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The Idearian Echoing Eternities

Every Possible Engineering


The Idearian Echoing Eternities: That What You Are In What You Do What You Create What You Make What You Imagine What You Give What You Love and What You Become

The Idearian Echoing Eternities is for human ingenuities, for human endeavours, for human imagination, for human creativity, for human ideas, for research and learning in every and all areas of learning, knowledge and wisdom. So, wherever in the world, in whatever institution, in whatever area or field or expertise you are seeking the light, please, remember to share the news and views, means, methods and mechanics as well as the technical and technological, whether reality based, hypothetical, idearian:aai-dea-ri-aan:based on absolutely unheard of ideas like Einstein's Gravitational Wave a hundred years ago, or highly imaginative, about your research, effort, initiative with The Humanion. We would love to hear from all university campuses of the world, from all research institutions and learning and teaching facilities across the globe. Our works echo around the Universes, both in the natural and the human ones, across eternities. And these are works of human mind's creativity, ingenuity and its never-ending sense of wonder and seeking out for knowledge. To: editor at the humanion dot com. Page Created: March 23, 2016

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The Home of The Idearian

The Humanion uses Machine Processed Programming:MPP for Machine or Artificial Intelligence and Programmed Algorithmic Machination:PAM for Machine Learning, refusing the very concepts that machines can have intelligence and that they are, therefore, capable to learn. Likewise, The Humanion does not use the terms, self-driven or self-driving or autonomous vehicles for machines are not and can not be deemed to be having 'self', that absolutely applies to humans and autonomy applies to humans as individuals and as groups, societies, peoples, nations etc and can not be applied to machines. Therefore, Auto-driven is the term we use for Self-driven or Self-driving or autonomous vehicles etc. This relates to profound, vital and fundamental issues and we must be careful as to how we use terminology, that, albeit, inadvertently, dehumanises humanity. A Young Woman in STEM at the University of Manchester: Image: University of Manchester

Cardiff University






Research About Compact Hyperspectral Cameras to Be Launched Into Space Gets €01.2 Million Funding From the Academy of Finland



|| Sunday: November 15: 2020 || ά. The Academy of Finland has granted €01.2 million in funding for Finnish space research, focused on developing hyperspectral imaging solutions to be used in space. The project is a partnership of the University of Helsinki, the University of Jyväskylä, the Finnish Geo-spatial Research Institute under the National Land Survey of Finland and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

The space industry is currently undergoing a major transformation, with compact spaceborne hyperspectral imagers playing a major role. Hyperspectral imagers capture the image in a number of separate wavelengths of light, from visible to infrared light. This establishes a spectrum for each individual pixel seen in the image, providing information, that can be used to characterise an object’s properties, such as, its scope within the image or its composition. In space, such devices can be used in observing Earth or other solar system bodies.

“Finland, especially, VTT, has been pioneering the development of compact hyperspectral imaging technology.” says Docent Mr Tomas Kohout, the Co-ordinator and Principal Investigator of the research consortium from the University of Helsinki. The researchers of the new consortium are now developing a new generation of miniaturised hyperspectral imagers and advanced methods for processing the data they collect, with the aim of developing techniques, that make Earth and planetary observations increasingly autonomous.

“In this project, we are developing both hardware and software for nano-satellites. The aim is to reduce the costs of new-era space operations.” Mr Kohout says. In the three-year project ‘Smart hyperspectral imaging solutions for a new era in Earth and planetary observations’:Smart-HSI, the University of Helsinki is focusing on planetary missions, the Finnish Geo-spatial Research Institute on Earth observation, VTT on hyperspectral imaging hardware development and the University of Jyväskylä on the optimisation of hyperspectral data processing.

The overall budget for the Smart-HSI project, which will be launched in January 2021, is €01.7 million.

Further information: Tomas Kohout, docent, University of Helsinki, tomas.kohout, +358 2941 51008: Eija Honkavaara, professor, Finnish Geospatial Research Institute, eija.honkavaara, +358 2953 14716: Ilkka Pölönen, docent, University of Jyväskylä, Faculty of Information Technology, ilkka.polonen, +358 40 024 8140: Harri Ojanen, senior scientist, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, harri.ojanen, +358 50 482 1354

Caption: A first-generation compact hyperspectral camera designed by VTT and the Fabry-Perot interferometer used in it: Image: Leevi Annala

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Female Engineers Are Encouraged to Shape the World For This Year’s International Women in Engineering Day: June 23



|| Saturday: March 07: 2020 || ά. The International Women in Engineering Day 2020 launches with the theme ‘Shape the World’.  This annual event, now in its seventh year, is an awareness campaign, which aims to raise the profile of women in engineering across the globe, focusing attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in this industry.

The International Women in Engineering Day brings together engineers and their supporters from across the world; joining to raise awareness of the opportunities available in the sector and the achievements of women engineers, already working in various fields and specialisms of engineering. For the past four years the Campaign has been celebrated in many countries, including, Panama, Canada, Rwanda, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Pakistan.

A regular event, celebrating the International Women in Engineering Day in the UK, there is the Top 50 Women in Engineering Awards, which are co-ordinated by the Women’s Engineering Society:WES. The Awards recognise the Top 50 Women in a specific category. The 2020 Awards celebrate the Top 50 Women in Sustainability. Nominations open for the WE50 on March 08 with the winners announced in The Guardian newspaper supplement on June 23.

