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Is Engineering a Force for Good?
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Who is Responsible for Communicating 
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Infrastructure Debate
The Great Infrastructure Debate, 
April 2012
Transport Challenges
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The Future of Energy for the North East,
December 2011
Future of the City
Visions for the Future of the City, 
October 2011

ETUDE: Engineering Transmission Using Deliberative Events

The Wonders of Engineering (WoE)
Part of National Science and Engineering Week
From 11am, Saturday, 22nd March 2014
Rutherford Hall (map)
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne

A day of discovery, discussion and laughter

From the Earth to Mars, micro to mega, engineering influences every aspect of our lives today. This one-day extravaganza invites you to come and hear about cutting edge from over a dozen engineers from around the country. Talks, discussions and exhibits all mixed with a dash of comedy will take you through a wonder tour of engineering today, and offer the opportunity to ask questions, challenge assumptions and engage in debate with each other and the presenters.

Come along and be amazed and inspired!


Contributors: Eric Asare, Aidan Burton, Xiaohong Chen, Eiman ElBanhawy, Michael Hanif, Caspar Hewett, Fadi Kahwash, Emma Kennard, Bassem Mady, Siti Nabilah Misti, Mahmood Mohamed, Bobo Ng, Gobind Pillai, Jeffri Ramli, Radu Sporea and XiangDong Xue.



Come and be an engineer! Get hands-on experience of bridge-building with Jeffri Ramli and concrete-making with Mahmood Mohamed - suitable for children aged 5 to 95.


Presentations on everything from climate change to air conditioning. 5 minute talks followed by hours of opportunity for conversation with practising and research engineers from every field you can think of.
Speakers: Aidan Burton, Mahmood Mohamed, Bobo Ng, Radu Sporea and XiangDong Xue


The Great Debate: Engineering, a force for good? Our speciality! Your chance to listen, discuss, ask questions and make up your own mind ...
Speakers: Eric Asare, Mahmood Mohamed, Radu Sporea


Stand-up Engineering: if you thought engineers couldn't be funny this slot will change your mind!
Compere: Michael Hanif
Performers: Eric Asare, Siti Misti, Radu Sporea, Gobind Pillai


The Great Debate: Who is Responsible for Communicating Science and Engineering? Another chance to listen, discuss, ask questions and make up your own mind ...
Speakers: Xiaohong Chen, Michael Hanif, Jeffri Ramli,


bridge-building with Jeffri Ramli and concrete-making with Mahmood Mohamed - suitable for all ... come and get your hands on and be an engineer!

PLUS Posters, Demonstrations and Engineering buskers throughout the day - prepare to be surprised and entertained.

This event was organized as part of the ETUDE project funded by Royal Academy of Engineering through the Ingenious grant scheme.

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Eric Asare
Eric lives in London and is in the final year of his PhD degree in Materials Science and Engineering. His research is focused on the use of conductive polymer composites as heat regulators.

Aidan Burton
Aidan came from a background in mathematics and computing, and is a developer of computational hydrological models for resource and hazard evaluation. He works in the Water Resources group, part of the department of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at Newcastle University. His recent work has concerned development of simple statistical models of rainfall, to capture the essence of observations. Such models are appropriate for situations where resources and hazards arising from rainfall need to be assessed, but rainfall observations are limited (i.e. not available, or short duration records). He lives in Newcastle city and enjoys walking, climbing, dancing and cycling (abridged list). He constantly looks for new ways to express himself – the ideal being to combine mathematics, computation, science, engineering and art.

Xiaohong Chen
Xiaohong is a PhD researcher in the field of low carbon building at the Faculty of Engineering and Environment of Northumbria University. She is a sustainable low carbon specialist in the construction sector with rich experience in both China and the UK. Xiaohong started her career in sustainability from the UK’s largest zero carbon community - BEDZED nine years ago, and has been the China Country Manager of BioRegional’s One Planet Communities global programme for five years. She later joined Zero Carbon System consulting firm in Shanghai, as the Head of Low Carbon Planning and Design and the Vice President of the company. She worked with developers, planners, governments and NGOs, leading a multi-disciplinary team in providing innovative solutions for low carbon cities, sustainable communities and zero carbon building projects in China. Prior to becoming a sustainability consultant, Xiaohong was a Chinese qualified structural engineer with eight-year building construction practice in China, and five-year property investment and management experience in London.

Eiman ElBanhawy
Eiman is working as a researcher in the faculty of Engineering and Environment, Department of Architecture and the Built Environment, Northumbria University. Her PhD is entitled: ‘Space-time analysis of e-mobility in metropolitan areas.’ She brings eight years of design, sustainability, construction and project management experience, shared among contracting firm, academia and contract research and development. Her first degree is in Architecture, and she has been working for a contracting firm for 6 years (2005-2011). She has a strong interest in sustainability; she passed the LEED GA exam in 2011 and has been working in green building and smart development studies. Her MSc in smart neighbourhoods and her PhD research are associated with land use and urban/transport modelling and simulation, visualization, accessibility models, spatial analytics and big database interrogation.

Michael Hanif
Michael has been involved with pipeline inspection for over 10 years now. He specialises in the automatic ultrasonic testing of subsea girth welds, mainly on gas pipelines, which is the main market for pipelines at present. Currently he is getting more involved in the research and development of AUT specifications and pipeline welding acceptance criteria.

