Thursday, 10 January 2019

Skills, Training and Planning

The Blog section of the website has, for a while, become like the forgotten poor relation, we have spent so much of our time and energy talking and thinking about the impact of the “B” word! It has consumed not only our energies but most of the UK's as well and has become a two year Hokey Cokey! Are we near to the end of the dance yet?

The construction professions in the private and public sectors which design, develop and build the infrastructure for the country are trying to plan for the future whatever that might become. The construction sector has lost capacity and capability since the financial crash of 2008, irrespective of what level of funding is or may be available going forward for future projects, the UK needs to facilitate the training of people to fill the growing skill gaps within the construction and infrastructure sector. In many sectors of our market, the magnitude and scale of the loss of skills and experience is becoming critical, maybe to a point where many will not be able to be re-established as the ageing workforce is not able or being given the opportunity to pass on their trade or profession to apprentices. The fabric of the built and social environment depends on being viable and functional.

Industry needs to be helped to train much needed apprentices and technicians as school leavers are being unnecessarily encouraged by current trends to go to University, where at the end of their studies, many will have created themselves significant personal debt and probably will have little prospect of finding suitable or rewarding employment which will enable them to repay these debts. The current trend appears to be that many of these personal debts will become written off over time by the tax payer. A better and more realistically socially engineered government policy could easily limit and avoid this mounting problem.

Our private, business and national financial models need to be changed from growth based systems to sustainable ones. Planet Earth and humanity cannot continue to be be lead by short term financial gains, a new Era in our evolution needs to be “Born” and not just spoken about. Little has been achieved by Earth Summits over the last thirty years!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Flood Resilience

In the UK, and the World as a whole, the impact of Climate Change is becoming very significant and appears to be coming ever more so. Planet Earth is becoming subject to more extensive and extreme global weather patterns.

The weather in Britain over the last few winters has become wetter, several years ago the Somerset Levels were flooded for many months and now the north of the UK has been repeatedly flooded many times in a very short period. Rain intensities of 300mm per day have recently been recorded in the UK. This is many times greater than would have previously been considered possible. However, these figures are being eclipsed by new extreme values in the far east of over 1.2m in a single day!

The population of the UK has repeatedly written to the Government to highlight many issues of inadequate policies over many past parliaments. It is acknowledged that some flooding would still have occurred, if reasonable measures had previously been implemented. However, the rate of climate change on the planet is far beyond what even sensible house keeping measures would have controlled.

The tabloids have picked up on the word “Flood Resilient” and it has become a buzz word on most peoples agenda. However, continuing to allow the much needed new houses to be built in flood zones is not reasonable, sensible or sustainable.

Will the politicians and their immediate advisers, continue to allow new developments to be built in  flood zones?

The ruling Government time and time again only considers the short term policy impact, irrespective of the consequences. Decisions on the way forward, need to be made by groups of appropriately selected professionals, where holistic long term solutions are created, without the need to confirm to party edits. The policy decisions made by any Government must be tempered by sound advice from our Engineers and Scientists. The view from most town windows is almost totally controlled by  Design Engineers or Civil Engineers. The resolution of form must firstly follow function!

Society must become more aware of holistic ways of living and must become more self governing, using appropriately skilled design and engineering professionals to guide them. Engineers can help to solve problems but please do not let the politicians make the problems too big to solve for the benefit of all humanity.

The population of the UK can vote in the referendum on whether EU membership is sensible or not. However, alternatives to residency of Planet Earth are not available.

Friday, 3 January 2014

January Sole Soaking!

In this era and at the beginning of 2014 most city people will look out of their windows and only see man made objects, generally these are designed by Structural Engineers, Civil Engineers and Designers with only a few traces of the natural world present; an odd tree, a few blades of grass or a few patio pots are the only items which link them back to their roots. The day-to-day existence of most city dwellers is totally dependant on the performance of utilities infrastructure companies.

