This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken during REFOCUS Interesting engineering items from Season 4 Podcast episode
It is not 100% accurate.
[00:00:00] Mel: [00:00:00] welcome to another special refocus edition of engineering heroes. Today we’re going to be talking about items engineering items.
[00:00:07] My name is Melanie and joining me today is Dominic De Gioia.
[00:00:12]you’re looking forward to this episode
[00:00:13]Dom: [00:00:13] I was definitely looking forward to this episode It’s always interesting What people come up with as the the engineering items that impressed them most
[00:00:22] Mel: [00:00:22] Yes So every episode we actually ask our engineers what is an item that they are fascinated by or and some of the comments that we get really really interesting And we’re going to get to some real honorable mentions towards the end But what we’re going to go through today is about four of the top Items that were discussed by our guests in season four.
[00:00:46]Now to get us kicked off Some of our guests actually were quite general and said they liked anything .
[00:00:54]Nicole: [00:00:54] Just everything that I use in my day to day life, you can’t actually go down the street without, you know, taking a moment to be impressed with, Oh, look at, look at all these amazing things that we take for granted that engineers have had a hand in.
[00:01:09]Alex: [00:01:09] So I find all engineering impressive. Like if you think about any kind of engineering, even if you just see a plane in the sky, it’s, it’s pretty amazing.
[00:01:19]Dom: [00:01:19] So that was Nicole Locke and Alexander Radulovich
[00:01:21]Mel: [00:01:21] and I have to admit I totally share their sentiments The things that engineers have made over the years are completely amazing But what we’re going to do is go into a few of the engineers that we’ve spoken to that have really identified some great ones
[00:01:36] Dom: [00:01:36] all right Now this item has come up many many times throughout all the seasons of Engineering Heroes
[00:01:40] Mel: [00:01:40] So many times like I even have made a t-shirt about this item
[00:01:45] You have?
[00:01:45]Well actually I’ve got a t-shirt and I’ve got a Sydney Harbor bridge one and I’ve got a
[00:01:51] Dom: [00:01:51] I think you’ve just given it a way in regards to what he started to talk about
[00:01:55] Mel: [00:01:55] If it’s the other one that’s the one in though
[00:01:57] Dom: [00:01:57] the Forth Street Bridge
[00:01:59] Mel: [00:01:59] Forth Street bridge Yes those two bridges are definitely in higher rotation but this section is all about bridges
[00:02:08]Alicia: [00:02:08] Well, I’ve got to say that I love bridges. I know that might sound a little bit boring, but I love bridges because I see them almost as being a representation of pure engineering. There’s nothing to hide. There’s no cladding , there’s nothing to mask the ill decisions. Often they’re designed around getting the load from one place to another and I’ve done some bridge design work in my career and it’s beautiful, pure engineering. So I do love a good bridge. I love what they represent in connecting people as well.
[00:02:46]Sean: [00:02:46] I mean, bridges were probably the thing that got me interested in engineering first. And certainly some of those, like the golden gate bridge and that, and Sydney Harbor bridge that you still look at them and bridges are an emotional thing. I think for most people they’ve, you know, even if you know nothing about engineering, you, you can’t help, but go wow when you see what they do.
[00:03:04]Mel or Dom: [00:03:04] It’s amazing. It always comes back to bridges on this podcast. So many people talk about bridges
[00:03:09] Dom: [00:03:09] that was Alicia Maynard and Sean Brady there. And I have to say they weren’t the only ones loving bridges
[00:03:15] Mel: [00:03:15] What do you think about bridges Dom?
[00:03:16]Dom: [00:03:16] A little bit on the spot There. They’re amazing places of engineering but I think mainly because they Put art into the engineering There’s some absolutely beautiful bridges that are out there So it’s not just that whole functional aspect of it. Some of the bridges around the world are some of the most astonishing pieces of art and sculpture that I think that you’ll ever see
[00:03:40] Mel: [00:03:40] Well I’d love that uh the 3d printing bridge that’s going on
[00:03:44] Dom: [00:03:44] Yeah it makes MX3D Yeah
[00:03:47] Mel: [00:03:47] definitely That is something to be watched so I can completely understand bridges And if you’re in Sydney there’s a charity thing called seven bridges walk that you walk across seven bridges and it would be an amazing event That one if you are at all like our engineers here who love bridges.
