Friends of Ditton Meadows

Friends of Ditton Meadows group has been formed in response to the councils plans to build a bridge on the Ditton Meadows side of the railway bridge along The Reach. The bridge is to connect the new railway station for pedestrians and cyclists.

Friends of Ditton Meadows being introduced. Formed to defend meadows from threats of development.

— Richard Taylor (Twitter)

Local government plans showing site of new railway station to serve science park, and planned extension to the guided-bus-way.


Reflections on Water

Along with my water bill I received “Cambridge water company Reflections” newsletter which among other things told me how good a job at stopping leaks is being done. The company reports its lowest leakage figure has been achieved, of 12.4 mega-litres per day (Ml/d) over the past year. 13% better than the target set by the regulator, Ofwat (12.4*1.13=14).

Not being able to put this figure in any context I searched the inter-webs finding that the usual supply in the Cambridge area is 75 Ml/d. PDF from external site. So it looks like the 12.4 Ml/d number represents about 16% of the water supplied in the Cambridge area is lost by leakage.

The environment agency provides details about the amount of water leakage in different areas, but doesn’t provide the totals for water supplied in each region so comparison is difficult other than those who supply the most water have the most leakage. Between 2000-2007 water leakage in the Cambridge area was about 15 Ml/d.

2000-2007 water leakage

2000-2007 water leakage

100 million tonnes of plastic for free

There is 100 million tonnes of plastic for free, available while stocks last. Just go to pacific ocean and you can have it.

Economic cost of nuclear power

About 1 year before the Fukushima disaster President Obama announced $8 bn dollars in loan guarantees to the Southern Company, for the construction of two new nuclear reactor piles at the Vogtle site, each having a capacity of 1117 MW. The expected construction cost of the plants is $8.87 billion.

The Southern Company provide the following information about costs.

Economic Impacts
* Up to $14 billion of investment in the state of Georgia
* Approximately 5,000 on-site jobs during the peak of construction
* 800 high-paying jobs for the life of the plant
* Tax dollars to the local communities and the state over the expected 60-year life

The Westinghouse AP1000 is design is based on the AP600, the design is boasted to use existing technology and simplified design to cut down on the number of safety valves, pumps and piping, control cable and ‘seismic building volume’. Two plants of similar design are currently under construction in China, and planned at 6 other sites in the USA.

Of course a full cost would also have to include any price premium or guaranteed market for electricity generated from the plant.

Vogtle site:
Vogtle site under construction

Benefits to financing during construction:

* The cost of the plant will be phased-in over 7 years, versus included in rates over only two years. (Approx. 1.3 percent/yr over 7 years for total of 9 percent, versus approximately 12 percent total over two years.)
* Customers will avoid paying $300 million in interest charges, thereby saving money over the life of the plant.
* The in-service cost of the plant will be reduced by nearly $2 billion (30 percent).
* Total rate increases required to cover the cost of the plant when it goes into service will be nearly 3 percent lower.
* Preserving utility credit ratings reduces costs for other projects and helps keep customer rates low.

Is this an interesting use of compound interest? if we increase by 1.3% every year we can claim the total increase is 9%. The real increase is (1.013)^7 = 1.0946 = 9.46%. 1.3 x 7 = 9.1 so pretty close between these two numbers. Why would we have to increase tax to 12% over 2 years then. We can only make such large numbers by borrowing all the money to build the plant before we start building which seems a strange way to do business.

It’s also strange that electricity bills have to increase to pay for the nuclear plant to be built when they also use nuclear power, I guess coal power is pretty cheap in comparison.

Corus Symposium

On 11th-12th April 2007 I attented the first annual Corus-Academia Symposium, which was held at a previous residence of mine, Tapton Hall in Sheffield.

It was really good to see this event being organised by Corus, bringing together many of the students they sponsor and research staff from academia and industrial researchers. I would recommend any company in a similar situation to organise a similar event – I think it succeeded in benefiting both the students and the company. The conference was held over two days, starting at 11 am and ending at 2 pm. This gave time to travel to and from Sheffield without too much trouble, or atleast it wasn’t too difficult to get there and back on the train from Cambridge.

There were 18 oral presentations were made in 4 sessions and around 30 posters presented.

Lecture at Corus Syposium
Click to see more photographs

The poster I presented at the symposium was based on my phd work, titled Bulk Nanocrystalline Steel. During presentation of the best poster award, the first thing that one of the organisers said is that the poster should have the name of the author, and sponsors, so I don’t think they were impressed by my attempt to comunicate only the important information. Probably to keep this style I should have had another small sign with my name and photograph on it, however my name was in the progamme, and Corus should know who in their company is working on what projects. One thing that did upset me is that I thought I would be able to stand next too my poster to talk to anyone who was interested during the poster sessions, this was overly optimistic, and made difficult by the layout of the poster stands. I did manage to talk to a few people about my work, I think the poster atleast succeeded in being a good starting point for a discusison.

