Impulse To Innovation
Season 3 Episode 8: Apprentice Automation Challenge 2022

Season 3 Episode 8: Apprentice Automation Challenge 2022

September 8, 2022

In this months episode Helen hosted a live show from the Apprentice Automation Challenge, held at the MTC, Coventry.

52342914115_3185019fa7_c.jpg

 

The Apprentice Automation Challenge provides a brilliant opportunity for talented apprentices to compete in an innovative design and manufacturing challenge to improve an everyday home or garden device.

Organised by the Institution's Manufacturing Industries Division’s Young Members Committee, it engages with teams of apprentice engineers to design, develop and build a fully working system that solves a real-world problem.

All teams submit a report that includes a full design specification, manufacturing instructions, user manual and business case. The Challenge culminates in a live final showcase where teams are able to demonstrate their working prototypes and respond to questions from the judging panel.

This year saw eight teams taking part with technical prototypes varying from plant watering devices to fridge content monitors.

This years overall winners were Team Leonardo SAL for their plastic waste-saving prototype.

52342480856_553a8978c7_c.jpg

 

Helen interviews the AAC Chair Jason Yearsley, Head Judge Toby Heagerty and Leonardo Team Mentor Chris Sutton during our live show which took place on the 2nd September.

Useful links:

https://www.imeche.org/events/challenges/aac-challenge

https://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/leonardo-team-sal-crowned-winners-of-apprentice-automation-challenge-2022

https://www.the-mtc.org/

 

Season 3 Episode 7: Leading the Institution in the 21st Century - Presidents Past, Present & Future Share Their Views

Season 3 Episode 7: Leading the Institution in the 21st Century - Presidents Past, Present & Future Share Their Views

August 3, 2022

With just five months to the official end of our 175th anniversary it seemed appropriate to take some time to speak with, not just one president, but three!

 

While the role of President is considered an honorary position as titular head of the Institution, it is the highest accolade any member can achieve. Each of the Institution's Past-Presidents has not only spent many years actively volunteering within the Institution on regional and divisional boards, Council and Trustee Board, but has also made a significant contribution to their specific field of engineering.

phil.jpg

IMechE 137th President Phil Peel

 

Our most prominent past president is of course George Stephenson, father of the railways, but we have had 136 Presidents since George, working in areas such as steam turbine and jet engine design, tribology and materials applications, hydraulic systems and power generation to mention just a few.

peter.jpg

Peter Flinn,  136th President, 2021/22

 

Although they are only in office for one year they are kept extremely busy, not only ensuring the Institution is run effectively through the executive team and that strategic and financial objectives are achieved through our various boards, but they also represent us beyond Birdcage Walk; working closely with Presidents from other PEIs to raise the profile of engineering as well as engaging with politicians and industry leaders to address societal challenges.

giles.jpg

Giles Hartill, President-Elect will be our 138th President

 

You would think then that the chances of getting three of them in a room together were rather low, but we know how to pull strings here at Impulse to Innovation. In today’s episode Helen talks to Presidents past, present and future about how they see the role of IMechE President, why having a strategic plan for the future is so vitally important, our relevance to society in a digital world, if we can ever have any impact on Government policy and why the Institution sees equality, diversity and inclusion as the responsibility of all its members.

 

Useful Links:

Watch President Phil Peel's Inaugural Speech

Read President Phil Peel's Inaugural Speech 

Meet The Institution's Trustee Board

Past Presidents of the Institution - Biographies 

 

We would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this episode. If you would like to get in touch, email us at podcast@imeche.org

You can find more information about the work of the IMechE at www.imeche.org 

Season 3 Episode 6: The Railway Challenge 2022 - A New Generation of Engineers on the Move

Season 3 Episode 6: The Railway Challenge 2022 - A New Generation of Engineers on the Move

July 7, 2022

Ask most people what comes to mind when they think of mechanical engineering, and many will respond with railways and trains.

Our foundations as an institution are indeed firmly built on the traditions of railway engineering, with engineers who saw themselves no longer as civil engineers; building static infrastructure, but as innovators of moving machines, able to cross vast distances at speed, transporting limitless amounts of goods and people.

Our first two Presidents, George and Robert Stephenson are still revered today as the fathers of the railway industry and as we celebrate the institution’s 175th anniversary, we can look back with some pride at the achievements and innovations that continue to be developed across the rail industry today.

