What Have You Shipped?

Last week I received a report on our departmental progress, it was in effect, a reminder of what we’ve “shipped” over the past six months. Having a regular reminder of your progress seems like a good thing, and it is supported by research: making headway on meaningful work brightens a person’s inner work life and …

Be, Know and Do

There is a military leadership saying, “Be, Know and Do” that embodies the journey from ethics and values, to knowledge through to action. There are plenty of people who meet two of the three – all talk and no action, or all action but no knowledge. In typical military brevity, this axiom sums up some …

Innovation in Engineering

I can spot them, the engineering companies that trade in formulaic solutions, even when the problem is begging for innovation. Perhaps it is the opportunity to reuse existing infrastructure, or try out a novel technique – all too often these firms will step back from the challenge and choose the “safe” option. If you are …

Fall and Falling Prices?

Image via Wikipedia As we slide toward Fall, out of the shimmering mirage days of summer, there is a lot of talk out there about housing prices in Canada – and none of it is real good. Interestingly, there is less of an attempt to put a positive spin on things from the Real Estate …

80 Year Old Watermain

There is a story to these pictures, if you are wondering what the growth is called, it is referred to as “pipe tuberculation” or “insoluble corrosion residue buildup” and the main issue is that it increases pipe friction losses thus reducing fire flows, but can also ultimately lead to pipe failure. The infrastructure in many …

The Story of Oil in the 21st Century

Image by Barrybar via Flickr If you want to get a picture of the last twenty or thirty years of the oil industry, then Oil – Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century by Tom Bower is a must read. Released in June 2010, it just missed out on recording one of the biggest …

Post 950

Image by urbanworkbench via Flickr So I’ve been online on UrbanWorkbench.com for about four years now. It all started back in Newcastle Australia, before we’d really decided for sure that we were moving back to Canada. There have been 950 posts in that time, and admittedly things have slowed down over the past couple of …

The Humble Blueberry

So after my last post, which I admit was a little depressing – sometimes these things need to be stated though – I thought I’d cheer things up a bit with a photo. Our species has come a long way from the times of hunting and gathering for survival, we have almost all of the …