The International Women in Engineering Day was, originally, established as a national celebration in Great Britain by WES in 2015. Within a short time, the day grew in popularity and its appeal spread across the globe and in 2016 the Event was awarded UNESCO patronage for the first time. The International Women in Engineering Day is celebrated by a diverse range of people, including, schools, organisations, STEM campaigners, universities and politicians.

Events are collated and published on the International Women in Engineering Day website and this year’s event has, already, secured a number of high-profile sponsors for the day, including, Boeing, Dialog Semiconductor, ECITB, GCHQ, Institute of Refrigeration, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, OPITO, Royal Air Force and Wiley.

Speaking of the importance of on the International Women in Engineering Day, Ms Elizabeth Donnelly, the Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Engineering Society, said, “INWED20 is an amazing campaign, that recognises the careers available to women in engineering. The 2020 theme ties in with the challenges facing us in an uncertain future and invites engineers to share how they are tackling such topics as the climate emergency. We are, also, delighted to be celebrating the Top 50 Women in Sustainability for engineering and allied disciplines, as an inspiration to those, who want to Shape The World."

Ms Sally Sudworth, the Chair of Judges for the Top 50 Women in Engineering 2020, said, “Engineers have a key role to play in providing sustainable solutions in addressing the climate emergency and net zero carbon challenge. That’s why we are celebrating the top WE50 women engineers working in this field in 2020.” 

The International Women in Engineering Day can only continue to be successful through the participation of the countless people, who celebrate the day and the generous organisations, that sponsor it. To find out how you or your organisation can take part in the International Women in Engineering Day or to support it through sponsorship and for more ideas and inspiration visit the the International Women in Engineering Day website at

International Women in Engineering Day: It is an annual event developed and co-ordinated by the Women’s Engineering Society to celebrate the achievements of women in engineering and inspire younger generations. It takes place on 23 June 23 every year.

The Women’s Engineering Society:WES: Founded in 1919, the Women’s Engineering Society:WES, is a professional, not-for-profit network of women engineers, scientists and technologists, offering inspiration, support and professional development. Although, the world has changed since a group of women decided to band together to create an organisation to support women in engineering after the First World War, the need is still there. WES envisions a nation in which women are as likely as men to study and work in engineering and one in which there are enough engineers to meet a growing demand.

The Top 50 Women in Engineering 2020: The WE50 campaign is coordinated by the Women’s Engineering Society each year having originated in 2016. The Awards recognise the top 50 women within specific categories each year. The Awards nomination portal will be launched on March 08 and the winners will be published in The Guardian newspaper supplement on June 23.

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What’s the Plan Bee: Young Learners Seeking Ways to Help the Bees Not Get Stung by Extinction



|| Wednesday: March 04: 2020 || ά. A group of students from Stafford have made it through to the finals of a national science and engineering competition with their Project, Plan Bee. Whether or not Einstein said, “If, the bee disappeared off the surface off the globe, then,  human would have only four years of life left’, it’s a fact that one third of the UK’s bee population have disappeared over the past decade and 24% of Europe’s bumblebees are being threatened with extinction. The young learners have decided that it is time to do something about it because they must have believed that there was always something we can do to make things better. If, not, we better give and up into a brickened-up state.

This group of Year 11 girls from Stafford in the West Midlands, is using their skills in science, technology, engineering and maths:STEM to try and help the bees. The team, made up of Ms Isobel Wenlock, Ms Saskia Conoghan, Ms Taiah Hay from Walton High School, worked on a project, Plan Bee, which has seen them through to the finals of the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Competition.

The Project’s aim was to find out which plants bees were most attracted to and were the best for them to pollinate, so that they could inform and encourage the public on what they should be planting in their gardens. To do this, the young researches fully dissolved a sample of honey and analysed the solution through a microscope, being able to see where pollen grains had originated from. They, then, created an informative leaflet that will be sent to houses in the area, explaining why it is important to support the bees and what people can do to help.

The Research Team points out, “The concept for our Project originated from our school’s beehives. Production of honey had been low this year, so we really wanted to find a way to boost their production. We were aware that to help our bees we needed to establish what their favourite flowers were and how we could help provide more food for them. We chose to do this Project as we feel that people are misinformed and don’t understand the true importance bees have in our everyday lives.”

 Ms Hilary Leevers, the Chief Executive, Engineering UK said, “Plan Bee is a brilliant example of how young people today are working on how they can make a positive difference to the future and we’re excited to see how they will do at UK finals at The Fair.

Going into its twelfth year in 2020, the Big Bang Fair continues to be a great source of STEM inspiration for young people, representing an amazing opportunity for young visitors, their teachers and parents to get hands-on with a wide range of activities, workshops and shows, and engage in meaningful career conversations with professionals, all designed to bring classroom learning to life and inspire the next generation."

The Group will attend the competition finals, which is taking place at the Big Bang Fair at Birmingham’s NEC in March 2020. Here, they will vie for top prizes, which include the coveted title of GSK UK Young Engineer and GSK UK Young Scientist of the Year.

About the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair: The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK. Taking place from March 11-14 at The NEC in Birmingham. The Big Bang Fair is an award-winning combination of exciting theatre shows, interactive workshops and exhibits and careers information from STEM professionals. Having grown from 6,500 visitors in its first year, 2009 to 80,000 in 2019, the Big Bang Fair is made possible through the collaborative efforts of over 200 organisations.