Those innovations can of course only take place if we have a new generation of engineers to drive them forward.  The education of our future engineering workforce is undeniably woven into the institution’s ethos and mission across all aspects of engineering, and rail continues to play its part in delivering that objective. This passion and enthusiasm for educating the next gen is manifested in the Institution’s railways challenge held for the last 11 years at Stapleford Miniature Railway in Leicestershire.

rail1a.jpg

Planned and delivered by a team of institution volunteers from the railway division, the competition, which brings together teams of international young engineers and apprentices from across the railway sector is, as one would expect, timetabled and executed with the upmost precision, with teams being tested on their technical skills, engineering knowledge and business acumen over three intense and long days.

rail2a.jpg

The competition is friendly, yet fierce as the Grand Champion’s trophy is on show for all to see in the judging tent, making sure that everyone of the competitors plays their part.

rail3a.jpg

It doesn’t matter if you are an ardent train fanatic, a keen enthusiast of engineering outside your own field like me or just a curious spectator, you cant help but get drawn in to the excitement and frustration as the completions days progress. And of course, the whole thing is topped off by a ride along the mile long track with the wind in your face and the clackity clack of the tracks beneath you.

What could be more evocative of our engineering ingenuity?

rail4a.jpg

In this months episode Helen and the HQ AV team headed out to Leicestershire for a live recording of the sights and sounds of the Railway Challenge and spoke with the Challenge’s chair, several of the volunteer judges as well as team members as they prepared their locomotives for the first day of tests.

We wont give any spoilers as to who won, but you can read all about the winners and the teams participating in the link below.

 

Useful Links:

Aachen Reuschling win Railway Challenge 2022

The Railway Challenge Competition Details

IMechE Railway Division Webpage

 

 

We would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this episode. If you would like to get in touch, email us at podcast@imeche.org

You can find more information about the work of the IMechE at www.imeche.org 

Season 3 Episode 5: ALARP - Developing a Well-reasoned Argument in Safety Engineering

Season 3 Episode 5: ALARP - Developing a Well-reasoned Argument in Safety Engineering

June 6, 2022

At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, engineers devoted their efforts almost entirely to making devices that functioned reliably and profitably, but with little attention to safety. Yet frequent disasters, mainly as a result of the growing use of high-pressure steam, led engineers to question increasing numbers of deaths and to assess problems with the technologies they were developing.  Indeed, when Richard Trevithick began experiments with high-pressure steam engines to increase both efficiency and power, James Watt (and his partner Matthew Boulton) petitioned Parliament to pass an act outlawing the use of such engines as a public danger.

The protection of people from harm has increasingly been a focus of many fields of engineering since the nineteenth century. Over time, engineers began to propose design changes and build-in innovations to reduce risk, and thus the industry of safety engineering was born.

Safety engineering deals with accident prevention, reducing the risks associated with human error, and integrating safety benefits in engineered designs. The purpose of safety engineering is to control risk by reducing or completely eliminating it. It also aims to reduce the rate of failures and if failures do occur, that they are not life threatening. This work has led to the development of safety codes and standards governing technology design, including the use of natural gas and electricity, the building and use of steam boilers, and the storage and use of explosives.

Engineering societies and institutions like the IMechE, whose original charters stressed the promotion and facilitation of the profession's work, where, by the mid-twentieth century, beginning to impose safety as a primary moral duty of the engineer.

Today there are many engineers whose work is devoted entirely to the protection of the public and workers from the hazards of technology and natural phenomena such as Fire protection engineering and automobile safety.

Today these engineers often make use of computer models, prototypes, or recreations of situations to assess potential hazards and risks such as crash testing, and consider not only the situation or use of the product but the design processes applied, material reliability, legislation, and human factors.

The intertwining of engineering and safety will undoubtedly intensify in the future in response to constantly rising public expectations and the ubiquitous use of technology in our lives. So how do we make those risks as low as reasonably practicable?

alarp-th.png

In this months episode Helen discusses why safety and risk play such a key role in engineers’ decision making processes, the need for safety legislation and its impact, and how engineers mitigate risks using ALARP with guest chartered engineer Keith Miller, Technical Safety Consultant and one of the lead authors of the IMechE’s ALARP for Engineers Guide, published in 2021.

 

 

 

Useful Links:

ALARP for Engineers - A Technical Guide

IMechE Webinar on ALARP

 

"Engineers work in many disciplines but all of them have the ability to affect societal wellbeing to a very significant extent. The privilege of having the skills and knowledge to contribute so much to such important areas of life clearly brings with it the need for wise ethical judgement when exercising that privilege."

