Monday, March 25, 2019

Australia No Shortage of Engineers

Following on from politics of professions, and defining engineering, it should be clear that Australia does not have a shortage of engineers hindering the launch of potential mining and construction boom.

The construction is associated with the mining, it is the dependent infrastructure required by the mining activity. It includes bridges, roads and railways, and ports and harbours, and associated stormwater drainage and water resources management.There may also be need for storage and processing buildings along with offices. All established technologies with an established body of scientific knowledge concerned with planning, design, analysis, evaluation and management.

The mining is either open cut, underground. Underground mines seem to more typically have sloping access shafts than vertical shafts. The sloping shafts make it viable for vehicles to access the mine: thus trucks can be loaded in the mine. The alternative is a need for rail carts to be loaded or vertically raised skips. When these get to the surface they have to be unloaded, possibly onto belt conveyors and transferred to storage or loaded onto road vehicles for transport elsewhere. Thus extra handling compared to loading road vehicles in the mine. Though not all mines suitable for sloping access shafts. Any case the point is relatively ancient and established set of technologies, no "engineering" required.

Now it has been indicated in recent article I read, that there is increased use of the industrial internet of things (IIoT). New technology maybe, but not exactly as demanding as programming CNC machines, or programming PLC's. It is mostly plug and play technology, hooked up to the internet and controlled by software as a service. And it's not really new as sensors were added to remote belt conveyors some 20 years ago to monitor wear. Whilst factories, industrial plant and mechanical handling systems have been getting increasingly automated for decades. So once again no "engineering".

Just to be clear: Engineering takes place at the frontiers of science and technology.

Roads, Railways and Traffic Controls

Who as a member of the public believes it takes 4 years to learn how to design a road properly? If it takes 4 years to learn how to design a road, would you expect your local streets and roads to be the hazard they are?

Hopefully you agree it doesn't take 4 years, and if they do take 4 years then the roads should be better designed than they are. It does not take four years to learn the technical aspects of road design, the social, cultural, political and psychological aspects of road design may require further study but such are not covered. Since these latter subjects are not covered we have hazardous road network. In the current discussion however not concerned with demolishing the existing network and improving the network, just concerned with getting more of what we already have. Furthermore the roads concerned with are remote area roads, with heavy vehicular traffic and few users. Roads which once the resource is mined out will likely cease to be of any value.

Sure there are some roads in populated areas in the vicinity of ports and harbours. These roads may need widening to allow increased traffic flows, they may also need strengthening to carry higher loads. There will also be a need for modification and improvement to traffic control systems.

There will be need to assess the relative merits of road transport over rail transport. Railway locomotives can typically haul longer trains with heavier loads. Not aware of 1 km long road train. Once again road and railway technologies are established technologies with no need for "engineering".

For certain there is need for project specific drawings to be produced, and there are the so called "numbers" which need doing. But we as a society know what numbers, need doing. We don't have to survey learned journals to find new scientific theory, we don't have to devise a scientific hypothesis and conduct experiments to verify. The theory is established, and how it shall be applied to the established technologies is also established. Just have to look in the appropriate industry manuals, review regulations, and national codes of practice.

The people required are technicians, people conversant with the relevant tools and techniques for designing, analysing and evaluating proposed adaptations and implementations of the established technologies. If you don't like the generic meaning of technician, and prefer occupational classifications and refinement of words: then the people we need are Technologists, Associate Technologists, and Applied Scientists, Design Technicians and Trade Technicians, absolutely NOT Engineers.

Sure an engineer maybe able to do the job, but to be able to do so, they need a large amount of on the job training to become conversant with the established technology for which they will be held responsible. The point and purpose of educating and training the other occupations is that they are already conversant with the technology and how the science shall be applied to the design of such technology. Their education is not inferior to that of engineers, it is different, and better matched to the task at hand.

To reiterate my other essays. The 4 year B.Eng (AQF-8) typically consists of a common first year concerned with science and mathematics, leaving 3 years to cover some 2 to 5 major areas of practice. So that is 3/5ths to 1.5 years to cover each area of practice. So a programme in a specific area of practice can be designed to be a 2 year (AQF-6) or 3 years (AQF-7) programme. Such programmes if anything being superior to the 4 year B.Eng, because they provide greater coverage of the area of practice, more knowledge of the specific technologies. With all programmes having the same first year, an AQF-5 qualification in science and mathematics. Having the same foundation, it becomes easier to articulate to another area of practice.

Back to the roads and railways, these ribbons of impermeable surface pose a stormwater management problem. On the one hand stormwater needs to be managed around the roads and railways to prevent from getting inundated with water, which will hinder vehicle movement. On the other hand the road surface drains water to places it didn't previously flow.

So there are earthworks to be designed and managed during construction. There are materials to be provided to remote regions as well as people required for all the work: there are thus logistics problems to be solved. In a consulting organisation most of these tasks are carried out by different people, not by one person, but by teams of people. That is after graduation, someone with a B.Eng gets locked into a specific area of practice and specialises, and are typically hindered from moving to another area of practice: so a large part of their degree ceases to be of value. So industry not willing to retrain them in another area of practice and technology, and lack of appropriate study and qualification programmes to extend their knowledge themselves.

Thus there will be specialists in:

  1. Roads
  2. Railways
  3. Traffic Management and Controls
  4. Stormwater Drainage
  5. Earthworks & Geotechnology
  6. Bridges
  7. Construction
  8. Logistics
All of which are established areas of technology, with established bodies of science. For all of which it should be possible to design a 2 year programme to educate and train a suitably qualified Associate Technologist. This isn't entirely new, Australia's Engineering Associates were already so capable, until the 1980's, when Engineers Australia elitist objectives scuttled them. If really want an "engineer" to be in charge, then we have enough available already: as the majority are not doing anything remotely worthy of the description engineering.


With appropriate AQF-5 qualification in science and mathematics, the capabilities of many drafters, planners and other technical officers can be increased. With AQF-6 qualifications in specific areas of practice and technologies, then the capabilities of many practicing engineers can be improved, whilst an army of people with appropriate skills can be educated in the first instance. Those with the B.Eng will be able to fast track through the AQF-6 programmes as they will only need to study the those subjects extending the area of practice and covering the specific technology. Those with the AQF-5 will only require one year of extra study to articulate to a specific area of practice.

Consideration of Required Numbers

I have previously suggested the world land area be divided into cells 5 km in diameter, of which I get 7,585,452 such cells. The world population is approximately 7.53 billion, so would get around 993 persons per cell. {Though when looking at in detail cells should be hexagonal not circular}

For Australia there are 391,752 cells, most of these cells are not populated, but at least one park ranger and/or environmental scientist could be appointed to each cell. With population of 24,234,900 people, we could assign 62 people per cell.

I believe membership of Engineers Australia is around 100,000 members, and top heavy, biased towards B.Eng. I also believe it only represents about 30% of those who graduated in engineering. So there seems potential to appoint one civil engineer to each cell. On the other hand there is probably less than one third of the cells requiring any significant development over the period of 40 to 50 year career. Whilst the hub of a city may require more than one technical specialist, it does require not more than one engineer.

By comparison compare India: 167,419 cells, and population of 1,409,517,397, enabling 8,419 persons assigned to each cell. Plus it reportedly graduates 1 million engineers each year, so it definitely has the potential to assign 1 civil engineer to each cell in India and for that matter also each cell in Australia.

These people however don't need to be engineers, and need to work as part of a team. There appears to be around 2.8 million people between the age of 15 and 24 in Australia. So around 13.7% should  be studying:
  1. Surveying
  2. Cartography
  3. Environmental Science
  4. Agricultural Science
  5. Geotech
  6. Civil Infrastructure
Not sure how current system works. But those in grade 12 used to study either all arts and humanities subjects with one science subject, or all science subjects with one arts and humanities subject. My arts and humanities subject was geography, my science subjects were: maths 1&2 (otherwise known as double maths), physics and chemistry.

So my proposed AQF-5 would expand on grade 12 science and mathematics in one year, then a further year to AQF-6, would have people capable of contributing to the above areas of practice. Furthermore, such AQF-6 level academic programmes are also more appropriate to foreign students who are supported by their respective governments to go get an education and return to help develop the nation. 

Getting Side Tracked with Other Issues

Mapping and charting the continent of Australia and its resources: sure we have such data already, but individual development projects require more detailed information. Development requires identifying location for new roads and railways, water catchments and flood mitigation technologies, along with farming and mining activities. The whole environment needs zoning and developing accordingly. For example why has agriculture been permitted to go beyond the Goyder line and become dependent on pumped irrigation? How do we sustain food production dependent on fossil fuels, both for fuel and feedstock for agrochemicals? Choices of individuals in the market does not lead to collectively sensible behaviour. Rather the results are not in the best interests of the population at large nor are they ultimately of benefit to the individual.

We have land, coastline and coastal waters to both manage, develop and otherwise look after.

Note that I didn't include mining in the list. This is because the priorty is to identify resources and zone the environment. Then get infrastructure to access the regions for agriculture and mining. For example passenger trains travelling at 200 km/h to 300 km/h are important to getting people to the remote interior. Whilst civil aircraft may have cruise speeds from 300 km/h to 900 km/h, it is railways and roads which open up the country not isolated airports. Australia can basically be enveloped by a rectangle E/W: 4000 km by N/S: 3860 km (includes Tasmania). So the interior is around 2000 km from the coast line. Typical rural road speed 100 km/h, so the interior is around 20 hours away. By rail, at 200 km/h it is reduced to 10 hours, and air at 900 km/h down to 2.2 hours. However we are not typically travelling that far into the interior for farming and mining, a lot closer to 500 km to 1000 km from the coast. Whilst the remote central interior is 500 km to 1000 km radius of Alice Springs.