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Could the Fischer-Tropsch Reaction Offer a Way to Converting Synthesis Gas Into Synthetic Fuels to Get Humanity Out of the Strangle-Hold of the Fossil Fuels: The Dutch Company Syngaschem BV Is Working Hard On It



|| Thursday: February 20: 2020 || ά. The adoption of sustainable and renewable energy sources to, permanently, move beyond the dependence from fossil fuels constitutes one of the great challenges of our time. One, that is made more urgent by the effects of climate change we witness on a daily basis. Electrification, such as we see in the development of electric vehicles, seems a promising strategy but, it can not be the solution for all applications. In many cases, liquid fuels are still considered the best and most efficient option. Is there a way to produce liquid fuels in an efficient and sustainable manner, one, that does not rely on fossil sources?

The research company Syngaschem BV believes that synthetic fuels can be the key for developing non-fossil fuels for industrial use. A team of researchers from Syngaschem BV and the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research:DIFFER came to MAX IV at HIPPIE beamline to elucidate some aspects of a complex reaction, called, Fischer-Tropsch, used to produce synthetic fuels. They discovered insights on how important intermediates are stabilised during the reaction and the Study has now been published in Nature Communications.

Syngaschem BV, based in The Netherlands, is specialised in fundamental research in catalysis and surface chemistry. They focus on synthetic fuels, considered a promising alternative, that can, potentially, replace traditional liquid fossil fuels while retaining the efficiency and energy density, needed in industrial applications.

The production of synthetic fuels is based on syngas or synthesis gas as the main intermediate. Syngas is a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, produced from different sources, including, natural gas, coal, biomass, and renewable energies. Starting from syngas and other intermediates, synthetic fuels can be produced through the Fischer-Tropsch reaction. During the reaction, syngas is used to produce long hydrocarbon chains, that represent the base of the liquid synthetic fuel.

“The mechanism of the Fischer-Tropsch reaction, in which synthesis gas is converted into long chain hydrocarbons is very complex and continues to be debated.’’ says Dr Kees-Jan Weststrate, the Senior Research Scientist at Syngaschem BV. “By studying how hydrocarbons react on a model catalyst surface we aim to better understand which reactions are happening on the catalyst and elucidate the reaction mechanism.”

Indeed, observing the Fischer-Tropsch reaction is a considerably difficult effort and it is, basically, impossible to identify the reaction intermediates. Experimental information is, almost, entirely indirect and the proposed reaction mechanism, often, relies on theoretical models. A better understanding of how the reaction unfolds could, hopefully, help improving its efficiency.

Using a simplified model catalyst, a single crystal surface of cobalt, Dr Weststrate and his team performed XPS, X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy, measurements, that allowed them to identify the reactants, involved in the formation of new C-C bonds and measure the kinetics of this reaction.

The researchers proved that a high concentration of carbon monoxide:CO during the reaction plays a crucial role. “The CO molecule does not react itself in the C-C bond forming reaction but has an important stabilising effect on the intermediate, that is required for the reaction. This makes it likely that the intermediates observed in our model system, also, participate in the reaction, that produces long chains in applied catalysis.”

Synthesis gas or syngas can be produced from a variety of sources and is a versatile intermediate for production of chemicals and fuels. Gas to Liquids:GTL, Coal to Liquids:CTL, Biomass to Liquids:BTL all rely on the catalytic conversion of syngas.

At MAX IV using the HIPPIE beamline, the research team performed Ambient Pressure X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy:APXPS experiments and were pleased with the technology they found at the beamline. “We needed to switch quickly between APXPS, Ambient Pressure X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy and UHV, ultra-high vacuum, conditions.” says Dr Weststrate. “The speed at which we could take the spectra was impressive owing to the high flux from the beamline. This allowed us to do time-resolved measurements at a speed that was fast enough to capture the chemistry we were interested in.”

The research team proved that the reaction intermediates are stable on the cobalt model’s surface. “Our experiments show that the intermediates we see are reactive for the formation of C-C bonds. The HIPPIE experiments show that they are, also, very stable in the sense that they do not leave the surface easily. The combination of the two makes them suitable intermediates for the growth of long chains.”

These fundamental insights open new avenues in understanding the Fischer-Tropsch reaction and improve its efficiency. An improved reaction, coupled with the use of syngas, produced from renewable sources will, hopefully, help turn synthetic fuels into a practical replacement of fossil ones, encouraging the move beyond fossil fuels and towards sustainable and renewable sources of energy.

The Paper: Mechanistic insight into carbon-carbon bond formation on cobalt under simulated Fischer-Tropsch synthesis conditions: Weststrate, C.J., Sharma, D., Garcia Rodriguez, D. et al: Published in Nature Communications 11, 750 2020

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The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation Is to Grant £400,000 Funding For Advancing Training and Research in Allergy at the University of Southampton



|| Wednesday: February 12: 2020: University of Southampton News || ά. Half of all children and a third of adults in the UK have an allergy. To care for them, more specialist clinical teams and research are urgently needed but provision for essential clinical training to NHS staff and research is currently underfunded. These challenges are being taken on by the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, which is donating funding of £400,000 to the University of Southampton for advancing allergy research and training.

This is the first donation to the University from the Foundation, which was set up by Mr Nadim and Mr Tanya Ednan-Laperouse, the parents of Natasha, who died tragically, aged 15, after suffering an allergic reaction to a baguette, containing sesame seeds. These funds will be invested in training more doctors, nurses and dietitians from across the UK, who will now be able to access world-leading allergy training to develop their skills in caring for patients, living with allergies and improving their clinical service.

