Issue 4 Summer 2005

Society of Oxford University Engineers

Welcome to the fourth issue of SOUE News

We first draw attention to the circular inviting you to the next Jenkin Meeting. The Jenkin Lecturer on 1 October will be John F Coates OBE, who was the naval architect behind the remarkable reconstruction of a Greek trireme, the 170-oared ramming warship of 2500 years ago. The Greeks optimised their design by trial and error over a century or so. John did not have that luxury - there was money to build ONE. Come and hear whether he got it right. And there is a dinner in Somerville the evening before.

In this issue, apart from the usual news items, we have articles by Alistair Borthwick on the unhappy state of the Yellow River in China, which most of the time barely makes it to the sea; Paul Newman on mobile robots which, like 18/19th century explorers, find their own way around and make a map while doing so; and Paul Taylor on John Wallis's 17th century design for building a flat roof out of timbers barely long enough to reach 30% of the way across (working out the forces had Wallis solving 25 simultaneous equations). The fourth-year project mentioned by Paul was reported on in the first issue of SOUE News.

Almost stop-press was the death of Ewan Corlett, widely acclaimed for his part in bringing Brunel's Great Britain back from a sandbank in the Falklands and in the restoration of this classic ship in Bristol, where all can see her. An interesting coincidence is that he and our Jenkin Lecturer overlapped at Queen's in the 1940s, and both went in for naval architecture.

We draw your attention to the note at the end, asking for contributions to SOUE News from members outside the Department.

David Witt (Magdalen 1959), Simon Turner (Lincoln 1987)

In This Issue

Society of Oxford University Engineers
Department of Engineering Science
University of Oxford
Parks Road


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