Put simply to make it more attractive for people to work in the remote mining and rural tends we have to make them less remote: by developing the infrastructure which connects them to the more populated coastal regions: and they have to be connected, so that goods can be delivered from these regions to the coastal regions. Once we have supportive infrastructure in place, secured our water supply and food production, then we can consider new mines and expanding existing.

We already have 1,687,893 people educated to AQF-5 and AQF-6, and 2,882,838 people educated to AQF-7. The primary problem is they don't have the necessary experience and expertise in the established technologies. With 1,675,632 people in engineering and related technologies, and 634,774 in architecture and building, and 222,831 people in Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies.

So it seems if anything there is a shortage of people in agriculture. Farmers have been advising there is a shortage and a lack of interest, with concerns where the next generation of farmers will come from. The problem with farming is that it is now mostly a one person activity, with lots of machinery. So assuming a 40 to 50 year career, the next generation have a long time to wait, for their parents to retire. They want jobs now, and the lifestyle the big cities promise. Hence the largest area being Management and Commerce with 2,149,808 persons.

Though statistics outside of education, indicate the largest areas of employment are: education, health care and retail. Mining and agricultural collectively account for less than 5% of the population. However these industries have flow on effects, as in mining needs infrastructure so there's a flow on construction boom. Whilst mining and agricultural materials need processing, so there's a potential increase in local manufacturing.

Any how, we may have a small population, and if they were busy doing the right work, there wouldn't be any shortages of people. The apparent shortfall of people in agriculture just means that there are fewer people looking after the potential tracts of land, plus the populated coastal cells more in need of architects and civil "engineers" than agriculture and environmental science: thus no shortfall.

If we were to increase the workforce by 1 million people we could assign at least two people to each of the planning cells. That is one environmental scientist, and either a agricultural "engineer", a mining "engineer", or a civil "engineer". That is we could employ one years production of engineers from India. But what we going to get them to do?

Got a block of land 5 km in diameter in the middle of nowhere and in less than one year of surveying to identify its of no consequence, and just needs a park ranger assigned responsibility.

Have a block of land in the middle of a cattle or sheep station. Is it a matter for environmental science or agricultural science? Once all the land is zoned, it then primarily becomes the responsibility for park rangers, and environmental scientists.

Our coastal waters are the responsibility of environmental scientists and civil/coastal "engineers". Our farm land the responsibility of environmental scientists, agricultural scientists along with agricultural "engineers". Our mining lands the responsibility of environmental scientists, and mining "engineers". We operate in the natural environment, we draw resources from the environment, we exhaust waste to the environment. We need to understand and monitor the environment. First and foremost we need an army of environmental technicians and scientists.

These people will either hinder development of land for: farming, mining, cities and industrial plant, or they will significantly boost the ability to implement. At present there is public opposition to increased mining, wind farms and various farming operations. It isn't decreased monitoring activity we need it is increased activity which is required.

For example we have protests which suggest we should stop mining coal. This is naive and suggests we only use coal as a fossil fuel. Coal however is an important source of carbon (not an abbreviation for carbon dioxide) based materials. Similarly oil and gas are also feedstock for material production including agrichemicals. So we cannot just stop the mining, we still need the raw materials. Amongst the raw materials are polymers used for insulation, required for energy efficient buildings. We have to better understand the industrial food chain, not simply halt production.

We need better monitoring of our rivers and the use of water for irrigation, and better stormwater management and water resource management. Much of the work required could be provided by Certificate IV (AQF-4) qualifications. Some monitoring could be provided by appropriate sensors and the industrial internet of things (IIoT): but such need installing under the supervision and operating by some one at least at AQF-4 level. The IIoT reduces the number of people required to run around taking remote measurements.

So remote cells can be monitored by remote controlled cameras atop tall towers, alternatively remote controlled flying drones can provide the means of monitoring. The land becomes occupied and under surveillance. One person could then potentially survey more than one cell in a day, or if not necessary to survey each day, they can survey several cells each year: and then cycle round again each year.

We have the population to occupy and survey the land. More to the point there are 798,400 Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander, so they can occupy the land with at least two people per cell.

Whilst there are 673,100 unemployed persons, who can occupy the land with at least one person to each cell, with two to some cells. Assuming these people want to work, then we have the required army to train to Certificate IV (AQF-4) and Associate Degree (AQF-6) level. So why haven't we? Partly because wasting national resources educating people, supposedly to AQF-8  over 4 years, and then scrapping half that education once they have found employment. Better to spend 2 years educating people to AQF-6 in the areas of practice we actually need skills. In 12 months we have planners, drafters and trade technicians. In 2 years we have the designers we need.

It should also be noted that whilst some of the AQF-4 qualifications take 4 years, these programmes are outside the classroom and on the job doing work. It isn't 4 years of academic study, it is mostly on the job training, developing proficiency in the work. So we can get the trades people for getting on with the work in short time. The people required to supervise takes slightly longer, and the people required to determine the work which needs doing, will take longer still, but should not take more than 2 years.

Now the cells are just for a planning exercise: to declare the land can be occupied and that at least one person is responsible for each block of land. I can however plan a square kilometre with a 500 x 500 m hub, to have more than 5000 single storey sole occupancy units. The maximum densities so far recorded around the world are 100,000 people for each square kilometre. These people are clearly not mining or farming as they are not occupying suitable land. And as they are already occupying buildings they don't need buildings.

Given 5000 single storey dwellings are suitable for couples with a baby, and extending the dwelling to two storey would make suitable for 2 adults and 2 children, and so increase population to 20,000. It seems relatively easy to increase the population to 100,000 by increasing the buildings to 10 storeys (5x2). But what are the 100,000 going to do with their time? What are they doing? Focused on education, health care and retail doesn't seem very productive. But if we do have such educational capability, then we definitely shouldn't and wouldn't have a shortage of suitably qualified persons.

Now whilst we can increase the population density of our cities who would want to live in such cities? More importantly from where do we get the water supply, we already have water rationing. So we have more work to do before we go increasing the population to get more workers to do the work.

The fundamental task is to maximise the benefit from the available but otherwise limited resources. The people we have in charge don't appear to have such ability.

So the numbers are available. We, just couldn't manage a booze up in a brewery.

Anyway the point is that a single agricultural or civil "engineer" should be able to develop a cell 5 km in diameter over a 40 year career. If we want it developed faster then we need more than one "engineer" involved with planning and design.

Just to note that is 5000 single storey or 10 storey dwellings designed once, and implemented 5000 times. Our building and construction industry in South Australia, oscillates between 5000 and 15,000 dwellings each year. So it would take less than one year to build a town. Does a mining town need more than 5,000 people or 100,000 people? Roxby Downs population 4500, Broken Hill population 17,814. Or take Leigh Creek (SA) population reduced from 2500 to 245. Mining towns are short lived. Some are unlikely to last for more than one generation: children are unlikely to follow in their parents footsteps and go work for the mining company.

Humans have legs, they are meant to be mobile. So not just about mobility across occupations it is also mobility across the planet. No one wants to buy a house in a place it will get abandoned, and no one else will want to buy. The houses cannot be permanently anchored to the earth's surface, the houses need to be transportable. So the road network as to permit transport of houses into the region and out off the region. So people are mostly going to want to live close to the developing cities, and the services they offer. Thus it is important to improve transportation infrastructure between the coastal cities and the interior rural and mining towns. If want to get people to live and work there, and do so for a reasonable duration, then access needs to improve. The towns need an adequate supply line bringing goods into town. Then they need personnel to provide all the appropriate services.

Also say it takes a team of about 5 people 90 days to build a house, then in 1 year they can build 365/90= 4 houses. So 5000/4 = 1250 years, or over a 50 year career, 50x4=200 houses. But want the houses built in 1 year, so need 5 people/team x 1250 teams=6,250 people. Thus needs more people than in the town. On the other hand in the detail the 5 people are not working continuously for 90 days. The plumber and electrician certainly aren't, they contribute at most about 2 days each. So they can each do 365/2=182.5 houses each year. So 5000/182.5=27.3, so would need about 28 plumbers and 28 electricians. For one years worth of work and then stop. If we shift the work into a factory we cut down on travel between sites, and the work can be reduced to a few hours. In short if we build a temporary factory at the destination, then the 5000 people are more than enough people to build their own houses in one year. The trip from factory to site also reduced. So trucks supply materials to the one factory rather than multiple sites.

Apparently in Australia there are approximately 105,000 homeless people. Thus 105,000/5000, so around 21 small towns, which if they are provided with resources and opportunity they can build themselves in one year. The 500m x 500m hub of the town I described is where retail stores and services are located. So the town would have own schools and hospital.

The most likely system implemented though is multistorey building, or infill housing, making use of existing stores, maintaining if not increasing unemployment.

There is a problem concerning getting the job done, and dragging the job out because don't have other work to go to. But there is plenty of work to do, obviously because they are declaring occupational shortages. More work just requires imagination, backed by resources and opportunities.

Most of the problems in this country and the world can be solved if we just got to work implementing the known solutions. Apparently 150 million world wide homeless, and 1.6 billion lacking adequate housing. So governments need to provide license to occupy and use land, and the resources and opportunity, and all can build their own homes. Furthermore the problem of shelter resolved in one year: technically. Socially and politically is another issue.

