I list below the an opening paragraph of the articles that I have for publication. The full version can be delivered to an agreed lenght and publishing date.

01 - Pipes have risks whether they are simple or complex - PUBLISHED 3 TIMES

In nearly every pipe trouble can lurk. Think of even the seemingly simple domestic water supply. A problem resulting in an incident can mean the ruination of your home. The issues with domestic gas pipes are understandably treated with more caution, even so unfortunate accidents are all too frequent. Now for industrial process situations......




02 - Fuel from thin air

Air Fuel Synthesis is perhaps a modern day alchemy?

Sucking in air providing it with energy and the CO2 content reverts to fuel for a car.

Of course the cost of the fuel is inflated over that of the market unless the energy used has little economic value, which is unlikely, or it cannot be used at that time (termed stranded) or the cost of fuel on that market location is very high.

There are clues to the future application of this exciting technology in both these last points.

An isolated community with a windmill or solar panel that does not use all the energy produced, the surplus can drive the air synthesis for an hour or two before reverting to the normal load.  The owners can then go and pick up the fuel just as the might with their hen’s eggs.

If the isolated community is also based on an island then the cost of shipping the fuel will be inflated.  The extreme situation of that is in military bases in Afghanistan, where drinking water and petrol both cost $100 per gallon!


03 – Are Americans different? - The American Gun Psyche

No writing on this subject can not mention the terrible mass shootings that have now occurred more than 4 times in the Presidency of Obama alone.  There are strong views for and against gun control.  In the recent Newtown tragedy the deceased Mother of the shooter had 6 guns, why, with a possibly mental son.  Although I am against guns I can accept a personal protection weapon and a hunter’s rifle, but assault weapons capable of hundreds of rounds a minute, no.  Hunters shoot a deer but do not mow down the herd.  Nearly all the shooters have been young white reasonably affluent kids. The best psychiatrist's comment I heard was that mass murderers shoot up schools as it hurts their communities most.  There are so many guns in the USA that even severe gun control (which is unlikely) will take years to have an impact. Two million guns sold in November 2012, with more gun sales outlets that McDonald’s burger bars. So it will happen again and the argument rages on!

04 - Process Safety Management

This article summarises the Process Safety Management Seminar which was the second IMechE seminar dedicated to the topic.  The seminar included speakers from AMEC, Babcock, EA, E.ON, HSL and RSSB.  They presented from three perspectives:

  • Experience of safety sensitive cultures outside the process industry namely submarines and the rail industry, including guidelines on what safety indicators to choose to monitor. 
  • Advice on the establishment of a process safety culture and its continuing leadership within a process company. 
  • The approach of regulators to the management of COMAH sites, with some suggestions on how to reduce risk.



05 – Letter from the USA? - The Religious South

Imagine if you can, a pre-war country road now bypassed by a motorway.  Not too difficult, but then imagine that the country around is sparsely populated.  I travel just such a road regularly in between the Interstate and a South Carolina town of around 15,000 widely spread out inhabitants.   This road has 17 churches over those 11 rural miles.  Each seems to be a different Christian denomination and all set up in very small communities, with ultra large car parks.

This sets the scene of the commitment to the Christian God in the South.  Conversations on religious matters, such as, how many were in church Sunday?  And how is the new preacher doing?  Take place at every meeting of friends and neighbours.  

There is still missionary tendency with many (well at least a lot compared with the UK) going into danger overseas to convert non-Christians.  I know of three in the family circle.

06 – The Lights will go Out

It is perhaps 10 or more years ago that the Institution of Civil Engineers stated in their rather grandly titled State of Nation report, that we needed urgent action on authorising the construction new power generation capacity if we were to avoid the lights going out. Nothing very positive has happened since on the demand side.

No nuclear, no CCS, but lots of wind in two senses of the word spring to mind. The message on gas is more positive with more storage capacity and sources under contract.

Now OFGEM warns that the spare capacity will drop to 4% in 2015, the same timeframe as the State of Nation report forecast.

Several of the larger UK stations exceed 4% of the UK installed capacity, sometimes up to 7%. So an unscheduled outage of any one of these in periods of peak demand will cause brownouts in some areas.


07 – Letter from the USA? – The Unique South 

The South where everything is Darlin’ and someone’s heart is always being blessed. And I could add that wakes are held BEFORE the funeral, with the body available for viewing and which is invariably, a burial, with prominent decorated cemeteries a frequent sight. The graves are carefully tended and the decoration reflects the season with Christmas meaning changing the decoration before and after the celebrated day.

The bar at a child’s party

 Two thirds of a middle class home