• UK’s top 25 companies for senior leadership revealed, as rated by employees

    UK’s top 25 companies for senior leadership revealed, as rated by employees

    The list, compiled by Glassdoor economist Lauren Thomas, indicates that the technology companies on the list offer great culture and a good work-life balance, with tech now being the number one industry for work-life balance for the third year running. The research also revealed that tech talent is in high demand, giving candidates more leverage in contract negotiations. The survey also suggests that workers are twice as likely to talk about management when it’s poor, with anonymous employee comments such as “Neglectful, directionless and bullying” shared as part of compiling the study, indicating signs of toxic senior leadership. Post-pandemic, it is widely acknowledged that the shared experience has transformed the workplace, forcing senior leaders to redefine how they run their companies…

  • All data should be treated as sensitive by organisations, security expert warns

    All data should be treated as sensitive by organisations, security expert warns

    As dedicated industry expo Infosecurity Europe 2022 gets under way this week, Nigel Thorpe, technical director at SecureAge , has said that the traditional approach to giving the greatest cyber protection to ‘sensitive data’, while leaving other data types less well secured, has increasingly become a false ideal in a post-pandemic world. “The time has come to rethink what is meant by ‘sensitive’ data,” Thorpe said. “The reality is that an organisation should regard all of its data as potentially ‘sensitive’ information and protect it accordingly – ideally with file-level encryption. “We now see many instances of data that had been regarded as ‘non-sensitive’ being compromised and creating security alerts and reputational harm when it’s released out into the public domain.” Organisations…

  • MP who chairs plastic packaging lobbying group faces conflict of interest allegations

    MP who chairs plastic packaging lobbying group faces conflict of interest allegations

    The investigation, carried out by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), also found that some UK supermarket schemes are failing to adequately address the mounting problem of soft plastics and that a fund set up by some of the world’s largest brands to encourage UK soft plastic recycling has yet to pay out a penny. In a briefing, published this week, the EIA notes that Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby and Bulkington, has since 2020 had a second job outside Parliament as the £30,000-a-year chair of the Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) lobby group. The FPA’s position is that people, not producers, are responsible for plastic pollution, and it has been pushing to pause the implementation of UK policies currently being developed, including extended producer responsibility for packaging…

  • View from India: Vaccine makers explore new frontiers

    View from India: Vaccine makers explore new frontiers

    India has put in decades of R&D in developing life-saving vaccines for adults and children. The pandemic has fast-tracked large-scale vaccine production. The pressing need for vaccine development has prompted manufacturers to research-collaborate with scientific bodies. Scientists, vaccine makers and regulators worked in tandem to arrive at vaccines that can protect the masses from the virus. By doing so, they could skip protocol measures. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has enabled hassle-free approvals for timely vaccine rollouts. The vaccines were first administered for adults, followed by a portfolio of vaccines for children. The children’s segment, represented by Cadila Healthcare’s ZyCoV-D and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, is now joined by Corbevax, also homegrown like the…

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  • Rail strike cripples services nationwide, causing major travel disruption

    Rail strike cripples services nationwide, causing major travel disruption

    Only a fifth of trains are running today (Tuesday) and half of rail lines are closed as around 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union employed by Network Rail and 13 train operators have walked out. Services are generally restricted to main lines, but even those are only open between 7.30am and 6.30pm. Usually busy stations such as London Euston are nearly deserted except for the union picket lines. London Underground services are also suspended on the vast majority of lines today due to a walkout by workers. Consequently, roads are busier than normal, with heavy traffic in city centres and on outer London sections of the M1, A4 and A40. People trying to travel around the capital are facing long queues for buses. Uber has also hiked its prices amid a spike in demand…

  • Early warning of bridge damage could be predicted by new sensor design

    Early warning of bridge damage could be predicted by new sensor design

    Scour is erosion of riverbeds and banks, which can cause major bridge structural failure problems. Dr Myra Lydon has been working on the sensor to tackle the problem since 2021. An initial prototype sensor has been developed in partnership with Somni Solutions Ltd and testing has now completed. Dr Lydon hopes it will be in place on a Northern Ireland bridge this summer and after further research there will be a wider roll out of the device. The project has been funded by UK Research and Innovation’s Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAA) and Invest NI has provided additional funding for market exploration. Dr Lydon explained the significance of the new sensor at Queen’s University Belfast’s ‘Research with Impact’ event, which took place at the Sonic Arts Research Centre: “In 2019, it was…

