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The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is Marine Engineering at its best. It houses more than 4 500 crew members and weighs in at 90 000 tons. With a $13 billion price tag, it’s the most expensive and most advanced warship ever built. It certainly sets the bar extremely high.
Christened in November 2013 and scheduled to be commissioned this year, these super-carriers are expected to be in service until 2065. They are also set to replace some of the Navy’s existing Nimitz-class carriers.
Both classes have a similar-looking hull but the Ford class is miles ahead with new technical and technological innovations. Designed to improve operating efficiency and reduce operating costs, the USS Gerald R. Ford also requires fewer crew; about 600 to be more specific. It’s estimated to save $4-5 billion on operational expenditure making it extremely cost effective in comparison. Continue reading
As we approach the year end, we thought we’d take a quick look back at some of the top manufacturing and engineering news of 2015.
We started 2015 with the great news that the new Hitachi Class 800 trains were being introduced into the UK rail network with testing due to start in the spring of 2015. That wasn’t the only good news. In addition to the new stock entering the UK network the bulk of the fleet was also going to be manufactured here in the UK with a new facility being built in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. The factory which represents and £82bn investment was completed on schedule in September 2015 and has resulted in 730 new jobs in the area. Continue reading
There’s been a lot of talk in the Media about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) this week as it’s finally been agreed upon between states after a 12 year negotiation. Though the TPP does not directly affect the UK there is a similar agreement in negotiation called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which is between the US and various EU countries. These agreements are meant to encourage Free Trade and are being sold as ‘good for everyone.’ It’s very obvious that this is almost never the case in the world of business. Continue reading
A recent survey revealed that Finance Directors are more worried about the skills shortage in the UK than they are about the UK remaining in Europe. In fact, it ranked second only to concerns regarding the oil price. A worrying statement!
We ourselves have written previously about the skills shortage in engineering indicating that the practical skills needed are not being taught early enough. The misheld perception that engineering jobs are ‘dirty’ and carried out in oil covered overalls or while wearing hard hats on a building site is a perception we need to change. Schools need to open the eyes of their students to the possibilities of engineering careers out there. We also need to ensure that the practical skills that come with these jobs are taught and practiced throughout any period of education. There is little point in learning the theory of how to do something for 3 or 4 years and then not being able to apply that practically when looking for employment.
It seems, that these concerns do not only relate to engineering, but to employment as a whole in the UK. A report by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants recently stated that UK school leavers are the worst in Europe for essential skills. Whether they are leaving school at 18 or graduating later, employers state that students are lacking the skills they are looking for. It seems the most basic skills such as communication and teamwork are a struggle for many and is given as a major factor when deciding whether to employ a young person. Continue reading
It’s no secret how much engineering is worth to the UK economy. Estimates are that engineering makes up almost a quarter of UK turnover. As a percentage of UK GDP engineering grew steadily through the global financial crisis. It is clear that the UK is still an engineering powerhouse with world renowned expertise, projects and businesses.
- UK has 17% of the Global Share of Aerospace revenue
- £30.7 billion in automotive exports
- UK Engineering sector employs 5.5 million people
- Bioscience and Renewable Energy sectors on the cutting edge