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| October 20, 2016
SENER is a private engineering and technology group founded in 1956. It seeks to offer the most advanced technological solutions and enjoys international recognition thanks to its independence and its commitment to innovation and quality.
Article | May 15, 2021
The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has revealed the long list of sites under consideration for development of the UK’s prototype fusion energy plant.An open call for sites to host the Spherical Tokomak for Energy Production (Step) facility was opened last year and compliance check of those nominated has led to publication of the long list.
According to the UKAEA, moving fusion from research and development to design and delivery is an important part of the UK’s ambition to be a world leader in sustainable, low-carbon energy. Fusion has the potential to provide an abundant source of low-carbon energy by copying the processes that power the sun and stars. UKAEA has said that this new technology will play an important role alongside established renewable technologies such as wind and solar.Step programme director Paul Methven said: “STEP is about building on the amazing science done over decades in fusion and translating that into a real prototype power plant that paves the way for this fantastic new energy source.
Earlier this month was National Day of Unplugging. Around the globe, people took a 24-hour detox from technology in order to connect more with the people around them. Naturally, the challenge took place from Friday night to Saturday night, because most people are unable to unplug at work. Or are they? We tend to think of the work environment as somewhere where technology is good. We need it in order to get our jobs done. The average office worker will spend almost 1,700 hours a year in front of a computer screen-and office workers will spend an average of a whopping six and a half hours a day at their computer or laptop.
One way or another, we all work on infrastructure; whether design, construction, operation or maintenance. We solve problems and make things work – often without the public realising the complexity of our task. We sit in the background and don’t make waves.
We are good at the technical challenges, but how often do we take a step back and think about how our work or project fits into the ambitions of wider society? Who is commissioning it? Why are they commissioning it? What are the political drivers? What do they want the outcome to be? What has changed since we started work on it?
This sort of questioning will help us deliver better projects, as we see the bigger picture, beyond our technical solutions. With so much of our infrastructure delivered through public bodies, it is important that civil engineers understand, and give professional advice to, the political process that drives infrastructure investment for our communities.
When the Tamina Bridge in the Swiss Alps was first proposed, the engineers were uncertain how they would create a bridge that spanned two different heights at each end of the valley, at a height of 220m (772 feet) above ground. Yet despite these challenges, the bridge was completed a year ahead of schedule in just four years – mainly due to the efficiencies that Building Information Modelling (BIM) provided. While the name may inadvertently imply that only buildings can benefit, BIM offers a host of advantages when designing and building bridges as well.
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