Royal Academy of Engineering 2011

With power comes great responsibility, and as engineering professionals we exercise significant power over the decisions we make on behalf of society every day. Just like doctors, Engineers are faced with ethical dilemmas where they can find themselves making life or death decisions.

Engineering ethics is a growing field of study that looks at the moral decision-making that applies to the practice of engineering. The field examines and sets the obligations by engineers to society, to their clients, and to the profession as a whole.

Engineering professionals work to enhance the wellbeing of everyone, and in doing so, they are required to maintain and promote high ethical standards and challenge unethical behaviours.

There are four fundamental principles for ethical behaviour and decision-making outlined by the Royal Academy of Engineering & the Engineering Council which include.

  • Honesty and integrity
  • Respect for life, law, the environment and public good
  • Accuracy and rigour
  • Leadership and communication

 

As a professional body, The IMechE expects its members to maintain high standards of ethical conduct which requires us to ‘Protect members of the public’, ‘Protect IMechE members’ and ‘Uphold the reputation of the Institution and the wider engineering profession’.

To achieve this we have a ‘Code of Conduct’ which outlines these requirements and to which members are expected to abide by.

In the second segment of this episode, Helen talks with fellow of the IMechE, past Trustee and Council member Matt Garside to get a personal view of the importance of ethics in engineering, why engineers should use their privilege wisely and how engineers will safeguard society in the future.

 

Useful Links:

RAE Ethics in Practice

RAE Webinar on Ethics in Engineering

Engineering Council Statement of Ethical Principles

 

 

We would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this episode. If you would like to get in touch, email us at podcast@imeche.org

You can find more information about the work of the IMechE at www.imeche.org 

Season 3 Episode 4: Harnessing the Power of the Sun - Developing Fusion Power at Tokamak Energy

Season 3 Episode 4: Harnessing the Power of the Sun - Developing Fusion Power at Tokamak Energy

May 3, 2022

What if we could generate the power of our sun here on earth? Sounds like science fiction, but actually the application of complex maths and physics principles in understanding how we might generate fusion energy like that powering our sun, have been well understood since the 1950s and was made a reality in the 1990s, right here in the UK.

 

The heart of the Oxfordshire countryside resides tokamak energy. Founded in 2009 as a spin-off, the company has long and distinguished roots in the UK Atomic energy authority’s early fusion research at Culham.

Today they are leading the way in developing a truly commercial fusion energy supply, which has the potential of radically changing how we not only generate energy, but how we use it in the future.

ST40_with_plasma3.png

The tokamak team is over 160 strong, and is both a global and multidisciplinary community of scientists, engineers, technologists and commercial experts. The IMechE recognised the value of the work Tokamak energy were undertaking in 2015 when it became one of the first organisations to be supported by the Institution’s Stephenson Fund.

 

In this month’s episode Helen spoke to Tokamak Energy’s CEO Chris Kelsall and Senior HTS Magnet Development Engineer Greg Brittles about why fusion is considered such a viable energy source, the impact it might have on the green energy agenda and about some of the innovative breakthroughs being made as a result of the tokamak’s development.

 

Useful Links:

Tokamak Energy

IMechE Video on Fusion Development at Tokamak Energy 

Understanding the basics of Fusion Energy  

 

We would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this episode. If you would like to get in touch, email us at podcast@imeche.org

You can find more information about the work of the IMechE at www.imeche.org 

Season 3 Episode 3: Elevating Education - Why STEM Learning & STEM Ambassadors are so Important

Season 3 Episode 3: Elevating Education - Why STEM Learning & STEM Ambassadors are so Important

April 4, 2022

“The upcoming generation is full of talent, and we need to nurture it and make sure there are opportunities available to them by ensuring that our education system – from nursery through to lifelong learning – develops STEM.”

 

These were wise words from MP Amanda Solloway, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury who gave the keynote address at the launch Elevating Education on the 24th March at IMechE HQ.

 

Amanda was part of a panel, including Dr Alice Bunn, IMechE CEO, and Chair of the Education and skills strategy board, Professor Helen James OBE. Who both gave very personal and impassioned speeches about the enormous value of stem education in today’s ever-changing world.

PXL_20220324_113852399.jpg

You can watch or listen to the recording of the day’s events on the IMechE’s You Tube channel.

 

In this month's episode Helen speaks with Jelena Gacesa, the Institution’s education outreach and safe guarding lead about the new initiative, which is designed to raise the profile of STEM careers for young people as part of the IMechE' s education and skills policy priorities.