I mean what's the problem with implementing the millennium development goals in one year, of 7.53 billion only 1.6 billion people need shelter and there is enough for them to set about building their own homes. It's not even as if the development goals were about eliminating problems, they were half baked. Even the new sustainable development goals are half baked. Like end extreme global poverty by 2030. First redefine extreme poverty, so there isn't much of it, so it is then easy to eliminate over an excessively long period.

The primary problem is logistics, getting goods and services to and from the locations. Developing supply and distribution networks. How do we mobilise the world population and get them going to where the work is?

How many plumbers does Africa need? I have already indicated requirement to get houses built. But once the houses are built how many need to be retained? One rough statistic is in any given year around 5% of households will need some kind of maintenance service. So 5% of the 5000, so that is 250 each year. Most of the activity will take less than one day. Assume 50 productive weeks in one year, and 5 days per week, then have 250 productive days per year. So one plumber for every 5000 dwellings on condition that all demands do not occur on the same day. The more plumbers we have to cater for the multiple emergencies in the one day, and the less work any individual plumber does in a given year.

So with less guess work and more robust data sources than I have, it should be possible to map out a good estimate of how many plumbers the world needs and where they need be located, and do likewise for other occupations. There is no shortage of people. Though they may need training, such training should not take long.


Related Posts

Revisions:
[25/03/2019] : Original
[05/05/2019] : Minor Edits and Added Formatting

Saturday, March 09, 2019

So where does my Irritation with Engineers Stem From?

My irritation with, "what is and is not engineering", stems from the viewpoints held by organisations like Engineers Australia, and the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO), and legislation such as they have in the USA, and legislation in Australia currently limited to the states of Queensland and Victoria.

Engineers Australia (EA) is the full trading company, of the institution of engineers Australia (IEAust). I never really considered the IEAust to be much of a learned society, it is not guardian of a body of knowledge and it doesn't actively share and disseminate  knowledge, to raise understanding or spread awareness. Most especially it does not provide any forum in which deficiencies in practice can be highlighted and fixed. Published information is important as a common point of reference.

Anycase in the late eighties and early nineties I mistakenly believed it was moving in the right direction and Australia's technical workforce would be strengthened. First it absorbed the institution of engineering associates. I believed this was a good thing and that knowledge would be better shared and it would reduce repetition of public information programmes.

However I later read an article which indicated that the reason the institute of engineering associate's was absorbed, was to deliberately dismantle an occupation. It has to do with Australia's industrial relations system, the ACTU and TLC's, and industrial awards. One of the primary awards prior to the modern award system, was the metal industry award. This started with unskilled labour, moved up through trades people, technicians, engineering associates, scientists and engineers. The award defines wages and working conditions. So irrespective of the business and its needs, an engineer gets paid more than a tradesperson, and more than an engineering associate.

An engineer has a 4 year bachelor degree (B.Eng), whilst an engineering associate had a 2 year Associate Diploma. Associate Diploma's were typically associated with educational institutions which did not have the required charter to issue bachelor degrees and therefore issued 3 year Diploma's. The associate diploma's were thus shorter than the diploma's. When the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) was brought in, the meaning of diploma was messed up: as a diploma is now around 1 year duration and an advanced diploma 2 to 2.5 years duration.

An engineering associate could do a lot of technical work based on first principles, no need for fancy software: more importantly such software didn't exist in any case. However duration doesn't define capability, content does. There were many associate diploma's some in engineering and some in drafting. The ones in engineering define an engineering associate those in drafting should not. However, to some extent it benefited EA to deliberately confuse the two qualifications, as its only concern was the 4 year B.Eng. Thus members of EA complained that engineering associates shouldn't be amongst their ranks, that drafters shouldn't be amongst their ranks: that it was an institution of engineers and no other occupation. Its membership also confusing the function of the IEAust with that of the labour union APESMA (or whatever name it had at the time and has now).

The result was that the academic programmes of engineering associates were watered down, and design-drafters added to the ranks of engineering associates, compounding the MIEAust/FIEAust view that drafters shouldn't be amongst the EA membership. Then EA signed the WFEO Dublin accord equating the engineering associates to technicians. As indicated above the industrial awards placed engineering associates above technicians: so the Dublin accord is disrespectful and insulting.

Now the MIEAust/FIEAust seem to spend a considerable amount of time complaining that train drivers and plumbers are not engineers. But thus far they have only been able to define that an engineer has a 4 year B.Eng and basically anything they do is considered engineering. Such is both a poor and unacceptable definition.

Also unions have tended to hold the view that potential is more important than actual contribution. So if job can be done by an engineering associate but occuptant has the B.Eng, then should be called engineer and paid at level of an engineer: even if the occupant is a dullard who is never going to contribute anything of higher value. Education is based more on ticket to high paid employment not actual interest. Therefore if can push the engineering associates out, it then becomes possible to raise the pay for the job, by redefining as the work of an engineer.

The governments clever country programme mostly based on increasing number of people with bachelor degrees, not increasing number of clever people. So give rise to professional cults built around bachelor degrees.

However, the AQF is about increasing occupational mobility, both sideways and upwards. Moving from one level to the next should represent an increase in depth of knowledge, increase in independent thought, and increase in personal responsibility. Whilst different awards increase breadth of knowledge. Clearly there are many different jobs which are dependent on knowledge in science and mathematics, so where is the common base qualification in such subjects?

Now I have never considered modern engineers to be anything more than technicians, low level industrial mathematicians. It is relatively clear from the built environment and the technology which surrounds us, that the knowledge and skills of engineers is inadequate. Engineers Australia and other organisations argue about such inadequacy of the education, but are unwilling to add extra content and increase the duration, or expand content and maintain duration of the programme by reducing coverage of each topic.

In Australia the typical bachelor degree is 3 years duration, and an honours degree typically adds an extra year. In the past an honours degree was minimum requirement to start a masters degree. The B.Eng is 4 years duration and therefore it has been equated to an honours degree (AQF-8), but it isn't anywhere near the equivalent to an honours degree. Occupational degrees are inflated with industrial experience, and project work: content which is not academic and has no real place in a degree.

Sure for years there were complaints and there still are complaints that education is inadequately linked to needs of industry, however industrial experience doesn't fix this issue.

The issue is STEM. Forget about STEAM and arguing about adding the "A", we need to drop the "E". Science and Mathematics are the tools used to plan, design, analyse, evaluate and manage technology. It is the technology which people need to be conversant with. A B.Eng doesn't provide adequate knowledge about the technology.

We create legislation to protect the public. The intention of the legislation is to ensure new implementations of established technologies achieve expected levels of performance. People who are not adequately conversant with the technology cannot possibly achieve such objective. Thus legislation based on the B.Eng grants the wrong people a monopoly.

But this does not matter to Engineers Australia and the over all politics of the situation.

Following the clever country programme, go produce more people with bachelor degrees, fast track these people to some higher status indicating they have appropriate work experience doing something which is being called engineering. This higher status is indicated by MIEAust CP.Eng NER. Having gained high numbers of these people, can argue that creating legislation won't create a shortage. However, a shortage is exactly what they want. They believe their wages are not high enough, that their importance is undervalued by society. They want to charge higher fees, and a monopoly will grant them the potential to hold the population to ransom.

An engineering associate who represents a substitute product is a threat, whilst an engineering associate who represents a complementary product to the engineer is not altogether required.

So taking that a B.Eng is an inadequate qualification, that B.Eng MIEAust is slightly better, and that B.Eng CP.Eng is still better, but all are incompetent to some extent, does it matter? The answer is no, it works in EA's favour. Clearly if a B.Eng CP.Eng cannot get it right, then need to further expand their education, and training, and make the selection criteria more rigorous. So had the numbers to get the legislation passed. Once the legislation is in place, and clearly the people on the register are not competent enough, then start to increase the rigour of the assessment, people are dropped from the register, and fewer people get on the register in the first place. A shortage arises, and fees start to increase: objective achieved.

But we already have experienced the situation of failure of several proclaimed potential mining and construction booms due to a proclaimed shortage of engineers. This has then resulted in exploitation of foreign workers and visa requirements. It takes time to become conversant with our industrial relations system, and realise that membership of EA is voluntary. Basically the visas expire, the workers are expelled, and another batch are brought in: when they should be granted permanent residency and continue with the job. Given that construction comprises of short term intermittent contracts it is difficult to monitor.

But a lot of this work doesn't require the 4 year B.Eng, and it didn't in the past. This is workplace politics not efficient design of jobs and workplaces.

The Associate Technologist

This is where my concept of the associate technologist comes into play. Accepting that engineering is that work done by persons with 4 year B.Eng, then modern industrial society has little need for engineering and little need for these engineer things {a manufactured product thrown of an educational assembly line}.

Nor does society have much need for the 3 year B.Tech. Most of the work can be done by persons with a 2 year Associate Degree (not the advanced diploma).

It is not the 4 years which is important, it is the subject matter which is important, and the perspective taken on the subject matter. A learned society needs people with a common educational base, so that communications, and publications can be written assuming such foundational knowledge and understanding.

So most 4 year B.Eng programmes now have a common first year. To reinforce the AQF, the occupational groups of: Associate technologists, technologists and engineer should all have the same common first year. The common first year will be an AQF-5 (diploma) in technical science and mathematics. Whilst WFEO technicians will have a 2 year Advanced Diploma (AQF-6), and pursue a different perspective: their first year will not be common with the other occupational groups.

