SPED – February 2011 - SPED in the UK & Ireland
In the last few days, I had a meeting in Ireland with Anton Dooley the first European Level 4. The Irish economy is still weak and of course they gave the uncertainty of an election on the 25th February. As ever Anton is upbeat about the prospects for himself and his family.
Another meeting was with the leading offshore wind farm strategy company in Europe. There were certainly bullish.
The positive note in the professional engineering magazines that I read is that applications for Chartered Engineer status (equivalent to US PE status) are booming – a sure sign that the outlook for engineering commercially is weak. But applications to study engineering in universities and colleges are also up which is good without any mitigation.
The IMechE signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the governmental organisation which sets the strategy and standards for training in Process & Nuclear engineering for the UK in. We are indeed short of the skills, but also the jobs for the newly skilled people to do. But the word Apprentice has re-entered the English language, although outside engineering Intern seems to growing in popularity.
UK Process News
One of the 2 bidders for the construction of nuclear electric plants in the UK is now reported to be entering into serious dialogue with around 60 suppliers. Again a little hope for the future.
The Buncefield accident of December 2005 continues to make the news with process engineers incredulous that the tank level gauging could have been so poor in design and maintenance. It is reckoned to have cost $1.600m and caused the biggest bang in Europe in peacetime. As it took place at 6AM on a Sunday morning it meant that the only person involved was one security guard on his way home being blown off his bicycle. On a weekday and a little later in the day, could have equalled the death toll London Transport terror bombings of 2002.
Electricity production from every potential source continues along with electric cars, automation and process control, to fill the column inches.