Thursday, 20 February 2014

6th Feb: Apologies!

Exam season has taken over my life for the past month, hence why I haven't been keeping up to date with this. But, it has now finally come to an end and I'm somewhat free to breathe and sleep. Ahh.

Except not so fast! For I wrote those words on the 21st January mere hours before we were due to be thrown into a world of doom and gloom: DESIGN.

Concept design

Why oh why, Design? Why do you hurt me so bad?

Everyone outside of my Engineering class gawks with amazement - and sometimes jealousy - when I tell them that for our design module we have to design and manufacture a wind turbine. Even when I tell them it's only 400mm cubed maximum they still think it's a fantastic group project to have. Don't get me wrong, I was super excited when we were first given our task, but as it became more and more restricted - to the extent that we have to be able to build a structure able to withstand 10kg in the direction of the wind out of a single 1m x 0.5m x 0.7mm crappy aluminium sheet (trust me, 1050 series aluminium alloy sheet at that thickness is pretty damn useless) - I have found myself caring less and less for it. I was hoping for a project which would allow us to use our initiative more, but I guess this can be considered something to really challenge us...if it's not completely impossible to do that is...which could well be the case.

A rough SolidWorks model of our turbine

Now it's getting very close to the manufacturing stage - we start on Wednesday - and although I'm excited, I am really apprehensive about it because I don't know how all the parts are going to be joined together, since one or two members of my team haven't considered any of this while designing their part. I can only hope that the planning sheets I thrust in front of them at tomorrow's meeting will slap them in the face and perhaps get at least one drop of brain juice flowing within their abnormally thick skulls.

Don't get me wrong, the majority of my team are great, especially my fellow structural engineer with whom I have had the pleasure to work with. However, we have found at times that a few of them can really drag their feet when we need important information from them to allow us to draw up an accurate technical drawing of the structure, and one wouldn't bother turning up to meetings until the day of a deadline. It's stressing me out a lot!

In any case, as I say, I am looking forward to getting back into the hands on side of Engineering. I went to visit the workshop last week to confer with one of the technicians there, and I was overcome with a wave of nostalgia. It's been far too long! I had to stuff my itching hands in my pockets to prevent them from reaching for the nearby centre lathe!

The only problem with the manufacturing is a big'un: we're not allowed to use the machinery. The technicians will do whatever work needs to be done on the machines, and we just wait around for them to do it. It sucks. This, on top of the stress of whether or not this structure is even going to conform to the specifications when it's built, makes this project all the more flubbledubble tummyrotten crap.

Anyways, I don't know when I'm going to be able to keep up to date with IBitThePiranha, what with design, the rest of my course, and my internship with Vulcan. Not to mention uni elections are coming up and my dear friend, Jay, is running for experience officer, so I'll be helping on the campaign front for him.

I hope you guys can keep on smiling without me!


EDIT (20th February): I never got round to posting this for some reason, but here it is. Better late than never, right? Aha...

Knitting for Rhinos!

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