  • How a blockchain approach will help UK realise benefits of hybrid airspace

    How a blockchain approach will help UK realise benefits of hybrid airspace

    A report published in 2021 by PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that the UK is sitting on £42bn of potential economic growth over the coming decade associated with the drones and uncrewed aircraft market. The problem is that wholesale transformation of existing air traffic management (ATM) systems is needed to open up a new age of commercial opportunities: urban air taxis, cargo and delivery services, security operations, healthcare support and environmental monitoring. A hybrid airspace shared by crewed and uncrewed aircraft comes with huge complexity, both for localised urban areas and the potential for crowded skies, as well as the global air traffic system as a whole. Human operators in traditional ATM are already facing high workloads and a deluge of data from different information…

  • Book review: ‘Red Leviathan’ by Ryan Tucker Jones

    Book review: ‘Red Leviathan’ by Ryan Tucker Jones

    ‘Red Leviathan: The Secret History of Soviet Whaling’ by Ryan Tucker Jones (University of Chicago Press, £24.55, ISBN 9780226628851) struck me as unexpectedly topical for this particular moment in my life. And not only because I’ve just returned from a spectacular Aurora Expeditions cruise to the remote Scottish Islands on board MV Greg Mortimer , during which I was able to take a close look for the first time ever at one of the world’s living wonders - the magnificent Minke whales in their natural habitat in the North Atlantic. In fact, it was not one whale but three, playing joyfully just 20 metres away from our inflatable and unsinkable Zodiac shuttle boat near the island of St Kilda, casually showing their greyish glistening bulks, then diving again and waving at us with the huge fans…

  • Arctic thaw will open cheaper, greener  shipping routes

    Arctic thaw will open cheaper, greener shipping routes

    The routes could also bypass the Russian-controlled Northern Sea Route, say Brown University researchers said. Climate models show that parts of the Arctic that were once covered in ice year-round are warming so quickly that they will be reliably ice-free for months on end in as little as two decades. Projections show that by 2065, the Arctic’s navigability will increase so greatly that it could yield new trade routes in international waters – not only reducing the shipping industry’s carbon footprint but also weakening Russia’s control over trade in the Arctic. “There’s no scenario in which melting ice in the Arctic is good news,” said Amanda Lynch, the study’s lead author. “But the unfortunate reality is that the ice is already retreating, these routes are opening up, and we need to…

  • Ofgem unveils plans to prevent energy supplier collapse amid price volatility

    Ofgem unveils plans to prevent energy supplier collapse amid price volatility

    The plans set out tough new measures to improve the financial health of energy suppliers so that they can withstand future shocks in the energy market, especially over the autumn and winter. The proposed changes include protecting consumer credit balances and green levies when suppliers fail, to prevent the costs being picked up by consumers. There will also be new requirements for suppliers to have better control over the key assets they need to run their supply business, and a tightening of the rules on the level of direct debits suppliers can charge customers, to ensure credit balances do not become excessive. These changes will reduce the risk of suppliers going bust and protect the credit balances of energy customers if this does happen, preventing a repeat of last year’s failures…

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  • Volunteering opportunity: Technical reviewers needed for the renewable power generation conference

    Volunteering opportunity: Technical reviewers needed for the renewable power generation conference

    The IET Renewable Power Generation (RPG) conference brings together the topics of renewable energy technology, power generation and systems integration, with techno-economic issues. All renewable energy generation technologies are within its scope. I’m looking for a number of suitably qualified technical reviewers to help review the technical papers submitted for the IET Renewable Power Generation (RPG) conference. Reviewers evaluate and score papers, as well as give invaluable comments and feedback. As a reviewer, you’ll need to have expertise in a minimum of two areas from the technical scope of the conference. There are many benefits of volunteering as a technical reviewer such as: Advanced access to emerging ideas in renewable power generation Keep up-to-date with the latest research…

  • UK decarbonisation will lead to job changes rather than losses, report finds

    UK decarbonisation will lead to job changes rather than losses, report finds

    Some 1.3 million people are employed in carbon-intensive ‘brown’ jobs that will need to adapt to cleaner technologies and processes. In its report, the Resolution Foundation said that the share of ‘green jobs’ has grown by just 1.3 percentage points over the past decade, but it anticipates that this change will accelerate over the course of this decade as firms replace emissions-intense processes with new, clean technologies and practices. The sheer pace of change coming has led some to claim that the decarbonisation drive of the 2020s and 2030s will lead to a repeat of the job destruction of deindustrialisation that saw manufacturing shrink as a share of employment by 5 percentage points a decade in the 1970s and 1980s. But the research shows that the labour market will see changes from…