As I have mentioned before the 4 year B.Eng contains breadth, it does not contain any dependent subject strands 4 years in length: it is basically an optimised bundle of AQF-6 qualifications. The breadth tends to comprise at most 5 areas of practice. So that is 3 years to cover five subjects, or 3/5ths of a year for each subject. Even if the breadth is reduced, it rarely is a single subject, so consider at least 2 subjects, so 3/2 or 1.5 years per subject. So a full programme in a given area of practice is 1 and 3/5ths of a year to 2.5 years. In either case more subject matter in the given area of practice can be included, to more thoroughly cover that which would otherwise be learnt on the job. (I am not impressed by M.Eng qualifications in structural engineering, which merely cover national codes of practice. Such are rubbish and unworthy of masters description. Such nonsense should be stopped)

Given programmes ranging from 2 to 3 years for specific areas of practice, would expect that the graduate associate technologists and technologists have greater knowledge than graduate engineers, and are far better suited for the task at hand than the graduate engineers.

I would then expect that, the dud invention, which is the 4 year B.Eng will expire and cease to be. Whilst the 3 year degree becomes the entry requirement for a 2 years masters degree through study: bringing total duration to 5 years. However, I don't believe there is adequate subject matter for depth to extend to 5 years through study. Whilst research degrees tend to be little different than, getting on with the everyday job of design and analysis. Put another way, why pay to get a masters degree when doing little different than would be paid for in the workplace. So the validity of masters degrees needs to be investigated.

Further to this is the government should provide greatest support for AQF levels 6 and down, whilst reducing support for levels 7 and above. I suggest that first priorty should be to create an army of people qualified at AQF-6, and then take the top 20% and encourage them to pursue AQF-7 and higher.

To which end I also suggest that it should not be possible to go from school to university, or at least not start on a qualification above AQF-5. Any programme longer than 1 year duration should be broken down into shorter qualifications. So further contributing to the demise of the 4 year B.Eng (AQF-8): the first year becomes a Diploma (AQF-5), the second year an Associate Degree (AQF-6), the third year a B.Tech or B.Sc (AQF-7), and the 4th year a graduate diploma (AQF-8), and the fifth year a masters (M.Tech, M.Eng, MEngSc).

And no one does engineering, and if we need to legislate we legislate planning, design, analysis, evaluation and management and do so with clearly defined areas of practice. We do not and should not allow the emergence of professional cults, and should not allow such cults to pursue objectives directed at holding us to ransom. We have enough problems with health care, we don't want to create other areas where more efficient systems cannot be implemented because a professional cults interests take priority over actual needs of society.

-o0o-

If the advanced diploma's will take a different path than the associate degree, there will be no common first year, though there will be common subjects. Basically subject matter which is irrelevant to the area of practice is eliminated from the advanced diploma program. Therefore less mathematics and less general science in the first year. The programmes will contain more qualitative coverage of subject matter and more practice work. Whilst two years in duration there will also be less depth covered. In short they will have the knowledge necessary to cover the majority of projects (eg. 80%).

They will be granted status to complete the AQF-5 in technical science and mathematics, and also the associate degree (AQF-6). Such study programme should require no more than 1 year to complete.

The advanced diploma will meet the requirements for WFEO (Dublin Accord) Technician. The Associate Degree will meet the requirements for Associate Technologist, more closely related to Australia's traditional engineering associates but better.

The Associate Technologists would achieve the educational requirements of the WFEO (Washington Accord), by completing associate degrees in 5 areas of practice, which given the common first year AQF-5 in technical science and mathematics, means 1 additional year of study for each area of practice: bringing the total study time to 6 years and surpassing the WFEO 4 year requirement: as will now contain far more content in each area of practice.

There will be few masters to specialise, as such specialisation will be covered by completing AQF-7 award (B.Sc, B.Tech) in the single area of practice, such as structures.

Occupational inflation of qualifications shall be halted. All academic programmes will be reviewed for division of breadth, and compression of depth into the minimum number of years. Breadth is permitted only to the extent, where two or more subjects branch into a higher level subject. For example mathematics and physics branch into engineering mechanics, which then flows onto mechanics of materials. But most of physics is irrelevant to engineering mechanics, therefore the dependent physics can be kept to a minimum. Furthermore both engineering mechanics and mechanics of materials could be covered in 1 year, instead of being spread over 2 years: but to do so would require eliminating breadth of subject matter from the year.

The point is we need people with B.Sc Applied Mechanics as much as we need people with B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering. The former has depth of knowledge whilst the latter has breadth. Mechanics should be taught by someone with the degree in applied mechanics not mechanical engineering. In terms of current qualifications therefore expect someone with B.Eng to get a B.Sc in a specialist subject area before permitted to teach that subject at bachelor degree level: they will also require qualifications in teaching. Though they can use B.Eng (AQF-8) to teach at AQF level 6.

When everyone matriculates then its value diminishes, but still everyone who is able should matriculate. A nation's priority should be to educate the people it needs to sustain its society and it should not kowtow to the wants and whims of professional cults. If a job cannot be performed by someone educated at AQF-6 then that job needs looking into in detail. Chances are it may require more than one AQF-6 qualification, but more likely it requires one AQF-6 qualification and additional AQF-5 qualifications.

Current Education

If think this does not apply to your profession, think again: it shall be applied across the board no exceptions. So includes medical doctors and lawyers amongst others. Traditional degree for doctor in some countries is: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery. Or there is the University of Sydney double degree: Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine.

Also note how concurrent double degrees currently can be studied in less time than the time normally required for both degrees. For example double degrees in law at Adelaide University: example given is Bachelor of Arts (three years) and Bachelor of Laws (four years) can be completed in five years if studied concurrently. whilst the duration of the law degree itself varies as follows: if you are a graduate, the duration of the program is three years full-time (or equivalent) as opposed to four years for non-graduates. Similarly get double degree: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)(Mechanical) with Bachelor of Science, and complete in 5 years compared to (4+3)= 7 years. Or Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)(Mining) with Bachelor of Science, once again in 5 years. Such programs have the potential to increase both breadth and depth.

If can do this at the bachelor degree level (AQF-7), then can equally well do this at the level of AQF-6. For certain in terms of status people want the bachelor degrees. However in terms of creating a flexible and mobile workforce AQF-6 and lower are more useful.

For example mechatronics can be defined in terms of AQF-6 qualifications in mechanical and electronic technologies. Since such technologies likely employed in a manufacturing environment then additional qualifications in planning and management would be useful. Given work also typically done under contract, qualifications in contract and commercial law also useful.

If consider a 40 to 50 year career and need for continuing professional development, and consider that part time course typically takes double time of full time. Then a 2 year programme will take 4 years part time. A person can study part time and work full time, so that is 10 to 12.5 study programmes over a career. Basically enrol in an educational institution and remain for life.

So basically everyone has potential to complete AQF-5 or AQF-6 in:
  1. Science & Mathematics
  2. Design & Technology
  3. Graphic Arts & Fine Arts
  4. Arts & Humanities
  5. Business & Management
  6. Political Science & Law
  7. Health & Medicine
  8. Teaching & Education
They can also complete many qualifications in trade and crafts at AQF-4 and below.

Consider everyone attending an educational institution and becoming a part of a great repository of all human knowledge. Contrast with our ancient past and everyone attending their local village church. The capacity of the population to judge will be considerably enhanced. Public spending will require more rigorous assessment, as will infrastructure and mining projects.

Now whilst the focus is AQF-6 it doesn't mean that AQF-7 will disappear, rather it will mean that AQF-7 qualifications will have the depth they are meant to have, and people will have increased potential to pursue the most appropriate AQF-7 qualification. The multiple AQF-6 qualifications will give them breadth, and provide foundation for deciding higher level of study. Furthermore we can mandate that requirement for AQF-7 is at least two independent AQF-6 awards (eg. arts and science).

So no token generalist subjects thrown into the degrees, rather demand greater breadth in the first place. Not sure if still holds, but at one point the universities threw mandatory second language into the generalist subjects in engineering degrees. Not altogether necessary as typical student would have previously spent 2 years at school studying a second language, and really needed to build on that to attain a level of conversational fluency. However such is of secondary importance to the primary area of study. Therefore it is better to leave out and place in additional award.

So the engineering institutions/organisations are considering increasing qualification requirement to masters degree (M.Eng), but cannot get agreement from membership. Engineers are criticised for not having appropriate breadth of knowledge regarding technology, history, culture and society. Engineers also criticised for not designing systems which have adequate fitness-for-function.

Continuing education and AQF-6 qualifications assist to resolve these issues. The AQF-6 qualification makes them more competent in the specifics of an area of practice and associated technologies. The AQF-6 qualifications also give them greater breadth of knowledge to better understand the impact of technology.

We can then identify MIEAust as a qualification, rather than post nominal detritus. It becomes a qualification because neither B.Eng nor M.Eng will be good enough to get such qualification: such qualifications lack both required depth and breadth. Depth is lacking with respect to a given technological system, and breadth is lacking regarding that which is beyond technology.

Thus with new era will require something along the lines of:

  1. AQF-7 Science & Mathematics
  2. AQF-6 Design & Technology
  3. AQF-5 Arts & Humanities (geography, history)
  4. AQF-5 Business & Management (supervision, planning)
  5. AQF-5 Political Science & Law
  6. AQF-5 Teaching & Education (training, mentoring)

So that's a total of (3+2+1+1+1+1)=9 years full time. Assuming first 5 years are before start work, that leaves 4 years full time, or 8 years part time. So no one will become qualified until have at least 8 years of experience. Or assuming they start work after get AQF-6, then have 7 years of full time study to complete, taking 14 years part-time. Therefore set minimum experience at 14 years, they start out as GradAIEAust (irrespective of education), then become AMIEAust, and progress through TMIEAust, then ultimately MIEAust. (NB: The problem we currently have is jumping to MIEAust CP.Eng far too quickly)

The objective should be to get people into the workplace as quickly as possible doing  the work which needs doing: but not giving them undue status and prestige beyond their capabilities and contribution.