Conference Programme

Wednesday IIth April
11:00 Registration desk open Tea / coffee Loading of oral presentations and erection of posters
12:00 POSTER SESSION in dining hall with buffet lunch
Chair Prof. Rob Boom
13:00 SESSION 1
• Welcome / Corus Prof. Rob Boom
• Welcome/Sheffield Prof Mark Rainforth
• Strain induced precipitation in multipass rolling Vishwa Nagarajan
• Internal stresses in steels Ellie Clarke
• Development of bimodal grain sizes in TMCR Debalay Chakrabarty

• Microstructure & toughness of high strength, hot rolled strip steels Eric Maina
• An application of Kinetic Monte Carlo techniques in the modelling of strain ageing
Alex Gator
• Damage evolution in Free Cutting Steels Alistair Foster
15:30 Tea & Coffee, conservatory
16:00 SESSION 2 Chair Dr Peter Morris
• The non-contact ultrasonic inspection of hot, moving steel Iain Baillie
• Ultrasonic measurement of liquid steel cleanness Alex Currie
• Acoustic diagnostics in a hot strip mill David Murray
• What non-contact sensors can offer to the steel industry in terms of material characterisation Dr Claire Davis
17:30 Close
19:00 Bar
19:30 Dinner

Thursday I2th April
09:00 SESSIONS Chair Prof Andy Howe
• Overview of Corus research at NIMR Dr Rene Duursma
• Rapid testing of organic coating degradation using FTIR Jen Wray
• Flame-assisted CVD Paul Youngson
• Fine-scale mapping for environmental analysis Kevin Jackson
10:30 POSTER SESSION in dining hall with tea/coffee
11:20 SESSION 4 Chair Dr Tony Jones
• A hot strip mill work roll temperature model Daniel White
• The performance on non-sharp defects in service Anthony Horn
• Characterisation of connection mechanisms within road safety barriers Andrew Bayton
• Behaviour of composite structures during the cooling phase of a fire Charlotte Roben
• Symposium wrap-up Dr Tony Jones
13:00 Buffet Lunch & prizes
14:00 Close / Posters down

POSTERS: Wednesday 11*, 12-13:00, and Thursday 12th, 10:30-11:20
Iain Baillie, Corus/Warwick: The non-contact ultrasonic inspection of hot, moving steel
Arghya Deys, Sheffield: The Interactions of Zirconia Particles and other Inclusions of Liquid Steel with Zirconia Based SEN Walls
Tim Evans, Birmingham: Concentrations of PCBs and Chiral signatures of matched air and soil samples on a global scale
Xinjiang Hao, Birmingham: Multi-frequency electromagnetic sensors for the measurement of microstructure
Andrey Kostryzhev, B’ham: Role of precipitates on Bauschinger effect in large diameter
steel pipe processing
Huan Li, Birmingham: Modelling of mechanical property and damage recovery for a
pipe steel in annealing process
Ed Marsden, Corus/Sheffield: Thermal neutron detectors for security applications
Glyn Martin, Swansea: Factors influencing the long term durability of coated products in worldwide climates
Mayorkinos Papaelios, B’ham: Rail research at the University of Birmingham
Mathew Peet, Cambridge: Tempering of Low temperature Bainite
John Pillai, Greenwich: Results from plant trails to evaluate on-line wall friction tester
Mark Potter, Warwick Ultrasonic texture measurement of strip (UTMOST)
Guixiang Qin Microstructural evolution analysis on an E911 steel using the Leicester: EBSD method
Jody Turner, Sheffield Metallurgical sub-structure development in multipass rolling

Others expected :-
Yoseph Tefasse, Cranfield: Rolling system design optimisation using thermal and soft computing technique
Bin Kamal, Sheffield: Monitoring Airborne Pollution using Tree Bark –
Dmitry Borisoglebsky, C’field: Incorporation of cost modelling into process simulation
Natalie Kaniuka, Salford: Atmospheric pressure plasma CVD of SiON
Richard Wood, Cardiff: Processing routes of electrical steels
Ben Ward, Sheffield Hallam: Organic coatings based on polymer-clay nano-composites
Chris Taylor, Swansea: Analysis of run-off from coated organic steels
Stephen Essex, Warwick: Ultrasonic characterisation of texture in aluminium sheet in correlation with electron back-scatter diffraction
Yichao Fan, Warwick: Crack depth measurements using non-contact ultrasound
Ed Marsden, Corus/Sheffield: Large Area High Efficiency Neutron Detector
Stephen Turner, Cardiff: Grain-to-Grain Field and Loss Variation in Electrical Steel
Christopher Vardon, Cardiff: Domains and microstructures in electrical steel

Times they are a-changin’

How times have changed, if you think of people protesting against a power station, it’s more likely to occur to you that it would be a nuclear power station with all the controversy they entail.

Continue reading

Light cars

Heavy cars may be good for the owners but worse for the environment. Roel Boesenkool of Corus presented a the SMEA conference. He noted that new cars are heavier despite technology being developed that could easilty make them lighter. I wrote about this in the previous post about light cars.

The light ineffiecient car is the Ferrari.

I guess fuel doesn’t cost enough yet.

Weight and Fuel Consumption of Cars
Roel Boesenkool presented this graph at SMEA conference in sheffield