The opinions of Contributors.

Drawings or data?

We've all given up on the idea of the 'paperless office', and grudgingly accepted that new technology often creates more, not less waste, but is this as true for engineering data as it is for office paperwork?

Is this the end of the factory?

The Economist carried a leader earlier this year entitled 'Print me a Stradivarius – how a new manufacturing technology will change the world'. The violin in question is indeed impressive – and made using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) by German company EOS – one of the leaders in the field of 'Additive Manufacture' (AM).

BEEAs entries now accepted

Entries are now being accepted for the 2011 British Engineering Excellence Awards; the celebration of all that is good about UK engineering.

BEEAs shortlist announced

The judges have convened, the votes are in and the shortlists for this year's British Engineering Excellence Awards have been drawn up.

Richard Noble's Bloodhound Project diary

I apologise – my web updates always seem to be late and I feel I am letting you down! The reality is that with a team hell bent on achievement, Bloodhound moves at a massive pace and we find ourselves working all hours.

Richard Noble's Bloodhound Project diary

We started BLOODHOUND officially in June 2007- that was 33 months ago – 33 months of hell at my end keeping the programme afloat – but this next week we believe the Aero team will come up with the final shape of the car.

Just buy me a blue dress

That was the last thing my wife said to me as she kissed me goodbye and I settled into the cab bound for the airport. I was departing for a week long business trip to the US and her parting request was for a blue dress. "Sure," I thought. "How hard can that be?"

Andy Green's Bloodhound Project diary

After months of waiting, lots of great things have come together all at once. The final design of the Car, the move into our new HQ, the confirmation of our run location and the new animation video which is fantastic!

Richard Noble's Bloodhound Project diary

I failed to get the September blog together in good time, and Nick Chapman is not pleased again – we're into November, and here's the October report!

Richard Noble's Bloodhound Project diary

The end of September is, I hope, going to be a huge waypoint for BLOODHOUND; hopefully JP and the design team will have made their decision on the final external layout of BLOODHOUND SSC and reached what we call Aero Solution. Over in the US, Daniel Jubb and his team will have successfully fired the full-scale hybrid rocket. Can we achieve all this? – I am beginning to learn that we have a really outstanding series of teams here and I reckon it can be done.

Richard Noble's Bloodhound Project diary

My apologies- this is late again! Nick Chapman asked for this update in July, but the pace and demands of the project are so great that I have to give precedence to activities that make money, structure the programme and help the rest of the team achieve their objectives. The project is moving very very fast now on a very wide front and it's doing really well.

Variable speed drives now supported by government

Engineers have long known the basics of the energy saving potential of variable speed inverter drives. For 20 years they have been promoting their uptake, either as energy efficiency improvers or simply as good practise. Each case needs to be looked at individually, but as a rule of thumb we can say that a drive will payback its capital cost in 12-18 months, then continue saving energy – and therefore money and carbon – for the remaining 5-10 years of its working life. It total, there will have been a substantial saving in both financial costs and carbon emissions.

The BBC and technical accuracy

I am an ancient multi-disciplined engineer and have worked in a number of areas including tool making, railway signalling, Controls and instrumentation and latterly what we call the defence industry

Is the LHC a waste of money?

CERN has been investing billions of euros/pounds in the Large Hadron Collider – the UK contributed 186 million Swiss Francs in 2008, second only to Germany. Unfortunately this mega investment project failed in less than a month's time, and is now consuming yet more cash. What do British tax payers get out of it?

Richard Noble's Bloodhound Project diary

I am sorry this is late – it's symptomatic of the pace of the project. It's growing very fast now and every waking minute has to be spent in trying to drive us forward and sorting all those difficulties which come with rapid growth.

Richard Noble's Bloodhound Project diary

Now the true character of BLOODHOUND is becoming clear – we had a highly successful launch in October at the Science Museum and generated over £3m AVE of publicity, and 20 TV documentary offers while 9,000 people made it to our 5 day exhibition.

Richard Noble's Bloodhound Project diary

As we approach the all important BLOODHOUND project launch, this is a great opportunity to look back at what has been achieved during the research period and what remains to be completed.