Monday, November 12, 2012

Work! (And a bit of fireworks!)

There is never a dull moment in the UK.  At least not for me.  Let me recap all my current project and work at the moment.
1. EngD work.  Right now, this includes looking at collaborative networking.  For this, I have started a platform for six different UK Formula Student teams including: Liverpool, Sheffield, Portsmouth, Oxford-Brookes, Brunel and Warwick Universities.  These teams are all sponsored in some way by Bosch Engineering this year, which is why they are the teams I'm working with.  I've used the West Midlands Collaborative Commerce Marketplace, an online database and collaboration space initiated by my advisor Jay Bal and his researchers a few years ago.  While there seemed to be a lot of excitement over the idea of these teams working closer together on communication, my online space has not seen very much activity at all.  I'm going to have to work harder to figure out how to encourage the usage and collaboration, while not influencing it too much.  Tricky.  I hope to formulate some sort of model of study out of this work this year that I can then take to an industrial study next year.  This year's Formula Student team is doing well, and I think will do well at next July's competition.
This is a picture from the outside of the new IISPI building, where I moved offices to in September
2. EngD group project and work with the Catapult.  WMG is seven centres in the UK that is a Technology Strategy Board centre for this initiative.  Our focus is High Value Manufacturing.  For our EngD group project, we are scoping out the research niche for WMG in the area of hydrogen and fuel cells.  So far, this has resulted in several conferences (mostly to London) where I have connected with many industrial leaders in this industry.  I've also been luck to go on a few industrial visits, such as to Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells, which was an amazing experience and will hopefully lead to future collaboration between WMG and JMFC.
3.  IGGY- I've written some scripts for the website and just generally get on and comment on various science and engineering topics.
4.  IMechE, IET, and RAE (Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Institute of Engineering Technology and the Royal Academy of Engineers) Engineering the Future literature review.  I was approached in September to help write a literature review on the subject of manufacturing growth in the UK for a collaborative project that is being done by members of these three institutions.  I am nearly done with it, and it has been quite a learning experience.  I hope the contacts I've made through this project will be helpful as I work on my EngD and beyond.  I've really enjoyed learning.  I also could not have done it without some help from Nick Higgins, another EngD, and of course, Sagar.  Sagar is a manufacturing engineer at JLR and has helped me a bit with some of the writing as well as helping me understand manufacturing in general.
5. PMAs for my recent modules.  I took two modules in October- Financial Analysis and Control Systems and Service Design and Delivery.  I have two 4000 word papers due for them in December, so I am going to get cracking on that this week.
6. Literature review on Open Source Hardware Design.  I had started this over the summer, but found myself with a bad case of writer's block.  However, the recent work on Engineering the Future has helped me so much that I think that coming back to this will go much smoother.
My desk at the moment.  I've taken over the desk next to me as well, with literature for my OSHD literature review.

Through all of this work, I have still been able to have a little bit of fun.
The people in the UK celebrate Guy Fawkes day with amazing fireworks, which I got to go see with Sagar in Kenilworth.  It was a show that rivalled some Fourth of July shows I've seen back home.
Sagar and me at the Kenilworth Fireworks for Guy Fawkes day.

This coming weekend, Sagar's family is coming over to celebrate the Hindu festival of lights known as Diwali .  I hope to also get a little Thanksgiving celebration in at some point this month!

Ok!  Back to writing!  Hope everyone is doing well!