  • Sponsored: How electrification can accelerate industrial transport’s net zero journey

    Sponsored: How electrification can accelerate industrial transport’s net zero journey

    While most vehicle traffic is for passenger transport, we often overlook the environmental impact of industrial vehicles. For example, in the European Union, lorries, buses, and coaches account for only 5 per cent of traffic but 25 per cent of total vehicle carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions. The heaviest vehicles, while less common, account for nearly 50 per cent of these emissions. So, improving the energy efficiency of industrial vehicles offers a significant opportunity to radically reduce global emissions. The transportation of people, goods and raw materials accounts for over 25 per cent of the world’s total energy consumption and almost 30 per cent of global CO 2 emissions. In addition to CO 2 emissions, diesel-powered vehicles also emit other harmful gases and particulates. In the US…

  • The Tokyo 2020 Track Bicycle - Tony Purnell, British Cycling

    The Tokyo 2020 Track Bicycle - Tony Purnell, British Cycling

    A talk at Cambridge University Engineering Department on 30 June at 1900 hrs. Tony Purnell, former Head of Technology at British Cycling, will talk about how engineering helped Great Britain top the cycling medal table at the Tokyo Olympics. Professor Tony Purnell FREng, FRSA was the Head of Technical Development at British Cycling, where he worked across all aspects of technology – from improving data analysis to assisting the coaches with the development of organisational software and tools to optimise rider performance. Tony Purnell is Visiting Professor at Cambridge University Engineering Department, and a Fellow-Commoner in Engineering at Trinity Hall Cambridge. He studied Mechanical Engineering at Manchester University and a masters the MIT Sloan School of Management. His dissertation…

  • Re-cycling and Harvesting Energy, a Proposal by Dr Harry Haralambos Athanassiadis

    Re-cycling and Harvesting Energy, a Proposal by Dr Harry Haralambos Athanassiadis

    This paper is a quick proposal due to the extreme urgency of this Project and a call for participation by other Engineers and Scientists to help in this difficult period of high Energy costs. According to (1) it is now possible to develop semiconductor structures on paper. Because of this latest development I am proposing a special WALLPAPER to convert the heat of a room into electricity and store it into the special batteries of the Home/Business. This excessive heat can be the heat of the central heating system of a Home/Business during the cold weather periods or the environmental heat during the summer periods. Let’s put some ideas all together. Please see my proposed idea of the special wallpaper. With the same technology and principles, we can design special roof tiles and remove…

  • Bio-tribological studies of non-UHMWPE Polymers and Composites

    Bio-tribological studies of non-UHMWPE Polymers and Composites

    30 June 2022 12.30 BST. Register Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) has been the main polymeric articulating implant material for the hip implant. Acetabular cup is made of UHMWPE in its unmodified form or with partial cross-linking and with Vitamin E added into it as the anti-oxidant. Many efforts in the past have been made on finding an alternative material to UHMWPE in the hope of improving upon the already excellent tribological performance of this polymer. Several of UHMWPE composites and other polymers such as polyetheretherketone (PEEK) and polymer gels have been researched with some even tried in for in-vivo tests. In this talk, we will review the tribological performances of non-UHMWPE polymeric materials for the acetabular cup application and compare those with…

  • £43m awarded to develop electric motorbikes and delivery trucks

    £43m awarded to develop electric motorbikes and delivery trucks

    The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said the projects could secure more than 550 jobs across the UK while saving nearly 27.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions. The projects were awarded funding through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), which collaborates with the UK government and the automotive industry to accelerate the industrialisation of net-zero-emission vehicles. The APC allocated £8.5m in funding towards Project Zero Emission Norton, based in Solihull, to develop an electric motorbike that delivers a high level of race performance and touring range. A further £8.5m was allocated to the OX Delivers CLEAN project in Leamington Spa to develop an all-terrain electric delivery truck (pictured below) designed for emerging markets and manufactured in…

  • CERN will cease collaboration with Russia and Belarus from 2024

    CERN will cease collaboration with Russia and Belarus from 2024

    The CERN Council, which oversees the world's largest particle accelerator, has publicly opposed the “illegal” military invasion of Ukraine, supported by Belarus, and is looking to cut ties with both nations. In its latest meeting, the Council announced its plans to terminate the organisation’s International Cooperation Agreements (ICAs) with the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus after their 2024 expiration dates. However, the Council is open to amending this decision in the light of developments in Ukraine. The ICA with Belarus will last until June 2024, while the one with Russia expires in December 2024. “CERN was established in the aftermath of World War II to bring nations and people together for the peaceful pursuit of science,” the statement said. “Member States recalled…

