Category Archives: Engineering

Building Heritage

Whenever the issue of heritage buildings comes up, my natural scepticism comes to the fore. In Wellington I was involved in a number of very dubious “heritage” buildings whose aesthetic and historical merits were at best murky. For me, the … Continue reading

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Engineering Uncertainty

Apparently someone called James Amrhein said that Structural Engineering is: The art and science of moulding materials we do not fully understand; into shapes we cannot precisely analyse; to resist forces we cannot accurately predict; all in such a way … Continue reading

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Design Spectra

Wellington has been beset by some seismic activity over the past few days. I have been rather blasé about them, perhaps because I haven’t been anywhere near anything that I think is likely to be seriously affected. From Canterbury, we have … Continue reading

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Standardization

“Crisis” is perhaps too strong a word for it, but the NZ engineering profession is going through some tribulations at the moment because of the consequences of the Canterbury Earthquakes. There is, I think, a general sentiment amongst the public and amidst … Continue reading

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Some Musings on Mentoring

I have been existing in a slightly strange space recently, because I have been simultaneously experiencing the process of learning from both ends. The past couple of weeks of work has essentially been spent meeting with the various graduates I … Continue reading

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The Shifting Goalpost of Seismic Design

One of my little hobby horses as an engineer is the optimism of builders. You see, most builders build something and then leave site with it looking fine. So they never see the long-term problems that emerge from certain poor … Continue reading

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The New Building Standard

Recently I’ve had a few conversations with people about the so-called “New Building Standard”, which is part of the suite of ideas intended to make buildings in NZ “safe”. By now it’s pretty well percolated through the world at large … Continue reading

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