Helen also spoke with Ajay Sharman, regional lead for the National STEM Learning Network, just after the event, to get his thoughts on the value of STEM education and careers and why STEM ambassadors are so vitally important to delivering this agenda.

 

Useful Links

STEM Ambassador Induction Video 

IMechE Virtual Work Experience Programme

Meet Jelena Gacesa

Institution News - Elevating Education Launch

STEM Activities @ Home

STEM Ambassador Training

Primary Engineer

STEMazing

 

We would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this episode. If you would like to get in touch, email us at podcast@imeche.org

You can find more information about the work of the IMechE at www.imeche.org 

Season 3 Episode 2: Non-Destructive Testing - The Engineers Who Keep Our Technology From Failing

Season 3 Episode 2: Non-Destructive Testing - The Engineers Who Keep Our Technology From Failing

March 7, 2022

While the IMechE is recognised as a charitable organisation, you may not be aware that it does own a number of businesses. These 'wholly owned subsidiaries' have been acquired by the institution over many years and specialise in learning and development; providing training and expert knowledge to engineers all over the world. 

One of these businesses is IMechE Argyll Ruane, a world-renowned Non-destructive Testing, Corrosion and Coatings Training and Consultancy, based in the heart of Yorkshire’s steel industry. Sheffield.

Front-of-building-with-layers-1024x684.jpg

Non-destructive testing is an invaluable tool which enables engineers to look inside materials to find out if there are defects not visible to the naked eye.

02.jpg

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) acquired the Argyll Ruane in 2012. But the company itself has been serving the engineering community since 1985.  During its 30 odd years, Argyll Ruane has certified thousands of engineers in different aspects of NDT, corrosion and coating examinations and testing, and issued over 15,000 qualification certificates.

The IMechE Argyll Ruane (IAR) Engineering Training Centre opened in August 2015 at the Sheffield Business Park, were some of the world’s leading engineering organisations are also based.

The training team, lead by general manager Chris Kirby, are a highly skilled group of engineers with over 150 years of experience between them, but they are also extremely proud to be passing that knowledge on to the next generation, and have several apprentices working in the team who hope to carry on Argyll Ruane’s impressive tradition.

Christian_at_Fife_Oct21_RS8kcsp.jpg

Christian Beever Training engineers at IAR 

 

In this months episode, Helen speaks to two of IAR’s training team, to find out more about the role they play in providing this invaluable service to the engineering community and what is involved in the training itself.

Christian Beever joined IAR as an NDT Apprentice and completed a 3-year NDT Engineering Technician Apprenticeship in August 2021. He is now fully qualified to teach students in PCN Level 2.

Mick Mullins is a Level 3 Consultant at IAR and has over 40 years’ experience in NDT. His role involves supporting clients to ensure their NDT departments are compliant with industry standards.

iMeche_trainingcentermick.jpg

Mick Mullins teaching Magnetic Particle Testing

 

Useful Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nondestructive_testing

https://argyllruane.imeche.org/

https://www.imeche.org/about-us/our-wholly-owned-subsidiaries

https://www.imeche.org/careers-education/careers-information/apprentices 

https://www.skillstraininguk.com/

https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/explore-your-education-and-training-choices?utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=gtj_launch

 

We would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this episode. If you would like to get in touch, email us at podcast@imeche.org

You can find more information about the work of the IMechE at www.imeche.org 

Season 3 Episode 1: Happy 175th Anniversary IMechE! - Looking Forward to the Year Ahead

Season 3 Episode 1: Happy 175th Anniversary IMechE! - Looking Forward to the Year Ahead

February 7, 2022

Welcome to the first episode of Impulse to Innovation 2022!

This year the I2I podcast will be focusing on the Institution’s key themes of climate change, infection control, transport and education and how mechanical engineers help to solve the global challenges facing society today, and in the future.

Helen will also be out and about with some more live streaming shows at the Institution’s challenge competitions throughout the year and will be sharing exciting engineering innovation from members around the world. 

But 2022 is extra special for the Institution as we are 175 years old this year.

 

IMechE_175_-_Landscapebrxe5.png

Useful Links

IMechE 175 Hub https://www.imeche.org/175 

Patrick Vallance Lecture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2Gq2L5yWaU

Do you have a story to share or event to promote?
Contact imeche.175@imeche.org

Share on social media with #IAmIMechE #ForwardThinkers

 

How it all began

In the autumn of 1846 a group of engineers met to watch locomotive trials at the Lickey Incline near Bromsgrove. Here they discussed the idea of forming an Institution of Mechanical Engineers to meet the needs of what had become a burgeoning separate discipline within engineering. Four of this group - Edward Humphrys, Archibald Slate, James McConnell and Charles Beyer - signed their names to a letter which was circulated among prospective Members. The letter invited recipients to attend a meeting at the Queen’s Hotel, Birmingham on Wednesday October 7th 1846.