Natasha’s Foundation will donate £100,000 to the University over the next four years to fund bursaries to support students to study modules at the University’s internationally recognised Masters degree course in Allergy. It will, also, donate £300,000 to fund three PhD students at the University’s world leading allergy research centre.

The MSc Allergy bursaries will be available to health professionals at any stage of their career and will help make knowledge about managing patients with allergies more widespread across the NHS. The MSc Allergy is one of only two such courses in the world and the bursaries will be available to people, looking to enrol on the full masters Course, postgraduate qualifications or to study individual modules. The Course not only gives students the skills to improve patient care, it, also, prepares them to be the allergy leaders of the future.

Professor Judith Holloway, who leads the Course, said, “The number of people suffering from allergic diseases is increasing globally but, the necessary investment for training is not available in a resource-constrained NHS. This significant donation from Natasha’s Foundation will make a huge difference to the accessibility of our learning; we will be able to train more health professionals, who would not otherwise be able to improve their understanding of this important subject.”

Mr Nadim and Mrs Tanya agreed, “We are delighted to announce the first significant donation from Natasha's Foundation in our mission to support people with allergies and to find a cure. NHS funding in allergy is frankly insufficient at a time when we are facing a growing tsunami of young people, being diagnosed and hospitalised with severe allergic reactions. This requires a twin-track approach. We need more clinicians and we need more clinics right across the country to treat patients."

The PhD students will work with the allergy experts at the University, which is one of just two centres in the UK to be recognised as a World Allergy Organisation Centre of Excellence for allergy research, clinical service and education.

Over more than three decades, researchers at the University have been at the forefront of investigation into allergic disease. They identified the human mast cell as the principle cause of acute asthma attacks on exposure to allergens and, subsequently, showed that activation of the cell was responsible for acute allergic symptoms at other sites in the patient, including, Anaphylaxis. Today University researchers conduct studies, such as, identifying genetic and environmental risk factors for allergy, studying of the natural history of allergic disease in populations, developing new treatments for allergic disease and trialling new strategies to prevent allergic disease developing in the first place.

Professor John Holloway, of Allergy and Respiratory Genetics at the University of Southampton, said, “It is vital that we keep developing the next generation of experts to make sure our research to help people suffering from allergies can continue. We are really excited about being able to bring more students to our team, helping us to improve the day to day life of patients with allergies and developing effective treatments.”

More information on the bursaries for the MSc Allergy, including, how to apply, can be found here.

The PhD studentships will be advertised later this year at

 The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation

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Two Million Funding for New Research to See What Can Not Be Seen



|| Monday: December 16: 2019: University of Southampton News || ά. A Physicist, Dr Pierre Thibault, has been awarded a €02.2 million Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council to develop his advanced research into X-ray imaging and tomography. Using advanced methods to combat the current limitations of X-ray imaging, Dr Thibault’s research could revolutionise what we can see or, rather, what we can not see made visible.

Being able to diagnose breast cancer earlier, the ability to read ancient scrolls, that were damaged when Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD and enabling aeroplanes to be fully carbon fibred are just some of the breakthroughs his research could lead to. Dr Thibault, Associate Professor of Physics, said, “X-rays are hard to focus and hard to manipulate. The techniques I am developing solve this problem by removing the need for lenses or complicated optics.

One of them is called ptychography and is a technique, that has been in use in X-rays for about 10 years. It’s a method, that provides high contrast and high resolution, down to the nano-metre scale. I am working on making it more efficient, to take ptychography to the next generation.”

Ptychography enables scientists to see the tiniest details, that are invisible to the naked eye, such as, the scales on a butterfly’s wings. Dr Thibault is combining ptychography with tomography, a technique that turns a two-D image into three-D.

His research will develop new theoretical and experiment tools to look at the nanoscopic structure of carbon fibre to determine fibre orientation. “To know how the fibres are put together is vital, from a safety point of view, when it comes to things like constructing aircraft.” said Dr Thibault.

“You need to know, if, there are any kinks or waves. Parts of aircrafts are, already, constructed, using carbon fibre but, more powerful characterisation methods could enable the material to be more widely used.” Dr Thibault plans to look at fragile heritage documents, that can not be analysed by other methods, such as, the papyri scrolls, that were damaged by the Vesuvius eruption. 

Early tumour detection is, also, on Dr Thibault’s agenda, specifically, for breast cancer. “Breast cancer tumours are difficult to pick up early with mammograms but, the methods we develop could allow medical doctors to detect tumours earlier on.” he said.

His ERC Consolidator Grant of €02.2 million is spread over five years. He will be employing two post-doctoral researchers and three post-graduates to work on the project, which will start in September 2020.

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The ME Association Makes Grant Funding for Research in ME




|| Friday: October 31: 2019 || ά. Vital research funding, aiming to advance research about the cause of one of the world’s cruellest illnesses has been announced by the ME Association. The UK charity has announced that it is funding three new projects to help solve the mysteries of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, also, known as, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and how it is treated.

Manifesting as unrelenting exhaustion, profound pain, memory difficulties and worsened mobility, ME:CFS is destroying the lives of 250,000 people in the UK, including, children and teenagers. One in four are so severely affected that they are rendered housebound or bedbound, with some, even, are reliant on tube feeding. Sufferers are, often, confined to their beds, unable to walk and need help, even, to take a shower, an action, that could, then, lay them low for hours, or, even, days.