Female Participation

As for increasing female participation. Well a 1 year AQF-5 in technical science and mathematics provides potential and opportunity to pursue multitude of related occupations. also more people are required to draw, plan, and make than are required to crunch numbers (and a brainless unimaginative block of silicon can crunch numbers, so not a particularly desirable skill.). Easier to displace drafters and line supervisors than the trades. A design office should have more drafters in it than engineers. Drafters can be employed on contract on an as needs basis. Getting some 50% of drafters to be female, could probably be done in 2 years: train them this year, employ them next year. However, these drafters are not there to stay as drafters, they are studying part time to become "engineers". They have their foot in the door and are gaining experience, and each day they put a little bit more of their continuing education to use.

Also to be noted, is that as drafters retire or drop out of the workforce for other reasons, they basically get replaced by anyone near suitably qualified. For example studied mechanical get employed in structural or doing civil drawings. Studied civil get to do mechanical. As a drafter your task is to communicate information, not to design or solve problems, therefore working under the supervision of the engineer/designer. If you demonstrate the skills to jump ahead and act as design-drafter, then management will want to keep you around. If need constant supervision and drafting presentation needs constant correcting then your presence not important. In short drafters get replaced by design-drafters, and in turn by engineering associates. For small projects however it is inefficient to employ drafter and engineer, and both can be replaced by one engineering associate. Employee engineers are typically too expensive to have them producing own drawings, engineering associates are not.

Point is that can build an army where there is scope to build an army. For example this article: Female GPs outnumber male GPs for the first time in Australia, the specialities are just that, specialisations requiring very few people, but GP's are near enough everywhere. If there isn't one around then probably scope to introduce one: especially in remote rural and mining towns.

Little point complaining there are not enough female scientists or engineers, when also few female drafters and lab technicians. The bachelor degree in nursing for example along with potential for higher degrees, has probably increased the potential for female nurses to pursue further study and become doctors. Simply because they have their foot in the door of the universities, and more than likely attending some subjects which overlap with the studies of the doctors. How many females starting nursing switch to medicine?

Proper breakdown of study programmes, progressing from AQF-1 to AQF-7 is likely to attract more people to study to higher levels. When I was at school few people wanted to waste more time in education, they wanted to get to work earning money (or mostly claiming unemployment benefit). And that was approaching end of grade 10. The thoughts of another 2 years of schooling followed by 3 to 4 years of university wasn't desirable. But if one year of study, gets you into the workforce, contributing and earning money, whilst pursuing continuing education, well that becomes more tolerable. The bachelor of nursing degree for example should be equally broken down into smaller programmes, so that it is mandatory that start as enrolled nurse and progress to registered nurse, and likewise start as nursing assistant and progress to enrolled nurse.

Or there maybe other problems: Gender Equity in Medical Specialties, considering the army of female nurses: Nursing and midwifery workforce 2015 and registered nurses out number enrolled nurses (which seems like a major problem: top heavy organisation, not enough workers). And this is further description of potential problems: Red Cross to use nursing assistants on blood donors. Actually the army of female nurses probably just represents large number of females with bachelor degree who now have potential to pursue further study or research not necessarily related to medicine but more focused on social studies and health care. They don't become doctors because the proclaimed shortage of doctors is political, and the political barriers need to be overcome to improve health care rather than support the profession of doctor. Hence further education more in social studies.

And education is no exception Private school principals say culture must change. Here the issue is: do we need private schools, and the culture which supports them? That is what is the fault considered with the state schools? If a child is not interested in learning, then a private school isn't going to make much difference. If the child is interested in learning then a private school contributes zero of value: the child does the learning not the teacher. In the main the child needs access to study materials not teachers. As I mentioned in earlier posts, we should scrap grade 11 and grade 12, and start directly on AQF awards. Which thus means moving to TAFE or moving TAFE programmes into schools. The status of private schools should then diminish: and government funding be reduced not increased.{Parents typically seek to get their kids into private school for at least grade 11 or 12, if they cannot get them in from the beginning or otherwise cannot afford full schooling in private school. Personally I think its a waste of money.}

However that approach requires modifying the AQF, as I proposed in earlier post where I increased the number of levels to 15, one more than the original 14 levels, 5 more than the current 10. Where I also introduced Certificate I to V, Diploma I to V and Masters I to V.


Related Posts

Revisions:
[09/03/2019] : Original
[10/03/2019] : Minor Edits, and added more after the end.
[25/03/2019] : Minor Edits

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Not an engineer and don't want to be

I have an education in science, mathematics and technology. I can plan, design, analyse, evaluate, and manage both established technologies and new technologies.  But I am not an engineer, nor am I an engineering technologist, an engineering associate or engineering technician. I don't have an occupational title, I don't need one, and I don't want one. People who get sought by occupation rather than by name, are expendable and replaceable.

I have always considered the new age things called "engineers" to be less than competent, that their knowledge lacked breadth, and that rather than solving problems they implemented technical solutions. Unfortunately the technical solutions were not the proper solutions to the real problem, and thus they are responsible for creating problems in our world: not solving them.

Equally well, Engineers Australia and WFEO can take their concepts of engineering technologist and engineering technician and keep them to themselves. They can choose what to call themselves, but they have no right to assign occupational titles to others. These organisations are hampering the progress of technology and societies ability to solve the world's problems.

We need people with ingenuity, people who can plan, design, and manage, we do not need members of professional cults, nor people whose desire is to align themselves with such cults.

Engineering takes place at the frontiers of science and technology. Engineering is not about adapting established technologies to be suitable for a specific purpose: such activity is simply rational scientific based design, or technical design. Where technical is typically replaced by reference to the technology being designed such as: structural design, bridge design, mechanical design.

At the very minimum engineering requires developing new technology at the same time as developing a rational scientific methodology for its design and developing the method of assessment of the design. Since there is no prior art, prototypes have to be built and tested in a controlled environment to verify and validate, the science and the design models. There is a high risk of failure.

In some situations the technology exists but there is no rational scientific method to allow adapting the technology for some specific purpose. Developing this design method in the process of adapting  the technology can be considered engineering. (Using FEA/FEM software is not engineering.)

Developing new technology based on the established technical sciences is not engineering. Carrying out routine technical tests is not engineering. For example, a beam is a generic technology, it can be employed in a multitude of larger technologies not yet invented, inventing those technologies is not engineering. We do not expect failure, we expect the technologies to perform as required. We can design and evaluate the technologies entirely on paper, in the abstract. Though we may need to collect data from some routine testing, to complete our assessment. We may build prototypes and test them, but not to validate the science, but rather to verify we didn't miss anything. Also to check if the whole is different than the sum of the parts, and calibrate the mathematical models if needed.

At the simplest if a technology is described in published literature along with appropriate technical science, then its design is not engineering: the engineering is complete, the engineering is over, the engineering has been done already.

  1. EWB Australia | Redefining Engineering - YouTube
  2. The Most Successful People Explain Why a College Degree is USELESS - YouTube
  3. Inspiring the next generation of female engineers | Debbie Sterling | TEDxPSU - YouTube
  4. Are engineers human? | Patricia Galloway | TEDxManhattanBeach - YouTube
  5. How Much Math do Engineers Use? (College Vs Career) - YouTube
  6. What is Engineering?: Crash Course Engineering #1 - YouTube
  7. Civil Engineering: Crash Course Engineering #2 - YouTube
  8. Mechanical Engineering: Crash Course Engineering #3 - YouTube
  9. Ending poverty - what engineers can do: James Trevelyan at TEDxPerth - YouTube
  10. Re-Engineering Engineering Education: Stephan Athan at TEDxUF - YouTube
  11. TEDxUIUC - David E. Goldberg - 7 Missing Basics of Engineering - YouTube
  12. Why We Need Engineers Now More Than Ever | Elanor Huntington | TEDxSydney - YouTube
  13. We can end poverty, but this is why we haven't | Teva Sienicki | TEDxMileHighWomen - YouTube
  14. How do the poor see life? Uneducated, not stupid | Rajen Makhijani | TEDxNTU
  15. The interesting story of our educational system | Adhitya Iyer | TEDxCRCE - YouTube



Related Posts

Revisions:
[24/02/2019] : Original
[26/02/2019] : Expanded content
[25/03/2019] : rephrased
[10/04/2019] : Minor Edits
[17/05/2019] : Added more description

Sunday, February 17, 2019

More on the AQF

I suggest that in the main qualifications awarded under the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) do not quite live up to the objectives. So what follows includes how the AQF is working, and proposals to improve some aspects.

The objectives of the AQF, are to allow employers to identify people competent for the task at hand and improve occupational mobility. The educated should not be trapped in some silly occupational class or locked out by some elitist professional cult.

The AQF qualifications are supposed to improve mobility, movement up through the levels is meant to result in increased depth of knowledge, increase in independent thought and increase in personal responsibility.

Content vs Duration

The qualifications are meant to be defined by content not by duration, unfortunately the university sector doesn't comply they base awards on duration. So a 4 year B.Eng rather than being defined by required content is defined mostly by the duration.