The result of this meeting was the formation of a committee to draw up and agree the rules and regulations of the new Institution. On 27th January 1847, 56 engineers and manufacturers meet at the Queen’s Hotel, Birmingham for a General Meeting to formally found the Institution. George Stephenson was elected the Institution’s first President. By 1848 there were over 162 members.  One Birdcage Walk was officially opened on 16-17 May 1899, celebrated by a two-day conference for members and 750 guests.

2022-02-07_15-10-27.jpg

Lucy Bonner reading the invitational letter to the first IMechE meeting in Bromsgrove 1846

 

Today we are a global community of mechanical engineers represented in over 140 countries; largest network of mechanical engineering knowledge, skill and opportunity in the world. 

 

In this months episode Helen's guests are Lucy Bonner, Institution Archivist, Paul Jones Technical Strategy Board Chair and past chair of the Automotive Division and Jo Horton, Member Operations Director.

 

We would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this episode. If you would like to get in touch, email us at podcast@imeche.org

You can find more information about the work of the IMechE at www.imeche.org 

Season 2 Special Episode:  The Future of Birdcage Walk Headquarters

Season 2 Special Episode: The Future of Birdcage Walk Headquarters

December 1, 2021

Our iconic Birdcage Walk building is 122 years old, and like many old structures it is in need of extensive refurbishment and modernisation for the Institution to continue to be able to use it and to make it fit for the next 122 years.

In this episode Helen discusses what lies ahead for our London-based home, and why it is so important to our 120,000 members.

bcw-3d-4501.png

One Birdcage Walk was opened in May 1899 as the Institution’s new HQ. In 1909, the Institution bought Storey’s Gate Tavern, which along with an earlier purchase of 5 Princes Street meant IMechE HQ could expand eastwards. In 1958, IMechE bought 3 Birdcage Walk and the two buildings were formally joined in 1960. In recent years 3 Birdcage Walk has been used as offices for staff and tenants while Birdcage 1 has been a home for the membership; with meeting rooms, our beautiful library and lecture theatre.

Doing nothing to the building is not an option as the work has now become urgent and it has been estimated that to bring the building up to the standards expected of an international headquarters it will cost around £16m to complete.

The Real Estate Strategy Group (RESG), set up to identify possible way’s forward, is headed by Trustee Helena Rivers whose expertise is in the heritage building sector. The group has looked at a number of options for the building and taken advise from a range of experts in the subject.

RESG’s strong recommendation is to sell a 250-year lease of 3 Birdcage Walk to provide funds to refurbish 1 Birdcage Walk, and hopefully also generate a cash surplus. This proposal has the full backing of the Trustee Board, Finance Board, Audit & Risk Committee and Strategy Committee.

In Quarter 3 of 2020 the RESG undertook a limited consultation involving Council, Young Members Board, Past Presidents and Trustee Board. Overall, there was similar feedback from each group. The survey found 73% in favour of retaining 1 Birdcage Walk and 27% against. Asked if HQ should be relocated, 54% favoured a headquarters in London versus 46% supporting regional hubs. These results showed strong support for keeping our HQ at Birdcage Walk, but how does the rest of the membership feel about this?

The consultation has now been widened to gain as much input from members as possible on this historic decision.

 

Helen spoke with Alice Bunn, IMechE CEO, Helena Rivers, RESG Chair, Terry Spall Past President and David Nowell, Trustee, to find out more about the proposed ideas and what a refurbishment of the building would offer to members in the UK and overseas.

 

Useful Links:

https://www.imeche.org/bcw

Proposal & FAQs https://www.imeche.org/docs/default-source/1-oscar/proposal_overview_faq_2021_01_11.pdf?sfvrsn=2

Webinar Slides https://www.imeche.org/docs/default-source/1-oscar/webinar-resg-final.pdf?sfvrsn=2

Concept Designs for BCW https://www.imeche.org/docs/default-source/1-oscar/About-us/indicative-concept-designs.pdf?sfvrsn=2

Feedback and questions can be sent to birdcagewalk@imeche.org

 

We would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this episode . If you would like to get in touch, email us at podcast@imeche.org

You can find more information about the work of the IMechE at www.imeche.org 

Season 2 Episode 10: Building a New Way of Living - 3D Construction Printing

Season 2 Episode 10: Building a New Way of Living - 3D Construction Printing

November 2, 2021

In this month’s episode, we are investigating the growth of 3D construction printing and what benefits it may offer to a world with growing populations and ever-reducing resources.