The extreme wet and windy weather patterns over the Christmas period within the British Isles has clearly demonstrated this point. The weather and environment factor is not an isolated phenomena but a global problem which Governments need to correctly understand and stop merely trying to pay voting lip service to and thereafter allow the financial institutions to carry on in a myopic manner.

In the modern world unless social/environment models significantly change it will become more difficult and much more costly to live on Planet Earth. Where will the prosperity come from to support this? The developed world's economic model based on continual growth cannot work in the longer term and the sooner that the G20 countries recognise this, the better the quality of life for the general public.

Societies must become more aware of holistic ways of life and must become more self governing and respectful of the piece of Planet Earth which they are inhabiting but benefit from knowledge sharing and accessible good global database stores. Humans must also learn, as the population density grows even further, to design places of habitation which provide homes for other forms of nature. Bees, birds insects alike need to be recognised as important species with which mankind cannot in the long term survive without, or do we evolve into machines and become extinct?

The time has come to be truly respectful of Planet Earth and all that dwell within its sphere. We need to learn to harmonise the needs of all and try to understand the Grand Design and from this learn to design respectively and sustainably. Resources are finite and we need to use them carefully and wisely.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Employment Vacancy

MLDE are looking to recruit a Civil / Structural Engineering Graduate with about two years post-University experience. In the first instance please send through a letter of introduction and CV for consideration, contact details can be found here.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Tellisford Mill - Nominated for LABC National Building Excellence Award

Tellisford Mill, near Bath, Somerset, which MLDE acted as Civil and Structural Engineers for, has been entered into the Local Authority Building Control, National Building Excellence Awards final. The awards ceremony will take place in London during November.

This follows on from the Regional Award received by the project in June 2012 in the LABC South West Building Excellence Awards in which Tellisford Mill won the “Best Small Commercial Building” Award.

The project, which involved the installation of a new 55kW micro-hydropower turbine producing clean, renewable energy and restoration of the mill to its original purpose incorporating contemporary accommodation/office spaces, also received four awards in Mendip District Council’s, Mendip Building Excellence Awards in March 2012.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Pegasus - Prince of Wales attends memorial dedication at the National Memorial Arboretum

The Prince of Wales was joined by hundreds of current and former paratroopers and guests to officially unveil sculptures at the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire on 13 July 2012.

Prince Charles attended the ceremony at Alrewas to unveil the memorial which was sculpted by Charlie Langton and Mark Jackson. MLDE were commissioned to engineer the memorial plinth and the structural stainless steel armature to support Pegasus.

Pegasus at NMA - Prince of Wales with Sculptors Charlie Langton and Mark Jackson

The memorial combines two bronze sculptures, a paratrooper, sculpted by Mark Jackson, standing alongside the winged horse Pegasus, ridden by Bellerophon, the official symbol of the Parachute Regiment, and is dedicated to the soldiers of the Parachute Regiment and associated airborne units. The sculptures were cast by Castle Fine Arts Foundry.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Tellisford Mill - Mendip Building Excellence Awards

MLDE were in attendance at Mendip District Council’s, Mendip Building Excellence Awards on Friday 16th March 2012, for the project Tellisford Mill which MLDE acted as Civil and Structural Engineers for. The results for this project were :

> Best Commercial Building Under £1 Million - Winner
> Best Extension or New Build in a Historic Context - Winner
> Best Sustainable Development - Finalist
> Best Vernacular Building - Finalist

The ambition of Clients, Rachel Feilden and Anthony Battersby (Founder members of Mendip Power Group) were realised with the installation of a new 55kW micro-hydropower turbine producing clean, renewable energy and restoration of the mill to its original purpose incorporating contemporary accommodation/office spaces.

The Architects for the project were Klaentschi and Klaentschi and construction was carried out by local contractor Randall of Beckington.

mark lovell design engineers

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Structural and Civil Design Engineering Consultants based in Devizes, Wiltshire