[00:04:04] So the next item on our list is I reckon is going to be Dom’s personal favorite
[00:04:09]Dom: [00:04:09] If you’re going to talk about space then yes there definitely is one of my personal favorites in the engineering rhelm.
[00:04:15] Mel: [00:04:15] That was something that uh Matthew Dunbabin spoke about actually
[00:04:20]Matthew: [00:04:20] something that’s really impressed me…. I actually didn’t really appreciate engineering to its fullest until the, probably about eight or 10 years ago when I watched a series called Moon Machines, and this was on the US space program. We know a lot about the rockets and those types of things, but the engineering that really impressed me was pretty much three technologies. One was the space suit. You know, nobody’s ever thought of a space suit and they actually combined with textile manufacturing, I think it was Playtex bras to actually come up with a solution to keep people alive in space.
[00:04:56] The other one was . Before that we didn’t have computers , the ability to create integrated circuits sort of came out of that program. And then just general thinking about, well, how do you fold up a Lunar Rover to fit in the little side of a capsule, no bigger than five by five feet.
[00:05:12] You know, and it just astounds me that, that technology is 60 years old. It’s not that at all. and we’ve come so far. And that’s what really impresses me, the ability of people to really think outside the box when there was no solution at all, to come up with something that eventually put a man on the moon.
[00:05:28] But I think just the individual technologies and engineering themselves, a marvels in their own right. So that was really good.
[00:05:34] Dom: [00:05:34] And Adele really liked the ISS
[00:05:36] Mel: [00:05:36] so the international space station I always need to do that cause you know all these acronyms my station
[00:05:46]Adele: [00:05:46] I really, really like the international space station and how that was engineered. I as a kid, look, I love the environment, as you know, and my dad also taught me a little about space. So love, love what they’ve done with the international space station. The fact that it’s the size of a football stadium, it’s huge.
[00:06:05] It is. And the way they assembled it, I think they, they sent it up in 15 different parts and they constructed it all up in space. So, yeah,
[00:06:15] Mel: [00:06:15] now this next item is something that Dom and I have a personal attachment to in a way What’d you say that No maybe not
[00:06:24]Dom: [00:06:24] I know I do but I don’t know why
[00:06:28] Mel: [00:06:28] Well I just because we went to it just last year and you know the kids had a meltdown and it just it really did cement for me About the snowy mountain scheme Yeah just that they’ve got a really great interactive center that has been set up And if you’re down that way at all I would recommend that you go and check it out But a number of our engineers have actually this season I can’t believe how many have actually spoken about it
[00:06:53]We actually got to speak to Rosanna Mosley who was working on snowy 2.0 And that was really quite a highlight of the season.
[00:07:03]Rosie: [00:07:03] It’s very impressive. I must admit, I didn’t know that much of the details about it when I first came to Cooma and I’ve just been learning more and more and more about it. And working with Snowy Hydro learning about the operation side of it, which as a design engineer, you don’t get a lot of that and it’s a pretty impressive scheme, it’s not just the individual tunnels and the dams. It’s how it works together. It’s very intricate system and very impressive.
[00:07:27]Dom: [00:07:27] And after visiting the interactive center it really just highlights all the the marvels of engineering that went on particularly in regards to the scope and the enormity of the structure when it was first created and the tools and resources that they had when they constructed the Stony mountains Phase one was it was just amazing And it was a an amazing feat of engineering
[00:07:51] Mel: [00:07:51] And actually James Glastonbury spoke about this topic you know how amazing that initial snowy mountain scheme was. And he really did put it in to a global context for us
[00:08:03]James: [00:08:03] As a as a geotechnical engineer, it’s hard not to be intrigued by the snowy 2.0 scheme. I certainly am intregued and impressed by those pioneers that delivered the original snowy scheme.without a doubt it’s one of the feats of engineering globally, it just happens to sit on these shores. I think that for me stands out as something of a benchmark
[00:08:33]there were projects around the globe that absolutely Shifted the needle in terms of the engineering profession . You look at things like Panama canal, the snowy scheme, some of the great iconic buildings around the globe and you know through real challenge and stretch, we’ve refined and improved the art engineering along the way. and I think in that, you know challenging what you did yesterday and trying to do better tomorrow, and that might be through a really bold feat of engineering or it might just be on a fairly simple act, but you’re going to do it better than you did it yesterday. with every one of those Incremental grand improvements, we make the world a slightly better place with each and every effort. That for me is is what engineering is about
[00:09:33]Mel: [00:09:33] That wraps up our initial items and they were very popular So the snowman scheme space and bridges they were every every season they had pretty strong snowy mountains was the one that came in new this season But I have some honorable mentions here Definitely
[00:09:53]Dom: [00:09:53] I love that we had a few of that were really out there the things that we’d never think of and things that that really are marvels in regards to engineering So Tom pointed out crash test dummies
[00:10:08]Tom: [00:10:08] How I’m lucky enough to work with pieces of engineering that impressed me every day in that crash test dummies really impress me because. It’s really decades of research going into each body part to understand how it moves, how it responds to an impact, what you have to measure in that body part to related it to injury, and then understand like what level of that measurement.
