Skip to main content

Issue 76

September 2018

Download PDF version
An aerial view of the RRS Sir David Attenborough breaking through ice. People and crates are seen standing on the ice and a helicopter is seen flying above the landing pad on the ship.
  • Environment & sustainability
  • Maritime & naval
  • Issue 76

A great British polar explorer

The rapid melting of polar ice caps could have catastrophic consequences for oceans across the globe. To understand the role that the polar oceans play in our changing world, Britain is debuting the RRS Sir David Attenborough – one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world.

A 50 F-35B fighter jet taking off from a ship's deck.
  • Aerospace
  • Issue 76

An innovative flight simulator for vertical landing

The first of the UK’s new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, will head out to the US to operate with the F-35B aircraft for the first time. In a small corner of Lancashire, a group of pilots has been ‘flying’ the aircraft in a flight simulator in preparation.

Quick read

A female electronics engineer runs tests on a laptop while sitting in the driver's seat of a car.
  • Electricals & electronics
  • How does that work?
  • Issue 76

Driverless cars

Self-driving cars have been a science-fiction staple for decades, but a wide range of onboard sensors and sophisticated data-processing tools are now supporting trials on public roads around the world.

Quick read

A headshot of Sinead O’Sullivan smiling at the camera, with her arms crossed and a yellow background.
  • Aerospace
  • Technology & robotics
  • How I got here
  • Issue 76

Q&A: Sinead O'Sullivan

Sinead O’Sullivan is an academic researcher at Harvard Business School and the US Center for Climate and Security, working on aerospace engineering, technology, business and policy. She is also commercialising technology to monitor interference in democratic elections.

Quick read

Three models of the orange and black Q-bot Spraybot robots, on a sandy floor next to a brick wall.
  • Technology & robotics
  • Innovation Watch
  • Issue 76

Heating homes with robots

Construction technology company Q-Bot has created robots that can install underfloor insulation without messy construction work, solving the problem of heat loss, that occurs when suspended flooring is installed in homes and allows the entry of cold air.

A woman in black long sleeve shirt covering her face with her hands.
  • Software & computer science
  • Opinion
  • Issue 76

Supporting the digitally left behind

As vital services are becoming increasingly online, a large community of people are being digitally left behind. IT systems experts Dan Bailey, Dr Maurice Perks and Chris Winter argue that it is up to IT systems engineers, among others, to ensure that everyone can take advantage of, and enjoy, the digital revolution.

A headshot of Dr Shaun Fitzgeralsn FREng wearing a suit, smiling and resting his hands on a banister.
  • Energy
  • Profiles
  • Issue 76

Building a sustainable career

Dr Shaun Fitzgerald FREng has moved between academia, strategic consulting and running his own business, and is now the new Director of the Royal Institution. A career that started in geothermal energy research moved to natural ventilation in buildings, leading to a business that has changed the nature of building design.

Eilian walking on a road lined with green hedges on a sunny day. He is using his adapted three-wheeled rollator.
  • Design & manufacturing
  • Issue 76

Tailor-made inventions

Engineers can design and create equipment to help disabled people live more independently. UK charity Remap matches up volunteer engineers with disabled people who need bespoke solutions. Three engineers spoke about what attracted them to the charity and how their innovations had made a difference.

A grayscale image of the front of the prototype bentonite tunnelling machine in a factory.
  • Civil & structural
  • Issue 76

Tunnelling over time

The 2018 Sir Frank Whittle Medal winner for ‘outstanding and sustained achievement in any engineering discipline’ is veteran tunnelling engineer John Bartlett CBE FREng. His greatest and unappreciated achievement was the bentonite tunnelling machine, the precursor of all the world’s tunnel boring machines for non-cohesive soils.