There is no known cure and, worse still, there remain vast misconceptions and ignorance surrounding the illness, even, in medical circles. Campaigning Charity The ME Association is to fund projects, totalling about £200,000 through its Ramsay Research Fund. The charity, which relies solely on donations and membership fees, has, already, invested more than a million pounds in bio-medical research. It considers quality research to be a key priority as it offers the best hope for better understanding, improved diagnosis and treatment.

Dr Charles Shepherd, the Medical Advisor to the Charity, said, “The ME Association is delighted to announce that our Ramsay Research Fund has been able to make three major research grants totalling nearly £200,000. All three projects constitute major steps forward in helping to understand the underlying cause of ME, the search for a diagnostic biomarker and the provision of more effective management, especially, during the crucial early stages of this illness.

Thanks must go to our many loyal supporters and fundraisers, who have been raising money for medical research into the cause and treatment of ME.”

The ME Biobank: £99,766 is to support the work of a world-leading ME:CFS biobank, the only one of its kind in the UK. Here, the analysis of blood samples stored at the biobank could show crucial bio-markers to provide a deeper understanding on what causes ME and how it could be accurately diagnosed and treated.

The project, led and managed by the Biobank team at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is funded through the ME Association’s Ramsay Research Fund. This new ME Association funding will sustain and allow the Biobank to expand over the next two years and ensure a steady supply of blood samples to ME researchers around the world.

Mr Jack Butterworth, a Project Manager at the UK ME:CFS Biobank:UKMEB, said, “Over the past two years we have released samples to six research institutions in the UK alone, and many more in Europe, South America, Asia and the USA. The new, two-year award will build on that success, enabling further releases and the replenishment of depleted samples.

The award will, also, enable further communications and fundraising projects, raising the Biobank’s income and reducing its reliance on grant funding. The funding will, also, allow the team to continue to work to develop biobanks elsewhere in the world, using protocols that are harmonised with the UKMEB’s. Exciting work is already underway in the USA, Canada and Australia.

The UKMEB continues to be an example to biobanks in ME:CFS and in other fields, and has published its work in peer-reviewed journals and presented at major conferences.” More information on the work of the UKMEB

Grant Two: Dr Karl Morten and the University of Oxford: £69,150: This goes to Dr Karl Morten and colleagues at the University of Oxford, who are investigating blood abnormalities in ME patients. The funding will enable scientists to continue examining a link between blood plasma abnormalities and dysfunctional mitochondrial energy production in ME patients.

Dr Morten said, “We are extremely grateful to the ME Association for providing funding for our new 12-month project exploring the plasma factors in ME:CFS and their impact on mitochondrial function. This study will compare ME:CFS patients with patients diagnosed with other fatigue-inducing conditions to look at changes in mitochondrial dynamics.”

Grant Three: Dr Keith Geraghty and the University of Manchester: £25,000: The third grant goes to Dr Keith Geraghty and colleagues at the University of Manchester, where it will be used to analyse what happens to ME patients in the crucial time between onset of their ME symptoms and a diagnosis being made. Dr Shepherd said, “This is key part of the patient journey where we know that there are serious problems in both obtaining an early and accurate diagnosis, and then being given appropriate advice on management.”

Donations can be made to the ME Association though Just Giving


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Women’s Engineering Society’s Young Members’ Board Has Been Awarded £30,000 for 100 Violets Project Celebrating Engineering


|| Thursday: May 30: 2019 || ά. The Women’s Engineering Society’s:WES Young Members’ Board has been awarded a £30,000 Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious grant to deliver a Public Engagement Project for the WES centenary. The Young Members’ Board:YMB will use the award to launch and run the WES 100 Violets Project, challenging engineers to design and create an exhibit, that celebrates and showcases an aspect of their work or research, that they feel is important to communicate to the public.

The best designs will be selected with the creative teams receiving up to £1,500 to turn their ideas into reality; in addition, they will receive bespoke training and support in public engagement. The YMB will arrange a large central showcase and attendance at science festivals, local to the teams, so that the engineers have the opportunity to put their exhibits and training into action.

This large scale, multi-venue public engagement project aims to give, at least, 1,500 young people and their families the opportunity to interact directly with enthusiastic engineers from across all industries. The YMB’s intention is that through the delivery of the 100 Violets Project, participating engineers can showcase how engineering can be a career for everyone and broaden the understanding of what it really means to be ‘an engineer’.

Ms Deborah Harris, YMB member said, “The YMB is so proud to have been successful in our bid for the Royal Academy’s Ingenious funding and looking forward to celebrating the breadth of the engineering industry and showcasing this to the public, especially to young people. We’re really excited to see the range of ways people interpret this challenge in their exhibit designs and look forward to working with a team of enthusiastic, creative engineers to turn their ideas into reality over the next nine months.”

Ms Dawn Childs, the President of the Women’s Engineering Society said, “It is fabulous that the YMB has been able to attain this RAEng Ingenious Grant, particularly, in the centenary year of WES. One fundamental barrier to girls choosing to study engineering is a lack of understanding of the breadth and diversity of amazing jobs, that are available. This 100 Violets Project will really help to not only translate what it means to be an engineer to a wide audience but it will, also, help the young engineers to further develop their skills and excel in their careers. A real win-win!”

Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious Awards are granted to projects, that provide opportunities for the public to engage with engineers and for engineers to develop their public engagement skills and experience in creative and unusual ways.

