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Professor Rod Smith on HS2

Professor Rod Smith FREng is Research Professor of Railway Engineering at Imperial College London and Chair of the Future Railway Research Centre. He was Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department for Transport from 2013 to 2015, and in 2011 he was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Prof. Smith is a strong supporter of HS2. But on 30 June he will make a major presentation at the High Speed Rail in the UK Conference in Birmingham where he will describe his serious concerns about the way it’s been designed, arguing that it is a recipe for high costs, low capacity and slow speeds. read more

future cities

The combined pressures of a bigger and older population, a changing climate and the need for a low-carbon economy will determine the cities of the future. What must scientists, engineers, architects and planners do to make sure we stay cool, healthy, dry, fed and housed? Will we live, work and travel differently – and what technologies should we adopt? And is anyone ever going to invent a flying car? Four senior experts came to the SMC to give their reflections on the cities of the future, where the problems might arise, and what we need to do to ensure a sustainable future for citizens. read more

engineering a way out of the flooding

As the impact of winter flooding becomes clear, senior engineers and academics came to the SMC to talk about what engineering can (and can’t) do to prevent and reduce the impact of flooding in the UK. read more

is the UK doing enough to protect itself from solar superstorms?

Explosive eruptions of energy from the Sun that cause minor solar storms on Earth are relatively common events. Superstorms, by contrast, occur very occasionally – perhaps once every century or two. A new report by the Royal Academy of Engineering brings together engineering and scientific experts from across many disciplines to identify and analyse the impact of solar superstorms on the UK’s engineering infrastructure. read more

civilian unmanned aircraft

Could Civilian Unmanned Aircraft (CUA) herald the next major aerospace revolution? Ideally suited to doing jobs that are ‘dull, dangerous or dirty’, they could help safeguard the environment, critical national infrastructure, our security and quality of life without putting aircrews at risk and at lower cost than conventional aircraft and satellite systems. read more

human enhancement and the future of work

Technologies that enhance human functions such as memory, hearing and mobility could dramatically change how people work over the next decade, according to four of the UK’s national academies. read more

bloodhound: start your engines

On 3rd October 2012, the hybrid rocket at the heart of the Bloodhound land speed record attempt will be fired at a site near Newquay airport. This is the biggest rocket test in Britain for 20 years and marks a milestone in the building of the vehicle which will attempt to reach a speed of 1000mph in 2014. read more

engineering the Olympics

Behind the scenes at the Games is an incredible array of engineering and technology, creating a world class environment of construction, infrastructure, transport, hospitality, tourism and more.
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sports engineering: an unfair advantage?

Behind the scenes of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games are teams of British engineers working on cutting edge equipment design and performance analysis to bring success to the next generation of athletes.
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HS2- what engineers think

The Secretary of State for Transport has now announced that a national high speed rail network – High Speed 2 – will go ahead, providing vital infrastructure links which will boost the economy for generations to come. Three expert independent engineers came to the SMC to discuss their thought on the pros and cons of this enormous and controversial rail project. read more

electric racing cars?

Ex-Science Minister Lord Paul Drayson came to the SMC to discuss the work his company, Drayson Racing Technologies, is doing to overcome the engineering challenges of manufacturing electric cars that are high performance and good for the environment. read more

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