Continuing my series of posts about PhDs, their value, my own experiences and the careers they may lead to, I thought I’d draw attention to another blog I read recently in which the author conveniently picks up on some of the criticisms typically levelled at PhDs in the modern world: that they seem out-dated, offer poor training for working in industry, and are very difficult to put an economic value to. Here are some of my own thoughts on the subject…
In February the Department for Education released a draft of its proposed changes to Design & Technology in England for Key Stages 1-3 (ages 5-14). From a Government that has consistently argued for more ‘rigour’ in education, it makes for a truly shocking read. The fact that ‘food and nutrition’ form the only compulsory part of the proposed D&T curriculum is just the the start of these highly unambitious, low-aiming and frankly economically illiterate proposals. In a survey conducted by the Design and Technology Association, 91.8% of respondents have said that the draft does not represent high quality D&T, while 95% said it will not encourage the development of modern and relevant D&T practice. Oh, and isn’t it ironic that it’s National Science and Engineering Week as well…
A few months ago I wrote a bit about what it’s like trying to finish a PhD. I thought I’d continue on with a few thoughts about where you go after. Do you try and stay on and continue your research? Move to another university? Or leave academia altogether and move into industry? Or go and do something completely different?
Well it’s been a busy year for us here at Developing Engineers, with over 70 blog posts published and recording over 16,000 unique visitors (up 170% on 2011!) and around 70,000 articles read (up 455% on 2011!!!) So, I thought it was fitting that we had a bit of an end of year review of just what our developing engineers covered… Continue reading
Last September, I wrote about an emerging legal case in Italy following the L’Aquila earthquake, which caused the deaths of 309 people. The defendants in this case are geologists, seismologists and scientists charged with manslaughter for failing to warn people of this impending disaster. Continue reading
Recently I had the immense pleasure of witnessing an enormously passionate and expert defence of UK manufacturing, by Dr Hamid Mughal of Rolls-Royce during a prestigious lecture at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Here in the UK we have seen a consistent decline in our manufacturing output (as a percentage of GDP) from the days when Britain was referred to as the ‘workshop of the world’. While those days are long gone (and frankly you’ll find it hard to find someone who is as sick as me of hearing about our ‘Golden Age’ and all the rest of that out-of-date, overly patriotic rubbish), our country still has a phenomenal amount to offer. Continue reading
At the start of last year I wrote a post in which I fairly robustly tore apart an article from The Economist on whether it’s ‘worth’ doing a PhD. Now in the final stages of my own academic ‘adventure’, I thought the topic might be worth a revisit… Continue reading
This week has seen new life breathed into the long running project to investigate the feasibility of a tidal barrage in the Severn Estuary – a £30bn scheme that could theoretically produce 5% of the UK’s electricity needs, slashing our dependence on fossil fuels and significantly reducing our carbon emissions in one stroke. Sounds like a great plan right? Lots and lots of clean renewable energy on our doorstep; what are we waiting for? Continue reading
Cycling. Is it new? No. Is it a niche activity? No. Do hundreds of millions of people do it every year? Yes.
Why are writing about it then? Well, essentially because we’re doing a lot of it at the moment for some good charities and wanted to tell you about it – but more on that later. So, as some preamble to this shameless plug, we just wanted to make the case for why cycling is such a good thing for us all to do! Continue reading