The-3D-printed-house-and-the-COBOD-3D-printer...

Despite the collapse of construction activity during 2020 as a result of covid, the industry is already on a path to rebuild its lost revenue in 2021.  It is estimated that the value of global construction output will increase from its $11.6 trillion level in 2020 to around $14.8 trillion by 2030.

Around 43 million new homes will be required each year globally between now and 2030, with 11 million of these being in India, 7 million in China, 2 million in Nigeria and 1.5 million in the US.  China will, for the foreseeable future, remain the largest construction market globally, however many developing countries are driving progress in construction as a result of investment in infrastructure and housing projects to sustain economic growth.

Construction output in the UK is more than £110 billion per annum and accounts for around 7% of the UK’s economic output. Approximately a quarter of construction output is in the public sector and three-quarters is private sector with the industry directly providing jobs for approximately 3 million people that’s about 10% of total UK employment.

Interestingly, in high income nations, there has been a increase in the demand for faster infrastructure development using technologically advanced machines and equipment, with the objective of reducing completion times and material handling costs as well as carbon footprint.  This has led to innovations in construction processes which only a few years ago, were considered outside the mainstream. One such technique is that of 3D construction printing or 3DCP.

3DCP covers a whole range of technologies that use 3D printing as a core method to fabricate buildings or construct components, often using industrial robots, gantry systems and tethered autonomous vehicles.  There are a variety of 3D printing methods used, which include extrusion; applying concrete/cement, wax, foam, or polymers; powder bonding using polymer bond, reactive bond, or sintering techniques, and additive welding.

Despite what you might think, the concept of 3D construction actually began to gain momentum in the 1980’s but it wasn’t until the mid 90’s that construction at scale, using techniques we now recognise as 3d printing, began to emerge as commercially viable processes.

Over the ensuing decades academia and industry have worked together to refine the techniques and learn more about material properties and the stability of printed structures and engineers have pushed the boundaries of what was once considered impractical or even impossible.

In 2016 the first 3d printed footbridge was constructed in Spain, demonstrating not only the possibilities the technology offered, but also that exact deposition of material, only where it was needed, could significantly reduce the amount of raw materials required.  2017 saw the first 3d printed permanent building constructed, which received all the appropriate building permits and in 2018 the 3d process was used to create a fountain in Russia.

And just a month ago, the IMechE reported the completion of an 18-month project in Italy to 3d print housing structures made entirely from soil adjacent to the building site.  The construction of the dome-shaped houses took just over 200 hours.  While there is some way to go before this concept is commercially viable, the team carrying out the work hope that it has demonstrated what can be achieved using natural materials, especially in inaccessible locations or poor areas of the world, with little effect on the local environment.

So as our global leaders head home after COP26, having discussed issues including infrastructure, the build environment and our energy use, how will disruptive innovations such as 3DCP become mainstream and will such potentially sustainable processes be incorporated into their climate change strategies, if at all.

 

Helen sat down with chartered civil engineer Colin Evison to find out more about 3D construction printing, how it all works and what innovative application it might be used for in the future, including the possibility of building homes on mars!

Colin is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (just across the road from Birdcage Walk) and also a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. In his role as Head of Innovation at BAM Nuttall he has been engaged with 3D concrete printing over the last few years. His interest in 3D printing began when he had small scale architectural models produced to help explain the intent for projects such as the Victoria Station and Tottenham Court Road Station Upgrades on the tube.

Colin is very passionate about this emerging form of construction and as he said in our interview, “Its potential as a building technique is probably only limited by our imagination and the efforts of engineers to solve the challenges that remain.”

 

Useful Links:

https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Global_construction_market_projections_from_2020_to_2030

https://www.emergenresearch.com/industry-report/construction-market

https://www.constructionproducts.org.uk/news-media-events/news/2021/april/double-digit-growth-forecast-for-construction-in-2021-but-with-major-supply-and-demand-risks-ahead/

https://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/training-the-key-to-future-success-of-3d-printing-in-construction

 

We would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this episode and the Construction Industry. If you would like to get in touch email us at podcast@imeche.org

You can find more information about the work of the IMechE at www.imeche.org