That is graduates having spent 4 years to get a degree, believe they are superior than other graduates, who only spent 3 years to get a B.Sc or B.A. The other degrees however are not occupational degrees they are traditional academic degrees and typically involve far greater intellectual rigour than an occupational degree like a B.Eng. {The 4 year duration, seems to be mostly because of breadth of subject matter, slowness of the students, and and time spent on industry experience. In other words it lacks academic content, rather than such graduates being paid more on graduation they should be paid less. (we have industrial awards which set pay and conditions, and the award says they should be paid more)}

Anyway as a consequence of other occupations and industries not paying too much attention to content and more interest in status of higher awards, some minimum durations were imposed. Minimum durations do not entirely help, as an isolated topic can be presented rapidly in 1 hour, or it can be dragged out over several hours. Though expect that there is an optimum time in which learning can actually take place.

Therefore expect with the passage of time, the content of programmes will increase as the time required to present a subject decreases. However also expect that in lower level programmes the time taken will increase and the content will decrease, as more effort is expended to develop higher level of  proficiency and make them more conversant.

Education vs Training

However developing proficiency is why in previous posts I have suggested that we split education from training. We restrict education to foundational knowledge and enabling competences, and is more evaluation than learning. Whilst training academies focus on increased proficiency: lots of repetition until achieve the required level of performance.

With a split between education and training, most of the trade oriented qualifications will comprise of two parts: the AQF award and an associated Certificate of Practice (CoP). Prior AQF's will be identified as containing the CoP, modern awards will indicate explicit exclusion of the CoP. So people can get the foundational knowledge and then become adequately qualified to gain experience. If they cannot gain the AQF award then they are not adequately qualified to gain experience. The training academies become an important filter between education and industry.

Once someone has a CoP, at some future date they may have to complete supplementary training and assessment to verify that they still meet the minimum requirements. Whilst initial training maybe anything from 2 weeks to 250 weeks, corroboration of ability may only take 1 day.

Mobility

Improved mobility is achieved by recognising common foundational knowledge and skill sets across various occupations, and creating appropriate educational awards and study programmes. Obviously this may result in programmes which contain content not relevant to a given occupation. However if an occupation or profession is defined by breadth, then it can be defined in terms of multiple AQF awards rather than one. We should not be defining bachelor degree programmes because of required breadth.

If need a ticket to belong to a profession or occupation, then that can be separate to the AQF awards and CoP's. A national organisation can issue a card the size of a credit card which lists occupations for which are qualified, on the front and AQF awards and CoP's on the back., along with a separate document providing a detailed summary. Basically little different than becoming a graded member of some qualifying body: the membership grade is the qualification not the educational awards. However for the proposal the qualifying body would ultimately be an international organisation, with national branches.

There should be no issue having multiple low level AQF's to define an occupation, if an occupation is required.

Knowledge Content and Academic Rigour

There seems to have been a split in the AQF at level 6 where have the advance diploma and the associate degree. Where the associate degree is seen as more academically rigorous than the advanced diploma. This also indicates the split between the university education sector and the vocational education sector.

This is where things have got messed up, along with the senior secondary certificate of education (SSCE) which doesn't properly fit into the AQF. The problem is that after grade 10, students can study towards AQF awards, or pursue grade 11 and grade 12 to get the SSCE. Some AQF programmes require the SSCE for entry, whilst others don't.

So for example to enter into a bachelor degree programme (AQF-7/AQF-8) would require to complete the SSCE. But can otherwise get advanced diploma or associate degree (AQF-6) and gain status for upto 2 years in the degree programme. Some people got the advanced diploma without SSCE, either because in the past it was possible to start without such qualification, or because of adult entry.

Clearly there is inequity, in that the original 5 year programme to get a 3 year degree has been collapsed to 3 years (Original: 2 years for SSCE + 3 year degree).

Therefore my proposal is that we scrap the SSCE, and after grade 10, start on AQF awards. No repetition in grade 11, grade 12 and first year at university. All is properly coordinated, and all education requires stepping up through the AQF, no jumping levels.

If cannot jump levels, then only one way to get a AQF-7 qualification and that is to successfully pass through the 6 previous levels. To get a bachelor degree you have to get an advanced diploma, no buts doubts or maybe's about it. This means those persons at a higher level in a more supervisory role, are aware of the capabilities of those educated at a lower level.

In other words we don't waste education because a whole heap of school leavers have got a B.Eng gone into an organisation and got the idea that those with an advanced diploma are only capable of drafting because that is where such persons have been stuck. Both those with AQF-6 and AQF-8 levels of education need opportunity to put their education to work and gain experience to develop competence and confidence.

Furthermore if you have progressed up the ladder rather than having jumped in at the top, and started work at the lower level you will be aware of the education required to complete a given task. Thus appropriate people can be trained and put to work. No false claims of shortages.

I'm not against providing visa's and allowing foreigners to do the work. I am however against the foreigners being exploited to do the work, and then being unceremoniously tossed out off the country when no longer needed. I am also against high level people being brought in to do something which is trite from their viewpoint. We should get the right people to do the work, and if we can educate and train them locally then we should do so. But training becomes impractical if all the time we declare there is a shortage of people with bachelor programmes and 5 to 10 years experience. It suggests we have a loss of leadership, and therefore not capable of assessing if  people are adequately qualified.

If we can say that designing a structure only requires a 2 year Associate Degree and educated people at that level and provide them opportunity, we save significant resources, and reach our objectives faster.

Take engineering each discipline can be broken into about 5 major areas of practice, according to NCEES in the USA.

Civil Engineering:

  1. Construction
  2. Geotechnical
  3. Structural
  4. Transportation
  5. Water Resources and Environmental

Mechanical Engineering

  1. Basic Engineering Practice
  2. Mechanical Systems and Materials
  3. Hydraulics and Fluids
  4. Energy/Power systems
  5. HVAC/Refrigeration

Industrial Engineering (management)
  1. Facilities Engineering and Planning
  2. Systems Analysis and Design
  3. Logistics
  4. Work Design
  5. Ergonomics and Safety
  6. Quality Engineering
Architectural Engineering
  1. Building Systems Integration
  2. Electrical Systems
  3. Mechanical Systems
  4. Structural Systems
  5. Project Management and Construction Administration
Note that in all these lists they are referring to technology not to the technical science.  So my formal education covers mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, I also took options in structures and agricultural engineering.

Structures and mechanical systems are dependent on engineering mechanics both statics and dynamics, along with the mechanics of the strength and stability of materials. Therefore civil engineering and mechanical engineering overlap, except that most civil's wouldn't cover dynamics.

Water resources is dependent on hydraulics which is specialisation of fluid mechanics, the last 4 items in the mechanical engineering list are dependent on thermofluid dynamics.

The architectural engineering branch covers the structural and mechanical technologies as they relate to buildings. There is no coverage of the design of fabrication and construction processes, or logistics of supplying materials to the construction site. That project management stuff will be more about money, schedules and contract law.

Also note that there are 6 areas in industrial engineering, not just 5. Also elsewhere it maybe described as industrial management rather than engineering.

So as before, if take the first year of a 4 year programme as covering the common science, then that typically leaves 3 years to cover 5 areas of practice. So a 2 year AQF-6 programme can easily maintain the academic rigour of a 4 year B.Eng and cover a single area of practice which only gets 1 and 3/5ths of a year. So in a 2 year programme there is 2/5ths of a year available for increased focus on the area of practice.

For example an Associate Degree in Structures: could cover the basic engineering mechanics, statics and dynamics, structural mechanics (analysis), and the mechanics of the strength and stability of materials as well as cover more technology specific requirements such as building structures and bridge structures.

A 2 year programme would stick to frames. Whilst a 3 year programme would extend into plates, shells, cable-nets and tension membranes, vibration and fatigue of structures.

Now I missed the soils and geotechnical aspects of the technology. Very important as the structures, no matter whether buildings, bridges, machines or other non-machine structure, all stand on the ground. However geotechnical is increasingly becoming a specialisation. If it is critical and important then want a specialist, if not critical then it's not that complex. The basics of footing design can thus be covered in the 2 year qualification for structures.

Now if geotechnical depends on knowledge of structures, then it adds the 3rd year after studying AQF-6 in structures, as an alternative to studying alternative structural forms. I doubt however it is so dependent, it depends on mechanics and that should be covered in the first year.

The first year would become an AQF-5 in technical science and mathematics. It should cover the content of the American FE breadth exam. Whilst the AQF-6 programme covers requirements for FE depth, and PE depth exam but lacks PE breadth.

We shouldn't need the likes of the American FE/PE exam if the academic institutions examinations are rigorous enough, and the requirements for getting the AQF award are robust enough.

Similarly we should not need registration or licensing requirements if people are properly educated and trained.

So the problem with the sign post falling over and the cracks in the Opal towers is because people adequately qualified in structures did not design the structures and people with still greater capability in structures did not properly review and approve the evidence-of-suitability. Licensing people based on current academic records and professional memberships will not resolve the issues. We need people more competent in structural design, we need better managed projects, we need better controlled projects.

... to be continued ...

Loss of Status

All existing bachelor degrees will loose status. This is not a problem as all academic awards should loose status with the passage of time.

That which can be studied in the first 10 years of education can be increased with the passage of time. As more books are written and published, more information becomes accessible. Furthermore books improve the presentation of subject matter with time. On the other hand subjects can also  become increasingly complex with the passage of time. One subject also builds upon another subject, so that have subjects, involving studying the studying of the subject, or studying the people studying the subject, or the history of the subject. Some times these are important complements other times they are irrelevant and unimportant.

