Retired Members Surrey

Programme for 2012

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The programme for earlier years can be found here: 2010, 2011.

December 11th Christmas Lunch
Leatherhead Leisure Centre.
This was the premiere social event in the RMS calendar. The entertainment this year was a demonstration and concert of Handbell Ringing by Hannah Greenfield, a well-known local virtuoso and composer (see the handbell web site).
The Committee
December 5th The introduction of frequency modulation for sound broadcasting in Britain #
Britain played a pioneering role in the development of television, with the introduction of the world's first high-definition (405-line) broadcast service in 1936. This was a major advance over many competing systems in USA, Germany and Britain. By contrast, FM sound broadcasting in Britain did not begin until 1955, initially only for listeners in the south-east of England, long after its introduction in USA and some countries in continental Europe. The talk will review the background to this introduction of FM in Britain, illustrated by photos of transmitting and receiving equipment, and the subsequent developments and impact.
Prof Anthony Davies, Visiting Professor, Kingston University and Emeritus Professor, King's College London
November 7th 'Meteorogy' What affects the climate?
Bill gave us an overview of all the things that affect the climate from the Sun via Volcanos to (man-made) CO2 and Methane.
Bill Turnill
October 3rd The Thames Tideway Tunnel project #
The Thames Tideway Tunnel will act in unison with the Lee Tunnel and extension of the five main sewage treatment works that discharge into the tidal Thames to control the discharge of untreated sewage from London's sewer system into the tidal Thames. Together these works represent the largest and most significant increase in capacity since the Victorian era.
The presentation covered the historical context as background for these works, the need for the project, the environmental benefits, construction and operational issues of controlling the combined sewer overflow discharges to the River Thames.
John Greenwood, Senior Technical Consultant, Thames Tunnel Project.
John graduated in Civil Engineering at Imperial College in 1975 and became Chartered Civil Engineer in 1981. John has worked for Thames Water for nearly 36 years mainly in Engineering Design. He has been involved in the Thames Tideway Strategic Study since its inception in 2000 and now undertake the role of system integration and resilience, which basically means ensuring that the whole system of the Beckton STW, Lee Tunnel and Thames Tideway Tunnel will operate as a complete system
September 5th Formula I cars development and design #
McLaren: The MP4-12C project and current Formula 1 Cars. Ed gave us an overview of the development of McLaren and showed how the road-legal (MP4-12C) cars have benefited from the techniques used in the design of F1 racing cars.
Ed Thompson, Project leader, drive train
August 1st Canyon lands of America Peter Dulley
July 4th 2.30pm Cream Tea followed by The looting of the Wanborough hoard 'An ex-policeman'
June 6th Displays in the flat panel age and the technologies behind them #
That the days of the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) are numbered is not news. We are now confronted with a baffling new array of acronyms, but it is the technology behind the Plasma, LCD, LED backlights, SED and OLED displays which interests engineers! What other display technologies may appear in the years to come? How do 3D displays work? Could they work better in the future? A pdf of his presentation can be found here.
Richard spoke about the problems of measuring the performance of displays, particularly as the CRT monitors previously used in professional work are no longer available. Richard discussed possible alternatives, and gave us links to websites (below) that contain some of the parameters for replacement displays. These include the EBU guidelines for Consumer Flat Panel Displays (FPDs) and the ICDM (International Committee for Display Metrology) SID (Society for Information Display) VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) organisations.
Richard Salmon, Lead Research Engineer, Displays and HDTV specialist
Richard is a Lead Research Engineer at BBC R&D, with particular expertise in TV colorimetry and display technology, and as one of the UK's pioneers in HDTV research, has a deep technical understanding of the entire image chain from the studio set and its lighting, via the camera, compression systems, to the display and the viewer's impression of that image. He is chairman of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) project group on Displays, and is also active in the EBU's Beyond HD and LED Lighting technical groups, and the UK Digital TV Group. He is a member of the SMPTE, the Society for Information Display and the IET.
May 2nd AGM followed by Is Everything Electromagnetic? #
The title "Is everything electromagnetic?" asks whether electromagnetism is the key to the formation of a Theory of Everything (ToE). A ToE joins all branches of physics together into a coherent framework. But is this at all possible without significant changes in all areas of physics? Will some cherished preconceptions have to go to the wall? The talk is at a general science level and summarises and leads on from a paper presented in the PIERS conference in Marrakesh in March 2011: "A physical model of electro-magnetism for a theory of everything", available in PIERS Online, Vol.7, No. 2, 196-200, 2001 .