[00:10:33]does an injury occur. So that’s just been decades of research in itself. And it’s often this worldwide collaboration with different labs to understand all these factors. And then at the end of it, you have to build this humanoid thing out of mechanical components to incorporate all of that information.
[00:10:53]Mel & Dom: [00:10:53] What are they like to move around? Are they
[00:10:58] the same weight as what they representing? There are dead white, too sure. Are they really cumbersome to move anywhere?
[00:11:08] Tom: [00:11:08] They are! me and the lab manager at the Road Safety Center joke that we’d be terrible, had a, moving a dead body because they’re very heavy and very cumbersome. And yeah, a dead weight is hard to maneuver. Definitely.
[00:11:24]Mel: [00:11:24] this one is definitely something that I had never even heard about before Have you heard about it
[00:11:30] Dom: [00:11:30] No actually I hadn’t heard it I I oddly enough if I had seen pictures of it but I hadn’t put two and two together
[00:11:35] Mel: [00:11:35] So Adrian Piani introduced domino to the Deatherage Wheel.
[00:11:41]Adrian: [00:11:41] the impressive engineering is something called the Deathridge wheel. Deathridge? Yes. Uh, you can Google Deathridge, uh, invented by Mr Deathridge in 1910. If you go to the irrigation areas of Australia, Mildura, Sheperton,Griffith they would have very common, they were everywhere. Basically a big wheel that was used to meter water. It’s a metal wheel with fins and it sat within a concrete emplacement and you know, the quicker it rotated. The more water went through it, and if you counted the rotations, then you got an estimate or a measurement of water flow. And so measuring the water flow, getting a measurement of water was fundamental to how we’ve managed irrigation in Australia.
[00:12:24] And it’s enabled us to do things like the Murray darling basin plan, which we couldn’t have ever done if we just didn’t do the basic thing of measuring water and why I’ve chosen this one was it was invented in 1910 we basically used it for a hundred years. It was fit for purpose. It could be tweaked and maintained in the field.
[00:12:43] Wasn’t high tech, but did its job.
[00:12:46] Mel or Dom: [00:12:46] It sits in a river and measures the flow and allows you to calculate how much water passing
[00:12:50] Adrian: [00:12:50] I’ll say it sits in a channel. A river’s too big of a structure for this poor Deathridge Wheel, but at every farmer’s fence, if you like, when the water channel came to their fence, there was this Deathridge Wheel turning. And that’s how we measured water. It was reasonably accurate.
[00:13:07] If we looked after it. and now, now it’s actually been replaced by some great Australian technology, which is really fantastic called the Rubicon, system but it’s really an automated computerized system that manages the flow of water in our irrigation channels automatically.
[00:13:23] Whereas again, for the last hundred years, we did it manually. And Australia is really the forefront of creating great technology to manage water distribution in an irrigation setting.
[00:13:33]Mel: [00:13:33] So that’s our refocus episode today on wrapping up some of the really interesting engineering items from season four.
[00:13:40]Dom: [00:13:40] We hope you enjoyed it I know that it’s always fascinating to Hear about what other engineers find inspiring and you know what feats of engineering actually drive them to create their own sort of engineering story
[00:13:56] Mel: [00:13:56] Yeah definitely And thank you for listening to engineering here as is we present the new Dawn of engineering challenges for Engineers Australia.
[00:14:03]You can view show notes or more about our podcast by visiting the website www.engineeringheroes.com.au
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[00:14:21]We look forward to you joining us next week when we bring you our last refocused episode for this season.