Furthermore books can give way to video, and animations and  interactive programmes, so that learning is made easier and assessment is made more robust. So that hopefully the certificate I from last year is not as good as the certificate I from this year. And hopefully it is never the other way around, with last years qualifications being superior.

Also last year needed someone special to find a solution to a problem, this year and there after, people with lesser knowledge can be educated to apply the solution. So at one point we needed to know how to design beams, and how to design walls of circular tanks: now that as a society we hold such knowledge, now we, just need to train people to use such knowledge.

If there is a defined body of knowledge used to define a profession then that body of knowledge can be published and should be published. As a designer I like to know what a carpenter should be capable of doing, and also what they are willing to do or have the resources to do. Armed with such knowledge I can minimise my documentation. Alternatively I can expand documentation and save them time. But if I expect the carpenter to have more knowledge than they have, and the carpenter believes they know more than they actually do, then we have a problem.

Clearly has human knowledge increases we expect to have more specialists. So now we have hundreds if not thousands of people who now have a bachelor degree defining their job, and giving rise to more and more professional cults. Yet the need for these degrees in the main has little to do with the needs of the work, and more to do with poorly defined and poorly designed jobs.

Now clearly if each area of practice is only given 1 and 3/5th of a year in a 4 year programme (AQF-8), but an AQF-6 programme, well gives it 2 years and provides more content, then the AQF-6 programme makes that individual more competent and capable in the given area of practice. Furthermore the next generation will require 5 x AQF-6 programmes to get the same breadth. Assuming that all are based on a common foundation at AQF-5, then that is a total of 1 + 5=6 years of study versus the 4 year programme.

In terms of breadth the 3 and 4 year programmes should fall out of favour. But new 3 year programmes should emerge which properly cover depth and appropriate specialisations.

Societies Confidence

As I say no need for registration and licensing, proper education and training and recognition of such through the AQF should take care of such.

Confidence in Design

Defects in design are largely a consequence of pressure due to budget and time constraints: if don't sell time and don't believe all units of time have the same value, then not quite the same problem. On top of these constraints is owners/developers introducing last minute changes whether at the end of design or part way through construction.

Now this becomes a problem, when have inadequate checks and balances in place. The issue is not about who checks work, but how work is checked.

Design is a creative activity, it imagines potential solutions to a set of objectives and constraints, and the proposals are guided by qualitative appreciation of science. Where feasible some numbers are crunched to give some quantitative guidance. Designers work at drawing boards, they alternate between drawing and calculations. Drawings are used to resolve dimensional and geometric issues of fit, to get a clear picture of relationships. Whilst dimensions may well be calculated, sketches are used to define relationships, the geometry and shape of things. Scale drawings can validate or refute assumptions. For example, the arithmetic doesn't add up because missed dimension of a clearance, or a gasket or something not usually present.

Calculations and drawings therefore reinforce one another, one is a second opinion on the other: a check and a balance. You should have at least two ways of doing things, if the two ways give different answers and they should give the same, then need to find an explanation and then fix the approach which is giving the wrong answer or find other approaches better suited to the task.

The process of design should therefore be close to self correcting. However often have multiple conflicting requirements. So when finished and have documented the whole, then review the finished document and assess if it is fit-for-function and met all objectives: or otherwise explicitly identify the conflicting objectives and the compromises made.

Design-calculations are seldom suitable as Proof-Calculations. Once design is completed then need to do proof-calculations. For example wouldn't use AS4100 steel structures code to design a steel beam, it is too complex and convoluted. Rather design is carried out using simpler calculations, for example "find and get in the ballpark" using full section properties and a suitable design-factor. Then check compliance with AS4100 using the more cumbersome to calculate effective section properties. Of course we can simplify the process and produce design capacity tables (DCT's), and thus the process becomes more efficient as we can get a suitable section more directly with fewer calculations. We can speed things even further with span tables for specific applications. Faster still is to use computers. It is still however a "trial and error" exercise as the analysis calculations are dependent on knowing the properties of a suitable section, and the point of the calculations is to find a suitable section. So we guess and check, and use each previous guess to direct our next guess, until we converge upon the structural solution. Most other areas of practice are similar. There are few situations where it is practical  to rearrange the mathematical expressions and directly calculate the value we are seeking.

Irrespective we have this process of design-calculation which then results in a specification-of-intent
which we then need to check is a valid design-solution to our defined design-problem. So our final calculations provide proof of compliance with a code of practice and all other objectives and requirements. These proof-calculations form the first stage of the evidence-of-suitability for the proposal.

If the design is simple and non-critical then the designer can do their own proof checks a few hours or a few days later. If the system is not simple and is critical then another person should carry out an independent review. An independent review is not an arithmetic check, it is not a school teacher checking the work. An independent review is carried out using the specification-of-intent, and only such specification, the reviewer has no need to see the designers calculations. {My experience is large Australian consultancies do not carry out proper independent reviews they get graduates to basically do arithmetic checks. Who may or may not otherwise ask what is this all about? It is good if they do ask, as they can start learning how to do such calculations, and demonstrate that they have understanding of the concepts. It is however not a proper independent check, it can be used as a secondary check and learning exercise but not a substitute for formal review.}

Once the designer organisation is happy they have validated the design. The specification-of-intent can be released for regulatory review. Regulatory review is only concerned with compliance with regulations: if not in the regulations then of no consequence. It is therefore the designer's responsibility to highlight additional requirements which may go above and beyond the minima of the codes and to have had these properly checked and validated because the regulator isn't going to check or validate them.

Now once again the regulator should be capable of carrying out an independent review without reference to the designers-proof calculations. However:
An independent review can only be properly executed if there has been a deliberate intent to make a proposal suitable for purpose and a defendable assertion to that effect has been made. [sch]
The designer doesn't need to submit their proof calculations, but they need make declaration that they are capable of defending their claim that a proposal is fit-for-function. Traditionally that is as simple as several people working for the consultant signing off on the drawings. Typically would include the designer, chief-designer, and senior representative of the organisation. For small projects and small consultancies, it would just be the signature of the designer. {Unfortunately seems people are more concerned about intellectual property rights, and copyright than getting things right. So building designers drawings have business name on them and copyright notice, but seldom a signature or initials indicating that they are the designer responsible. The drawings bounce back and forth between council and themselves until it becomes compliant. Not really acceptable as the certifier is more designer, than independent reviewer.}

If there is no indication of who is advocate or proponent for the proposal, then the regulator shouldn't be wasting their time reviewing the proposal, as their independence from the design process will be compromised. The regulator would become more a design manager guiding the design process until it converges on a compliant design. Not their role.

So the regulator gets the appropriate documents (which do not include the proof-calculations), and can now independently review the project. The issue is that the regulator doesn't have enough time to carry out a proper independent review, and fees are inadequate for such purpose.

Possibly true. But it is also true that the regulators do not appear to put any time into developing suitable design tools to aid their specific role.

For example nailed plated roof trusses were a problem, because rapidly designed by software, and the output lacked detail. So lacks detail, but did the specification of intent lack detail? If can write software to rapidly design the trusses can equally well write software to check compliance: where was the compliance checking software, where is the compliance checking software? Doesn't exist because typically use general purpose structural analysis software, but such software is too slow. Therefore need more specific software optimised for the task at hand: it needed to be developed, it still needs to be developed. But that is just the assessment, by calculation.

There is still the issue of the specification-of-intent: was that adequate? The answer is no. A proper specification would have clear details regarding the connections. It would make it clear that nail plates fit and have adequate anchorage in each member. The information would be in the specification to allow checking that the nail plates have adequate resistance. If connections are not drawn to scale, then a lot of information is missing. It isn't always necessary to draw the connections, as some connections are simple and the fit is obvious. For example 2M20's into a 250 PFC likely acceptable, the same bolts in a C7510 is likely a problem unless the bolts are maybe side by side (but would still like to know about end distances and edge distance.).

If drawings lack the information to conduct an independent review, then the drawings are not good enough. The drawings may not give the information directly, but expect to find the information necessary to derive other information. Though if have to draw additional sections, may consider the drawings inadequate.

The review process is iterative. The detail of the review calculations depends on the specification. If the design is robust then a quick and simple calculation may justify its suitability. If the design is optimum, and pushing everything to the minimum, then more calculation effort would be required, and therefore more time needed.

Whilst the review process is iterative like the design process it requires fewer iterations than design. Design has to find a valid solution, review only needs to accept or reject a proposal. Review can stop as soon as it hits a point of rejection. However, review should be as refined as necessary before claiming rejection. That is to say there are no further refinements which could be made which by any stretch of the imagination would result in compliance.

In the first instance the reviewer should check all qualitative and attribute requirements before making any quantitative assessment. When they reject they should then identify all non-compliance checks upto the point of first calculation: making it clear that review has stopped. If the qualitative issues will affect calculations, then no point in starting calculation checks.

Thus the defects in buildings are not so much a consequence of poorly educated personnel, but personnel operating in defective systems. Furthermore ISO:9000 accredited organisations are highly likely to have defective quality systems, as typically all they have done is rename contract document management systems to QA systems.