  • UK will fail to meet 2030 air-pollution goal without ‘robust’ action

    UK will fail to meet 2030 air-pollution goal without ‘robust’ action

    The UK has legal air-quality limits for major pollutants at a local and national level, covering pollution from ammonia, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides (NO 2 ), non-methane volatile organic compounds, sulphur dioxide, and more. An NAO report assessing the effectiveness of policies designed to tackle these pollutants has found that only sluggish national action has been taken to tackle the challenges on major roads and motorways, which means overall compliance cannot be achieved until after 2030. This is more than four years later than the government expected when it published its plan for tackling NO 2 in 2017. Furthermore, the NAO said there is particular concern about the health risks from particulate matter and ammonia. “Government is not yet clear how it will meet existing…

  • US dismantles Russian hacking botnet that attacked millions of devices

    US dismantles Russian hacking botnet that attacked millions of devices

    The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has confirmed authorities have dismantled the RSOCKS botnet, which connected millions of hacked computers and devices worldwide, including 'Internet of Things' gadgets like routers and smart garage openers. Several unnamed large public and private entities have been victims of RSOCKS, including a university, a hotel, a television studio and an electronics manufacturer, the department said. “It is believed that the users of this type of proxy service were conducting large-scale attacks against authentication services, also known as credential stuffing, and anonymising themselves when accessing compromised social media accounts, or sending malicious email, such as phishing messages,” a DoJ statement said. RSOCKS users paid a fee that ranged from $30 (…

  • Sponsored: What Does The Future Of EV Adoption Look Like?

    Sponsored: What Does The Future Of EV Adoption Look Like?

    According to the "Future Energy Scenarios" report from National Grid, there are expected to be as many as 11 million electric vehicles on our roads by 2030 and 36 million by 2040. We caught up with two EV experts and champions - Shamala Evans-Gadgil, Senior Programme/Project Manager and consultant working on behalf of Coventry City Council, and Claire Miller, Director of Technology & Innovation at Octopus Electric Vehicles – ahead of their talks at PEMD 2022 (Power Electronics, Machines and Drives), to discuss the positive impact of electric vehicles, the obstacles we are having to overcome to encourage more widespread adoption and what an electric future might look like What, in your view, are the biggest barriers to increased EV adoption? According to Shamala Evans-Gadgil, who is currently…

  • Gatwick Airport to cut summer flights as staff shortages take their toll

    Gatwick Airport to cut summer flights as staff shortages take their toll

    It plans to slowly increase the number over July and August by gradually raising capacity level at the airport as long as staffing number support it. During the peak holiday period, the airport will see 825 flights a day take off in July and then up to 850 flights a day in August. The move follows a rapid upturn in air traffic levels at Gatwick, with the Jubilee holiday week seeing around 800 flights use the runway on average each day. Gatwick has already seen over 10 million passengers travel through the airport in the first six months of this year as numbers rise after the Covid-19 pandemic, which badly affected the aviation sector. Despite the rebounding of the sector, Heathrow Airport recently revealed that passenger numbers had only reached 79 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in…

  • Government disputes £330bn price tag for net-zero infrastructure

    Government disputes £330bn price tag for net-zero infrastructure

    A report published in March, commissioned by the trade association for energy infrastructure companies, BEAMA – found that without this level of investment “the prospect of electric vehicles not being changed, heat pumps not having sufficient power, or renewable generation not connecting are real possibilities”. As part of the government’s net-zero drive, up to 30 million electric vehicle chargers and 20 million heat pumps or hybrid systems could be required by 2050. This could increase electricity demand by more than 70 per cent, according to the report, which was drawn up by the independent not-for-profit group Catapult Energy Systems. To cater for this increased demand, Catapult Energy Systems said a rapid growth in local and distribution lines and cables is required. Without active…

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  • Sponsored: Low Voltage Circuit Breaker Testing and the role of new software

    Sponsored: Low Voltage Circuit Breaker Testing and the role of new software

    Most of today’s circuit breakers designed for simple protection functions in final distribution applications are non-adjustable, so they do not require any unique configuration. However, circuit breakers designed for LV applications above 100 A in main switchboards  typically integrate protection for many fault conditions, like overload, short circuit, and earth fault. Many of these breakers configure to coordinate protection between each other – using selectivity and cascading – to help minimise impacts of electrical faults while preserving supply continuity for the rest of a facility. Circuit breakers offering this level of protection and reliability have adjustable settings that need configuration. During the design phase of a new facility, upgrade, or expansion…

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