waters of the Strait can be treacherous. Before the bridge, boats crossing the Strait in either direction would have to deal with the four…

  • Engineering worries of a climate changing world

    Engineering worries of a climate changing world

    How are engineering employers thinking about climate change? The IET’s latest annual skills survey tells us… Climate change is worrying engineers and their businesses around the world. In China, this nervousness is shared by 98% of engineering organisations surveyed. That figure declines to 91% in Brazil. Even in the UK, the country least anxious about the issue, 65% of respondents said they are concerned or very concerned about the impact of climate change on their engineering business. Southern discomfort As we can see, it is countries in the global south that are most worried by the risks associated with global warming. When the subject moves to resilience in the face of the potential consequences of a heated world, it is these countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and China…

  • The Frisbee, Older Than You Think

    The Frisbee, Older Than You Think

    On this day in (engineering) history… The frisbee goes on sale for the first time It is a Wednesday in January 1957, the 23 rd to be exact, - there is snow on the ground with more on the way. But in the nation’s toy stores, there is something to get everyone looking forward to lazy, happy days in summer. A new toy, that looks like a flying-saucer has just appeared on the shelves. Its inventor used to call it the ‘Pluto Platter’. Next year, the Wham-O toy company (has there ever been a better named toy maker?) call it the ‘Frisbee’. Will it ever catch on? Walter Frederick Morrison promoting his Pluto Platters Like so many stories, this one doesn’t begin where everyone thinks it does. Back in 1937, 17-year-old Walter Frederick Morrison, from Richfield, Utah and his girlfriend Lucile…

  • O-Pen To the Future.  The application of renewable light & power dynamics.  The virtual Neutral monitor in EV and fixed wiring (IET Central London Network January Evening Lecture)

    O-Pen To the Future. The application of renewable light & power dynamics. The virtual Neutral monitor in EV and fixed wiring (IET Central London Network January Evening Lecture)

    It may have been a cold winters night outside, but a lot of light was shone by an ensemble cast on the challenges surrounding Energy Transition and the widespread adoption of renewable technologies. The first of our guest speakers was George Ashley-Cound of Lightwks Ltd . George has had a long and varied career supplying lighting and power designs to the entertainment business and more than 50 of the world’s most luxurious hotels but he was rightly proud of one of his major successes, installing a solar farm at the Calabash Hotel in Grenada. The solar farm made a quick return on the investment and is now a major producer of electricity for the hotel. George thought this was a pathway to a new career, making Caribbean hotels self-sufficient. Alas, the global pandemic intervened, and George…

  • Pointing to the Pole, finding Magnetic South

    Pointing to the Pole, finding Magnetic South

    On this day in (engineering) history… January 17 th , 1909 - Edgworth David, Douglas Mawson, and Alistair Mackay become the first to reach the Magnetic South Pole It is a still bright summer night. The wind is blowing hard, there are kilometres of snow beneath their feet and the temperature is somewhere in the -20s °C. This is Antarctica and three men who are by now exhausted, hungry and cold have just arrived at the Magnetic South Pole. In a short, solemn ceremony they plant a flag and claim the area for the British Empire. The three men are Professor Edgworth David, a Welsh-Australian Professor of Geology at Sydney University, Douglas Mawson, who lectured in minerology at the University of Adelaide, surgeon Alistair Mackay. They make up the core of the scientific team of Ernest Shackleton…

    IET Editorial
  • The Benefits of Digitalisation for Energy Transition (IET Central London Network October Evening Lecture)

    The Benefits of Digitalisation for Energy Transition (IET Central London Network October Evening Lecture)

    Man-Maths. Noun: the process of making the hopelessly unaffordable seem unequivocally financially logical. See also: denial, head in sand, massive balloon. Man-maths was the concept Rod Buchanan used to illustrate how head over heart prevailed when he made the financially driven decision to change cars from a large three litre Audi to a Tesla. This was not an easy choice as the car, known as “ Harry ”, was obviously part of the family. Rod's journey from the defence industry (fast jets) through autonomous systems (R2D2) to becoming a Tesla owning Chief Technology Officer of Amp X has happened at a time of Energy Transition. More and more households are adopting technologies such as Electric Vehicles, Heat Pumps and Airconditioning which add to the load on the distribution grid whilst only…

  • Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Technology in Modern Telehealth Systems

    Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Technology in Modern Telehealth Systems

    Congratulations to Book Editors, Agbotiname Imoize, Dr. Chandrashekhar Meshram, AWOTUNDE Joseph Bamidele and Dinh-Thuan Do and to all of their chapter contributors on the publication of this new IET book: Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Technology in Modern Telehealth Systems About the Book The expansion of telehealth services is enabling healthcare professionals to consult, diagnose, advise or perform tasks remotely, enabling them to treat more patients in their own homes or consult on cases on the other side of the world. The security of sensitive user information is critical to effective and efficient delivery of healthcare services. Artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology are identified as key drivers of emerging telehealth systems, enabling efficient delivery…

  • Clouds gather on the Horizon

    Clouds gather on the Horizon

    What does the Horizon scandal say about software testing, standards and accountability? Could it happen again or are we now better prepared and guarded against such human frailty? It isn’t often a TV drama strikes at the national consciousness and changes the law. A famous example would be the BBC’s ‘Cathy Come Home’ in 1966. Now we have ‘ Mr Bates v The Post Office ’. The drama starring Toby Jones, describes the campaign by a sub-postmaster to clear his name and that of hundreds of others convicted of an array of offences from fraud to theft to false accounting. The common factor was the evidence provided by an online accounting system built by Fujitsu. The scandal has gone down as the largest miscarriage of justice in British legal history. The background is this : in 1999 the Post…

  • Innovative infectious disease Professor awarded top Engineering Research Prize

    Innovative infectious disease Professor awarded top Engineering Research Prize

    A researcher leading a new generation of tools and technologies for infectious disease surveillance, testing and care has been awarded our top A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize worth £350,000. Rachel McKendry is Professor of Biomedical Nanoscience at University College London and Director of the i-sense EPSRC IRC in Early Warning Sensing Systems for Infectious Diseases. Her research lies at the cutting edge of quantum technologies, deep learning and telecommunications for infectious diseases and public health. McKendry led the i-sense team to help tackle a range of infections from HIV to the global response to COVID-19, developing new diagnostics and analysing data for public health surveillance. She is also working to transform the ability to accurately interpret HIV results with the…

  • Machine Learning in Medical Imaging and Computer Vision

    Machine Learning in Medical Imaging and Computer Vision

    Congratulations to Book Editors, Amita Nandal, Liang Zhou, Arvind Dhaka, Todor Ganchev and Farid Nait-Abdesselam and to all of their chapter contributors on the publication of this new IET Book: Machine Learning in Medical Imaging and Computer Vision About the Book Medical images can highlight differences between healthy tissue and unhealthy tissue and these images can then be assessed by a healthcare professional to identify the stage and spread of a disease so a treatment path can be established. With machine learning techniques becoming more prevalent in healthcare, algorithms can be trained to identify healthy or unhealthy tissues and quickly differentiate between the two. Statistical models can be used to process numerous images of the same type in a fraction of the time it would take…

  • Engaging with our Young Professionals Committee

    Engaging with our Young Professionals Committee

    Our Young Professionals Committee (YPC) recently gathered in Glasgow for its inaugural in-person meeting of this current session. Our 13 committee members are dedicated volunteers from all around the globe, all sharing a common enthusiasm, expertise and determination to enhance the appeal of the engineering and technology sector for aspiring professionals. As the Young Professionals Coordinator and Secretary for the Committee, it was my responsibility to bring together our committee members for a productive weekend. The planning started many months beforehand. Once the location had been decided by the staff team, I researched suitable meeting venues and hotels in the city and managed all of the logistics that comes with bringing together a group of volunteers and colleagues…