They may monitor drafting errors, but they have few systems in place to monitor design errors, or this thing they like to call engineering. Whilst these days they may have software to do a lot of the calculations, something needs to check and balance the suitability of the software for the task. For example AS4100 does not cover torsion, therefore if a 3D frame has torsion, then would not expect that any 3D design software checking to AS4100 would make valid checks. So have two choices, follow tradition and avoid torsion, so go remove the torsion by changing the connections. Or check the suitability of the members for torsion. {Whilst this is outside the scope of AS4100 to provide a check, it is within the scope of the NCC/BCA that assessing suitability for such action is required, though no method of checking is provided. So code compliance doesn't mean fit-for-function, and NCC/BCA deemed-to-satisfy provisions do not satisfy. So I reiterate if something is merely code compliant it is low quality rubbish.}

So engineering consultancies need to improve their quality systems, understand quality robust design, and better monitor and control design errors. It is not about who to blame, it is about designing the correct process for design. It is about appropriate organisational structure and decision processes. It is about appropriate training and development of personnel. Not everything can be billable.

Writing career episode and work practice reports is not graduate development, and it is not training. Fast tracking graduates to CP.Eng is not in the best interests of society nor the interests of the graduate. They need to know how deficient their knowledge and abilities are, not elevated on a pedestal.

Confidence in design doesn't come from who did the design, but how the design was completed and how it was reviewed and checked.

I have no confidence in design approval  in Queensland and Victoria as it seems built around a self certifying authoritarian cult who fill in silly forms (Form 13 as I remember is used in one of the states). There seems no checks and balances on when they can self certify. And with self certifying there is no feedback to inform the "engineer" just how deficient their knowledge is and how defective their understanding.

For years I thought the SA system was defective because the people on the regulatory side have highly inconsistent competency. So builders move from working in one council area to another, as do the architects and engineers, and they complain about lack of consistency in application of the rules. "I didn't have to do that before", is a common phrase. From which get the impression they will go back to ignoring an issue on their next project in another council area.

Sometimes the council requests seem unreasonable and silly, and have to churn out a stack of pages to declare an issue to be: negligible, zero, insignificant. Pages which wouldn't be required if the regulator had appropriate experience, and knew the issue was of no significance. Various regulations now require that the people issuing certificates of an independent technical expert (CITE), have CP.Eng credentials. Unfortunately the people are mostly the same people as previous, and therefore the inconsistency remains. However, some are good and some are bad, and a designer learns from the good ones, a good designer learns from both. With good ones, it is possible to discuss issues with. The bad ones are authoritarian obstacles to be removed: they blindly apply codes where they are irrelevant, and seem to have little interest in learning and understanding the specifics of a project which make the code more hazard than benefit.

Still, good or bad, two people are more likely to find defects than one person. Also most of the criticism I put in my calculation reports seems to find its way into changes in the code. So by influencing one group of people I indirectly contribute to removing ambiguities and deficiencies in the codes. Not necessary to be out there with my name up in lights.

... continued ...

Confidence doesn't come from knowing that an electrician is licensed and they pay their license fees every year. Confidence comes from knowing that they were properly educated, trained and assessed as competent in the first place. Then knowing that they know their own limitations, and will put the work aside when their capabilities deteriorate with age. If not then expect that there are systems in place and feedback mechanisms which prevent them from doing serious harm.

If an electrician, plumber or builder does their work without it being checked or audited then it is not acceptable. But may consider that is an hassle, given had may have had problems finding an available tradesperson in the first place. However the checks and balances do not have to be direct inspection.

If an electrician does some work on a house then the as-built drawings need to be revised, which means the as-built drawings need to exist. The as-built drawings then get submitted to the regulating authority. If there are issues with the drawings the site can be inspected immediately, if no issues with the drawings the site can be inspected at a much later date. If there are issues at a later date then all the sites can be inspected: which therefore requires knowing all the sites.

Better however is the presence of an independent inspector just prior to the work being closed up and hidden from view.  No payment needs to be made for the work until both the electrician and inspector sign-off on the work. This is not an exercise in collecting signatures and identifying where to lay blame.  It is simply a check on the quality of the work. So a system independent of names and scrap paper can be implemented if possible. For example both electrician and inspector have tagging tools, each receives appropriate tags from the regulator, and each tags the work. The electrician cannot tag the work as inspected because they don't have the right tags and tagging tool. Though something more robust than that is preferable.

The requirement is that the work needs to be demonstrated as correct and that no hazards have been created. So a certain set of tests can be mandated which have to be witnessed by the building owner.

So education, training, and quality assurance system. No registration, no licensing, no system to administer and no licensing fees.  Just need operational systems which have built-in checks and balances. Systems which catch mistakes when the electrician or other trade is having a bad day.

..o0o..

 I got side tracked. I had more to write about the certificate programs. The stepping through the programs, and need for breadth. But cannot remember what it was.

Something along lines of minimum duration of 1 year programme 1500 hours. All programmes start with certificates. But first year is broken into 5 substages. For academic programme, that is minimum of 300 hours for each substage. A maximum of 5 strands to cover breadth. So 60 hours for each strand. A year divided into 50 productive weeks, so 10 weeks for each fifth. Resulting in 6 hours each week for each strand. Possible strands are:

  1. Technology
  2. Technical Drawing / Descriptive Geometry
  3. Mathematics
  4. Physics
  5. Chemistry & Materials
This leaves out such subjects as:
  1. Management
  2. Biology
  3. Geology
  4. Psychology

If these are important subjects, then it maybe seen that the breadth is not great enough. Alternative may consider broader subjects, from my earlier breakdown of subjects:

  1. Design
  2. Technical Drawing & Engineering Graphics
  3. Process Technology: Manufacturing & Construction           
  4. Product Technology: Building Construction
  5. Management, Business and Office Procedures
  6. Legal Framework

This suggests expanding to 6 strands, though legal framework could be combined with the management strand. Also this doesn't directly address mathematics and science, as this is buried in the design and technology subject areas. Or define other broad areas:
  1. Technology
  2. Design
  3. Science
  4. Mathematics
With this approach introduce the technology, then move onto design of the technology, give rise to need for science which in turn gives rise to mathematics. All four strands are increased in depth during the first year, then in second year only science and mathematics are increased.

If more breadth is required then first year may have to comprise of multiple certificate 1 programmes, and therefore will not complete Certificate V in the first year, and will not move onto an associate degree in the second year.

However with proposed system we are now starting the programme at grade 11 not after grade 12. So we have an extra 2 years to the typical 3 year bachelor programme, in which appropriate depth and breadth are developed. Hence my earlier proposal for Diploma I to Diploma V, and Masters I to Masters V. Where grade 11 = Certificate V and grade 12 is Diploma I, and 3 year bachelor degree is Diploma IV, and graduate diploma = Diploma V. Which also means that grade 12 = Associate Degree and thus no longer provides any status in a bachelor programme: as all bachelor programmes have to be completely redesigned to increase depth on the associate degrees.

The importance of the redesign is that people will be ready to enter the workplace earlier and they are qualified to be employed on meaningful work. So they can work whilst they study for higher level qualifications. This is important because many are studying because there is need to get a ticket to employment, low skilled jobs are rapidly taken, therefore difficult to get a job to pay for studies. Not everyone can get a job stocking shelves in a supermarket or working behind a bar: they need qualifications to get a job. So the qualifications need to be quicker to get, but more robust assessment of capability is required.

The staged progress from AQF-1 upwards is the more productive, efficient and higher quality approach than jumping to AQF-7 straight from school. We filter people out at AQF-1, and onwards. So AQF-1 has the harshest and most demanding assessment requirements. For example at AQF-1 expect some 50% are rejected and cannot progress further, by AQF-5 expect only 5% are rejected: by such point people should be on the right path. After AQF-5, still expect that programmes are split into 1/5th blocks or 10 week blocks, and that progressive assessments are made so that a person can quit before going to far. For example they can halt progress to AQF-6 and take another path starting with any other lower AQF level that they have passed. They may decide that AQF-5 is their limit and just choose to increase breadth at that level.

A clever workforce is not one with great depth of knowledge, but rather an adaptive workforce with broad multi-skilling. A builder who has skills in electrical and plumbing work is preferable than need for a group. At an abstract level plumbing and electrical systems are similar: both involve networks with some driving force. For that matter could design and build a fluid power computing device. Which raises the issue that plumbers don't go near fluid power systems whether hydraulic (typically oil) or pneumatic. A plumber is thus not a mechanical engineering technician.

So if could get plumbers and electricians to become multiskilled and move to the next level, that is potentially far better workforce than pushing people through bachelor degrees. As much can be designed and built at the technician level. And more is possible at that level if knowledge was being properly pushed down to where it can empower and enable people to do what they need.

Licensing doesn't enable and empower people to get things done, it hinders them. If I design something which is electrical do I need an electrician to make it, especially if it works of a battery? I can see the need for an electrician if needs to be plugged into the mains. However, they are not electrical technicians, so they wouldn't be entirely capable of  assessing the technology. So we get to the point where the license is the hazard not the safeguard: and we otherwise have no safeguard in place.

What I am doing designing electrical? Why wouldn't I, it's the main power source for factory automation besides fluid power. I know I don't know enough to fully verify fitness-for-function, but I can still design, propose and get full fitness-for-function verified by someone else. Design of a fluid power control system doesn't immediately consider the fluid mechanics, as need to specify a control system before start sizing pipes and pumps. I could probably verify the pipes and pumps if had an appropriate industry manual. Not so much a matter of science, but a matter of design data and standard practice.

Consistent and good practice is dependent on appropriate industry manuals and design data and such references based on local practice are in short supply or just plain none existent. It tends to reflect an inappropriate culture where knowledge is being held to ransom, rather than being appropriately shared to enable and empower the people. {By sharing, I don't mean knowledge has to be available at zero fee, I mean it has to be available from a variety of alternative sources.}

..[23:48]..



Related Posts

Revisions:
[17/02/2019] : Original
[26/02/2019] : Minor Edits