Applications for the WES 100 Violets exhibit are open from now until 31 August 31, 2019. For more information and to apply visit WES website.

About the Women’s Engineering Society:WES: Founded in 1919, the Women’s Engineering Society:WES is a professional, not for profit network of women engineers, scientists and technologists offering inspiration, support and professional development. Although, the world has changed since a group of women decided to band together to create an organisation to support women in engineering after the First World War, the need is very much still there. WES works in a number of ways to support women in STEM, to encourage the study and application of engineering, to promote gender equality and diversity in the workplace and to award excellence and encourage achievement through our awards. WES celebrates its centenary in 2019.

WES Young Members’ Board: The WES Young Members’ Board:YMB was set up in 2016 with the aim of making WES more accessible for younger members.

The WES YMB Ingenious Project For more information on the 100 Violets Project and how to apply, please visit or contact the YMB via email at ymb at

Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious Awards: For further information on the Ingenious Awards visit the Royal Academy’s website.:::ω.

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Southampton Engineers Celebrate the World’s First Flight of Pioneering Lighter Than Air Unhumanned Aerial Vehicle



|| Sunday: April 28: 2019: University of Southampton News || ά. A new type of unhumanned aerial vehicle:UAV has made a successful maiden flight due to the expertise of engineers from the University of Southampton. The 15m-long, 10.5m wingspan, Phoenix is the world’s first large variable-buoyancy-powered UAV. Resembling an airship with wings, in appearance, the ultra-long-endurance aircraft spends half its time as a heavier-than-air aeroplane and the other half as a lighter-than-air balloon.

It is the repeated transition between the two, which provides the sole source of propulsion for the Phoenix’s anticipated use as a pseudo-satellite. Under a project, funded by Innovate-UK, approved by the Aerospace Technology Institute and bringing together SME’s, High Value Manufacturing Catapults and Academia, the ultra-long-endurance aeroplane uses the concept of variable-buoyancy propulsion, that has been exploited previously for underwater remotely-operated-vehicles:ROVs but, has, never before, been used successfully for the propulsion of a large-scale aircraft.  

The fuselage is made from a vectran-based woven material and contains ~120m3 of Helium, providing buoyancy, sufficient to make the complete vehicle lighter than air and ascend like a balloon. Within the fuselage is a separate air bag of 06m3 capacity.  Pumps located at the mouth of this air bag can inhale and compress air from outside and, thereby, add weight, without altering the displacement, sufficient to overcome the buoyancy.

This transition to heavier-than-air flight allows the aircraft to descend like a conventional aeroplane. The release of the compressed air returns it to a lighter-than-air configuration and the process is repeated. The forward inclination of the lift:buoyancy vectors with respect to the flight path and the expulsion of the compressed air through a rearward facing vent, provide a thrust force, that propels the aeroplane forward without need of any other form of propulsion. 

The energy needed to power the pumps, actuate the valve and move the flight-control surfaces is provided by a rechargeable battery created under the guidance of Southampton Professor Andrew Cruden, the Head of the University’s Energy Technology Group and colleague, Associate Professor, Dr Richard Wills.  The batter pack is charged by an array of lightweight, flexible solar cells, distributed on the upper surfaces of the wings and horizontal tail of the Phoenix.

“The University of Southampton team within the School of Engineering, developed a specific lithium-ion battery pack for this UAS, capable of operation across the wide range of temperatures found at altitude and communicating the status of the pack to the automatic flight control system.” Professor Cruden said. “The battery is designed to capture and store sufficient energy from the flexible photovoltaic arrays to power the UAS during the hours of darkness, with a safety margin for periods of poor weather and emergency use.

This project was a substantial collaborative effort by all partners and it delivered a real sense of achievement to witness the successful flight after nearly 30 months of design, manufacture, assembly and testing. It is anticipated, this unique UAS will provide a substantially lower cost route to providing long endurance, zero emission pseudo satellites for communication, surveillance and humanitarian missions around the globe.”

The prototype aeroplane was flown successfully and repeatedly during indoor flight trials in March 2019 under the command of a fully autonomous flight control system over a distance of 120m, the length of the Drystack facility, Trafalgar Wharf, Portsmouth used for the trials, making approximately five transitions in each flight. 

The fuselage retains its rigidity through internal pressure and the structure of the flight surfaces uses carbon-fibre sandwich panels for the ribs, carbon-fibre spars and a lightweight skin.  The wings house a pair of ailerons and the cruciform tail includes pairs of rudders and elevators.  A reversible hydrogen fuel cell has been developed to augment the power system on future versions.

The Phoenix project partners are SMEs: Banks Sails, fuselage materials and manufacture;  TCS Micropumps, pumps and valves, computer aided design and flight control actuators; Stirling Dynamics, flight control system. IQE plc led on the development of flexible photovoltaic cell technology.

Three of the UK’s High-Value Manufacturing Catapults were, also, involved: The Centre for Process Innovation, project management and photovoltaic cells; The Manufacturing Technology Centre, flight control system and hardware testing and The National Composites Centre, carbon-fibre wing and tail structures, wing skins and the gondola.

Joining Southampton as university participants are the University of Bristol, carbon-fibre wing and tail structures, wing skins, and the gondola; University of the Highlands and Islands, platform and flight control surface design; University of Newcastle, reversible hydrogen fuel cell and the University of Sheffield, wind-tunnel testing.