Prof Michael Hill has an Oxford degree in Physics and a Surrey PhD in Electronics. He spent 31 years in industry (MRL, PRL, MEL and Thorn-EMI) and 14 years as Professor of Electronics etc. at Surrey. He was founder and Research Director of Toric (an SME tackling on-chip time jitter and phase noise) for 10 years. He is CEO of Underhill Research Ltd supplying scientific research services to academe, industry and government (MoD).
April 4th What is leadership - Taking Ernest Shackleton as an example.
Ivar commanded the Commando Logistics Regiment, Royal Marines, during the Falklands War, and was responsible for the logistics for the land battle. He specialised in Mountain and Winter Warfare as well as serving with Special Forces.
Since active service, Ivar has specialised in asymmetric risk; security; risk and crisis management; military logistics and counter-terrorism; lecturing extensively at Cranfield University's Defence Academy. Ivar is also a member of the Harvard Group U.S. think tank. His MPhil was on militant Islam and the roots of Islamic Jihad.
Colonel (Retd) Ivar Hellberg OBE MPhil FRGS.
Ivar is an avid mountaineer having conquered peaks in the Alps and Himalayas, culminating in the 1976 Mount Everest expedition and leading the successful Sasar Kangri expedition in the Karakoram in 1987. He is Patron of Peak Leaders. Ivar is also a Guest Speaker on Cunard Liners.
March 7th Atkinson's High Efficiency Engines #
The talk describes the successful attempts to build practical engines based on a sound theoretical idea, first put forward by James Atkinson in the 1880's, which offers an improved thermal efficiency over that of the usual four stroke Otto cycle.
After first discussing the theory of the Atkinson cycle, the talk briefly outlines Atkinson's early life and patents leading up to the formation of the British Gas Engine and Engineering Company. The medal winning 'Differential' engine and the very successful 'Cycle' engine are described together with the comprehensive Society of Arts Trials of 1888, which pitted the engine against three other engine types. Atkinson's story ends with his final engine, the 'Utilitť', and the subsequent demise of the Company.
The withdrawal of Atkinson from the scene did not signal the end of engines operating on the Atkinson cycle; four more very different machines have been constructed, tested, and sold, over the course of the past one hundred years. These are the Holzwarth Turbine, the Humphrey Pump, the CitroŽn Andreau Motor and, more recently, the engine of the Toyota Prius Hybrid motor car. The paper examines the operation and thermal efficiency of these designs. This Web site gives an overview of the operation of the Toyota hybrid system.
E.L. Marshall, C.Eng. MIMech E., Member of Newcomen Society
Ed served an Indentured Apprenticeship in Agricultural Engineering and, following service in the Royal Air Force, he joined British Petroleum Research, carrying out studies into the relationship between engines and their fuels. In 1978 he was elected to a Fellowship at Cambridge University where he spent a number of years investigating combustion in 'lean burn' engines. He returned to BP to set up, and run, a facility designed to carry out fundamental combustion studies in reciprocating engines using Laser Doppler Anemometry. Upon retirement from BP he ran his own consultancy for 10 years. He has published a number of papers and technical articles and is the editor of a book on motor gasoline. He is an active member of the Newcomen Society.
February 1st Improving sustainability in new and existing homes#
We live in a world with dwindling resources, increased reliance on energy supplies from unstable areas and the need to minimise our impact on the environment. The government has set very demanding CO2 reduction targets as we move towards a low-carbon economy, and we are regularly exhorted 'to do our bit' for the environment. This presents us with numerous economic, technical and social challenges which require us to increase efficiency, innovate, and improve our skill base to meet these challenges.
This talk focused on the domestic building stock and what is being done to improve its energy efficiency and sustainability. With new dwellings there is a drive towards 'zero carbon' homes in terms of the energy that occupants use, but they also need to be more sustainable with respect to their other impacts - the materials used, the waste produced, the water consumed, etc. Existing dwellings have considerably more impact not only because the stock is so vast in comparison but also because much of it performs so poorly. The talk looked in detail at the challenges faced and the technical solutions being advocated to improve the performance of our homes. Richard referred to the BestFootForward web site as a source of useful information about Sustainability.
Richard Hartless, Associate Director, Housing Group, Building Research Establishment
January 4th
Beyond the Great Wall - Further travel adventures. Click the graphic for a larger poster.
Paul Whittle