not only bridges

Monster bridge machine

The awesome mega bridge machine SLJ900/32 is being used in China for bridge girders construction.

The manufacturer is Beijing Wowjoint Machinery Co and the main features are:
  Weight: 580 tonnes
  Measures: 91.8 meters long - 7.4 meters wide - 9 meters high

Indeed, China is becoming a great industrial nation.

How to build a gas processing plant

This is an award winning short film for its educational value to the oil and gas industry. It is a pity that the video does not come with music. Included are construction methods, sequence, resources and timelines. Activities covered in the video are earthworks, pipe racks, slugcatcher, steel tanks, heavy lifts, welding & spool fabrication, pavements and fencing.


In the past two years, David H Moloney, an Irish engineer, has made and uploaded short films like this one onto YouTube showing us how civil projects are constructed. These projects range from airports, seaports, motorways and railways to oil and gas pipelines, metros, in-situ piles, bridge construction, post-tensioning, precast yard, quarry, roofing and more. I strongly recommend to visit his channel.

The theories of everything

When you try to be all things to all people, you end up being nothing
(common saying  popularized by Robin Sharma)

I have recently finished watching The Theory of Everything. If you are interested in the borders of science, it is a must see. As Hawking admits, cosmology was thought of as a pseudoscience given that wild speculation was unconstrained due to the lack observations.

More examples of the difficult birth of a new science: the government of the Soviet Union declared that Mendelian genetics or plate tectonics (continental drift) were pseudo-science. Artificial intelligence has been considered as hype and junk science by many. Dijkstra considered software engineering to be a pseudoscience.

On the other hand, there are disciplines that were abandoned. For example, I have been taught elements of NLP - a debunked psycologic theory - many times on prestigious management courses. Why? Because although NLP is pseudoscience it brings under a single unique umbrella a host of useful good interpersonal and conversational techniques. Also, modern city planning has been called pseudoscience by Jane Jacobs and others.

What are the borders between mainstream science, fringe science, junk science, heuristics, useful pseudoscience, science fiction and fraud?

When materials are getting tired

Fatigue might be the the key of Germanwings accident. Fatigue is still nowadays an endemic structural problem of fuselage and specially of the rear portion of the cabin.

Low cost airlines usually fly short and more than 5 times a day. Each takeoff and landing cycle and the pressurization, ice forming on the wings and depressurization associated with it adds stress and damage to the skin of the plane.

Todd Curtis, a former Boeing safety engineer who is now director of the Foundation said  to US News "if you see a wing here and three miles later you see a fuselage, one doesn't have to be an expert to speculate that it didn't happen on the ground — that something happened before it impacted".

The rant of a senior engineer

One of my experienced colleagues made a blunt rant about what he felt were problems within the energy&engineering sector nowadays. Apart from the political views, which I do not totally share, it is an honest, clear, and frank writing for insight about engineering, management and factors that make talented engineers to get totally bummed out. 

"I am at home not working because of sanctions imposed on the Russians and indecision of whether we want to break up UK and Europe into small units. Scotland to break with what is the UK has caused a lot of problem to Oil & Gas and destabilized businesses and prices. Delayed projects that should be happening now. And Catalonia will cause problem for Spain. 
It is my belief more experienced people are sitting at home because they have been forced to continue doing nuts and bolts. The average younger engineers want to be project engineers and project managers only without practicing the core skills properly. It is the people on the shop floor which should be promoted to be managers they have clearer for sight. Consequence is energy will cost us a lot more until we re-address who are the decision makers."