For more on Phoenix

Caption: The prototype aeroplane was flown successfully and repeatedly during indoor flight trials in March 2019 under the command of a fully autonomous flight control system over a distance of 120m, the length of the Drystack facility, Trafalgar Wharf, Portsmouth used for the trials: Image: University of Southampton.:::ω.

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Habitare Design Fair of Finland 2019 in Helsinki: September 11-15




|| March 14: 2019 || ά. Habitare Design Fair of Finland 2019: September 11-15, taking place in Helsinki. Habitare, the largest furniture, design and interior decoration event in Finland. This year’s Event will present the four new Finnish designers, Ms Laura Itkonen, Mr Kristoffer Heikkinen, Mr Hemmo Honkonen and Mr Rasmus Palmgren, whom the organisers think the design world to pay, particular, attention to.

These four Finnish designers have a strong personal styles with a proven track record, that demonstrates their design expertise. Each of the designers, selected by a jury, composed of Ms Elina Aalto, Ms Krista Kosonen and Saara Renvall of Imu Design and Ms Laura Sarvilinna, the Creative Director of Habitare, will have their own stand at Habitare Talentshop at this year’s Event. Talentshop is part of The Block, an area devoted to new design at Habitare.

Talentshop is curated and produced by Finland’s National Design Team, Imu Design, which represents emerging Finnish design talent, in collaboration with Habitare. “Now being held for the fifth time, Habitare’s Talentshop annually presents the most exciting, up andcoming Finnish designers, whom audiences in Finland and around the world should be following.

Talentshop highlights designers, who are in the early stages of their career but, who have, already, established their own designer identity and shown proof of their skills. What all the selected designers have in common is originality in their ideas, combined with uncompromising quality and refined implementation.” Says Ms Elina Aalto from Imu Design.

Laura Itkonen: Ms Laura Itkonen is a Helsinki-based visual designer, specialising in ceramics, her work explores materials, techniques and their combinations. ‘Art with function’ is her source of inspiration and the common thread, that runs through her design process, her creations focus on detailed architectural ceramics and sculptural everyday objects, that combine art and design. While making things by hand is her most important design tool, she is currently exploring the combination of three-D printing and traditional craft techniques in studio work.

Kristoffer Heikkinen: Mr Kristoffer Heikkinen graduated as a furniture designer from the Lahti University of Applied Sciences Institute of Design in 2017 and is currently a Master of Arts student at Aalto University. The designer has always been a creative thinker, who enjoys working with his hands and has a fascination with how objects have been created and how they can be improved. He strives to design products, that answer, solve problems in a simple and functional manner. His design philosophy is about simplicity, ease of use, longevity and recyclability. His designs have been presented at exhibitions in Milan, Stockholm and Finland.

Hemmo Honkonen: Mr Hemmo Honkonen explores the properties of materials and the interaction between the user and the product in his designs. He creates both visually and functionally insightful products that put material properties and user experience at the centre. Mr Hemmo Honkonen graduated from Malmstens Linköping University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in furniture design, and is currently completing his Master’s degree on the Aalto University Product and Spatial Design programme. Prior to his design studies, he graduated as a luthier-artisan from the Ikaalinen College of Crafts and Design.

Rasmus Palmgren: Mr Rasmus Palmgren is a designer, who seeks a new perspective for everyday objects, his work is a balance between materials, dimensions and production. Clever, innovative and simple ideas motivate him. Through carefully considered solutions, he creates honest, timeless and meaningful designs. Rasmus has a Bachelor’s degree in cabinetmaking from Malmstens Linköping University in Stockholm and he is currently working towards a Master’s degree in design at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Rasmus has collaborated with Nikari and Claesson Koivisto Rune.  

Opening hours: Wednesday: September 11: 09:00-20:00

Thursday to Friday: September 12-13: 10:00-19:00

Saturday-Sunday: September 14-15: 10:00-18:00

For ticket information visit the Habitare website

Habitare Finland: Habitare, the largest furniture, design and interior decoration event in Finland, this year, taking place at Messukeskus in Helsinki, September 11-15. Habitare offers experiences and ideas on interior decoration and on the functioning and look of homes and other spaces. Habitare highlights the ideas and works by a new generation of designers and sparks discussion. The International Friend of Habitare in 2019 will be Alberto Alessi.

Caption: Clockwise: Laura Itkonen, Kristoffer Heikkinen, Hemmo Honkonen and Rasmus Palmgren: Work: Sculptural Series: By Laura Itkonen:L: Notko: By Hemmo Honkonen:R: Images: Habitare Finland:::ω.

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New £35 Million Research Network for Smarter Greener and Cleaner Steel



|| February 22: 2019: Swansea University News || ά. A smart, green and clean steel industry will come a giant step closer due to a new £35 million research network, announced last week, which will see steelmakers and university experts work together on a seven-year research programme to transform the UK steel sector. The network, called SUSTAIN, is led by Swansea University, partnered with the Universities of Sheffield and Warwick and involves more than twenty partners across the UK steel industry: companies, trade bodies, academic experts and research organisations.

It is supported by a £10 million investment from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council as it will be one of their Future Manufacturing Research Hubs. The announcement is a landmark as it is the first time that UK steel producers and representatives from the manufacturing sector have lined up behind a co-ordinated programme of research.  It is, also, the largest ever single investment in steel research by a UK research council.  The plan is that SUSTAIN will be a seed, from which, much wider research and innovation will grow, drawing on expertise across UK academia and beyond.

