Coffee Time Challenge

An engineer’s mind never rests – even at coffee breaks, so here is something to keep it active during the downtime. The Coffee Time Challenge invites you to use your imagination, humour, experience to come up with a solution to a problem. We will always have a solution to the problem in the bag and will reveal it a month after the Challenge is set.


Cracking concrete

?Given its importance in our lives, concrete doesn’t get a great deal of appreciation. We tend to take it for granted even as it supports our most important infrastructure.


Scope for Improvement

?If there is one iconic device we associate with doctors, it is the stethoscope. So much so, that it’s almost an item of uniform for the profession. Place one around the neck of any individual and ...


A snore point

The comic trope of a snoring husband and a long-suffering wife is an old one, not least because it is sure to raise a degree of recognition among so many of us. But snoring is one of those things ...


Beat the heat

?The struggle to keep cool in hot weather is as old as mankind. While our ancient ancestors could retire to the depths of their caves, however, we later iterations of the human race have had to find ...


Touching distance

?We have probably never before been more conscious of the dangers presented by touching surfaces than we are now. The fact that Coronavirus is thought to live on certain surfaces for days has made us ...


Done to a tea

Can the humble electric kettle be improved upon?



Lost in Translation

?Our roads are busier than ever with drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians all vying for space. It’s no wonder that tempers are lost, and conflicts arise as our ability to communicate is ...


Shorn the sheep

Whatever your view on animal products, we can surely all agree that animals shouldn’t suffer at the hands of humans at all. This is obvious in cases of medical and cosmetics research as well as ...


Overboard!

Falling overboard is not something a lot of us want to imagine happening to us, but for some it’s a risk of their job. But, having a lifejacket attached to the hull of a moving boat can be as ...


Under pressure

Hypertension – high blood pressure – is a killer. However, the good news is that it is relatively easily treated if identified early. This is something that is achieved by measuring it in a way with ...


Bright ideas

Cyclist safety is a serious business. According to the Department for Transport, 11% of UK adults cycle on the roads once a week or more. That means millions of people on the roads both day and night.


Housing crisis

There are 25.9 million refugees in the world today, and the World Bank projects that 143 million people will be forcibly displaced by 2050. To house this tremendous number of vulnerable people is a ...


Fifty shades of green

In this time of increasing demand for clean and renewable energy, companies are looking at any means necessary to produce extra energy that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels or other ‘dirty’ methods.


Waste not, want not

That funny smell emerging from your fridge because there’s something tucked away there that’s been forgotten about for far, far too long is a familiar scenario for most of us. And all of us must have ...


Painting over the cracks

In the age of social media, image has become everything. But the sad fact of the matter is that you’re never going to look like a model or a superstar actor in your day to day life. This is mainly ...


A breath of fresh air

Air pollution is just one example of the way that the accelerating wave of urbanisation is causing complex challenges that require an urgent response.


Space invaders

Sharing a bed with one’s partner is generally held to be a desirable state of affairs, but as anyone who has done so for many years can testify, it is not without its pitfalls.


Drink responsibly

Giving up single-use plastic products like straws and drinks bottles is an admirable thing to do, but is not particularly convenient, especially when it comes to drinks containers. A solid, re-usable ...


Good vibrations

More and more, new cars are being sold on the strength of their in-vehicle infotainment systems. Whether this is having the latest navigation system, video players for keeping younger passengers ...


Avoiding a soggy bottom

One of the great things about Britain is the weather. It’s a constant source of small-talk because it’s always changing. However, it’s not so great on your precious lunch (or coffee) break.


Keeping it up

For most of us, the electronic tablet is now a fixture of our lives. In the space of less than a decade, it has gone from being an exotic gadget to a commonplace item, with many households featuring ...


Bored of the rings

For people suffering from tinnitus, the irritating ringing, buzzing or hissing in the ears can be debilitating. Even if you’ve never had it, you can probably relate. If you’ve ever had water stuck in ...


Helping hands

We’ve all felt like we could use an extra pair of hands now and again. Sometimes another set of eyes would come in...er...handy to help us complete a task more efficiently – or safely, too.


For the birds

Arable farmers are constantly looking for new ways to scare birds from their valuable crops.