The aim of SUSTAIN is to transform the whole steel supply chain, making it cleaner, greener and smarter and more responsive to the fast-changing needs of customers.  Its work will be concentrated on two areas: Zero waste iron and steelmaking, with the aim of making the industry carbon-neutral by 2040:  Steel is, already, the world’s most recycled material but, the network will investigate new ways of making the industry’s processes and products, even, greener, such as, harvesting untapped energy sources, capturing carbon emissions and re-processing societal and industrial waste streams.

Smart steel processing: like any 21st century industry, steelmaking involves masses of data. SUSTAIN will develop new ways of acquiring and using this data in new metallurgical processes, which can deliver bespoke high-tech products.

Steel is the most widely-used structural material in the world.  If, a product isn’t made of steel, it’s made using steel. Steel is at the heart of UK manufacturing sectors, such as, the car industry, construction, packaging and defence.  It is an indispensable component of the UK’s future national infrastructure, such as, transport, communications and energy and for high-tech 21st century industries, from energy-positive buildings to wind turbines and electric vehicles.

Dr Cameron Pleydell-Pearce, steel expert at Swansea University and SUSTAIN’s Deputy Director, said, “This news is a massive vote of confidence in the steel industry.  It will support the industry’s vision for a responsible, innovative and creative future.  We are, already, on the road to clean, green and smart steelmaking but, this is another giant step forward.

Research and innovation are the bedrock of a modern steel industry. This network represents, almost, the whole UK steel sector, with researchers and companies working together on an unprecedented scale.  Here in Swansea we’re proud to lead it.”

Mr Gareth Stace, UK Steel Director General, said, “This new boost of innovation funding into the sector is a vital piece of the puzzle to help deliver our vision of a cutting-edge, vibrant and sustainable steel industry in the UK. The future success of our sector rests on our ability to remain at the forefront of product and process innovation, delivering the new steel products demanded by our customers and society. This new hub will enable us to do just that.”

Professor Mark Rainforth of the University of Sheffield, said, “Steel is fundamental to every aspect of society. Developing higher performance steels with reduced carbon footprint during manufacture is key to reducing CO2 emissions and, therefore, contributing to the reduction in global warming. This grant brings together all the UK experts in steel to address this critical issue.”

Professor Claire Davis, from WMG, University of Warwick, said, “The UK has a rich tradition of research excellence and innovation in steel metallurgy. SUSTAIN will bring together leading research groups in this area, as well as, introducing new expertise in big data and supply chain innovation, to work collaboratively with the UK industry.

The network will be able to tackle the large issues, facing the steel industry, particularly, in becoming low energy, carbon neutral, dynamic and responsive to customer needs.  It is an exciting time to be working on steel as there are opportunities to contribute to making the planet a greener place.”:::ω.

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Waving Into Electricity: The New Dielectric Elastomer Generator Can Generate Electricity From Ocean Waves



|| February 21: 2019: University of Edinburgh News || ά.: A wave energy technology is being developed, that could help generate low-cost electricity for thousands of houses. The device costs less than conventional designs, has fewer moving parts and is made of durable materials. It is designed to be incorporated into existing ocean energy systems and can convert wave power into electricity.

Small scale experiments in an ocean simulator show that one full-size device could generate the equivalent of 500kW, enough electricity for about 100 homes. Engineers say that their design could be used in fleets of low-cost, easily maintained structures at sea within decades, to take advantage of powerful waves in Scottish waters. Engineers from the University of Edinburgh and from Italy developed their device, known as, a Dielectric Elastomer Generator:DEG, using flexible rubber membranes.

It is designed to fit on top of a vertical tube, which, when placed in the sea, partially, fills with water, that rises and falls with wave motion. As waves pass the tube, the water inside pushes trapped air above to inflate and deflate the generator on top of the device.

As the membrane inflates, a voltage is generated. This increases as the membrane deflates and electricity is produced. In a commercial device, this electricity would be transported to shore via underwater cables.

A scaled-down version of the system was tested in the Flo-Wave facility at the University of Edinburgh, a 25m diameter circular tank, that can reproduce any combination of ocean waves and currents.

The system could replace conventional designs, involving complex air turbines and expensive moving parts.

The study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A, was carried out in collaboration with the Universities of Trento, Bologna and Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna Pisa in Italy. It was supported by the European Union Horizon 2020 programme and Wave Energy Scotland.:::ω.

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Three Outstanding Women Celebrated as IET Young Woman Engineers of the Year: Far, Far, Far to Go From 09%... You Lead the Way

Gemma Dalziel, Jenni Sidey and Bethan Murray

|| December 02: 2016 || ά. Three young female engineers have been recognised at the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s:IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards for their innovative work in engineering. All three winners will play an ambassadorial role for the engineering and technology professions in the forthcoming months, promoting engineering careers to girls and young people. IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year: Jenni Sidey, 28), is a lecturer in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, currently working on the development of the latest low emission combustion devices for use in the transportation and energy sectors. 

IET Mary George Memorial Prize for Apprentices: Gemma Dalziel, 23, is an Apprentice Network Consulting Engineer at Cisco, working on network technologies and network security. Women’s Engineering Society:WES Award: Bethan Murray, 23, is a Manufacturing Systems Lead at Rolls-Royce Plc, working on the systems that aid the manufacture of the latest aircraft components. On winning, Jenni said, “I am enormously proud to be recognised by such a progressive programme promoting women in engineering within the UK. 

















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