Fadi Kahwash
Fadi is originally from Syria and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Designing and Production from Albaath University (2008). In 2009, he started working in Qatar for Caterpillar® dealership in their Power systems department, which mainly specialises in diesel and gas power plants. In 2012 he enrolled in MSc Renewable Energy Technologies at Northumbria University and graduated with distinction in October 2013. He received a PhD studentship in Mechanical Engineering from Northumbria University and started in January 2014. His PhD project is about applying mesh-free methods in modelling of machining composite materials.

Emma Kennard
Emma is a mechanical engineer currently undertaking a post graduate research PhD within the Bioengineering Group at the School of Mechanical & Systems Engineering, Newcastle University. Her team is working in collaboration with an orthopaedic surgeon group based at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle. They collect, catalogue and analyse retrieved orthopaedic knee replacements in order to gain greater insights into the reasons and modes of failure of the knee replacements. Emma lives in a small village called Wylam approximately 10 miles out from Newcastle city centre with her husband and two children, Miriam age 5 and Zach age 2. She is working on her research PhD part-time and plans to be completed in January 2017. Prior to her PhD she has experience of working as an engineering and operations recruitment consultant with a privately owned small organisation and of working as a bioengineering new product development project manager with a large well-known multinational cooperation.

Bassem Mady
Bassem is from Alexandria, EGYPT. He is 25 and has a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering. His primary interest is in Sustainable development, while his professional experience is in planning and project management. He is currently pursuing postgraduate studies in Water Management in University of Newcastle. His aim is to make science smarter and save resources for future generations.

Siti Nabilah Misti
Siti’s interest is in manufacturing and new product/process development and optimisation. Through her research she aims is to gain knowledge regarding the new trimming techniques and processes for shunt resistors used in metering applications which will lead to more accurate and effective shunt. Siti worked as a Maintenance Executive for 3 years in Malaysia and is seeking an opportunity in the engineering industry to build start a career as a manufacturing and maintenance engineer. Her career goal is to become a fully-qualified and experienced engineer, with the longer-term aspiration of moving into teaching.

Mahmood Mohamed
Mahmood is from the Middle East, and spent the last four years in the UK studying his double major course. He enjoys working on new engineering problems, things that don’t cross your mind: new and innovative ideas like making concrete from recycled car materials. What made him choose to become a civil engineer was a passionate desire to build and design buildings just like his grandfather did, he was Mahmood’s inspiration.

Bobo Ng
Bobo is lecturer of Building Services Engineering in the Department of Environment and Engineering at the Northumbria University. Her main research interests lie in the numerical modelling of geothermal (i.e. ground coupling) heating and cooling systems in buildings.

Gobind Gopalakrishna Pillai
Gobind is pursuing a PhD student in Electrical Power Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne. His research focuses on the grid connection aspects of PV system performance studies and aims to investigate new techniques to provide better control and enhance the capability of distributed PV systems, in UK &India, for maximizing energy capture, for providing grid support and increasing the value of PV systems. Gobind is from Kerala, India; presently, he lives in Gateshead.

Jeffri Ramli
Jeffri was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He spent 20 years of his life in Malaysia before moving to Germany and the UK. He currently lives in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and has been living in the city for over 12 years. He works as a structural design engineer at Mech-Tool Engineering (MTE), working in their Design Consultancy unit. He joined MTE in December 2012 after completing his MEng in Civil and Structural Engineering at Newcastle University. He is the current Vice Chair of the ICE North East Graduates and Students (G&S), and member of the ICE Education Panel in the North East region. He has been involved with the G&S committee since 2008, elected as the Main Student Rep for 4 consecutive years (2008-2012), and sat as the Honorary Treasurer for 2013/2014. He is also an ICE and STEM Ambassador and actively involved in outreach activities to promote civil engineering and STEM subjects to schools and colleges, as well as a CREST assessor for the British Science Association and a moderator for the Big Bang North East. Besides his passion for engineering, Jeffri is also highly passionate about music and art. He is an experienced performer and has appeared at renowned venues such as Sage Gateshead, The Journal Tyne Theatre, Newcastle City Hall and various international venues in Malaysia and Germany.

Radu Sporea
Radu is a researcher at the Advanced Technology Institute, University of Surrey, and the proud holder of a Royal Academy of Engineering Academic Research Fellowship. He has a degree in Electronic Engineering from Politehnica University in Bucharest and a PhD in EE from Surrey. After working as a design engineer for a Silicon Valley company between his MEng and PhD, his interests have evolved from conventional electronic circuit design to energy-efficient, cost-effective and flexible printed electronics.

XiangDong Xue
XiangDong is working in the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering, Newcastle University. He is a member of IMechE and currently working in a railway research centre. His engineering research falls into two areas: the mechanics of railways and micromechanics of biofluids and microsystems. The former concerns computational mechanical analysis of rail vehicles, representing a traditional approach to macro systems. The latter uses computational investigation of mechanical behaviours in micro-/nano-engineering using interdisciplinary approaches. His research has covered a variety of topics, including solid mechanics, fluid dynamics, random vibration, heat transfer and nanomaterials. Xiangdong obtained his PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering at Sheffield University after coming to the UK from China. Having worked in various areas of mechanical engineering, he is interested in using multidisciplinary approaches to solve complex mechanical problems.

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Other ETUDE Events:

The events are organised by The Great Debate in partnership with

Etude Project Steering Group:
Dr Caspar Hewett, Director and Chair, The Great Debate, Durham University
Prof. Richard Dawson, Civil Engineering & Geosciences, Newcastle University
Dr Sara Walker, Director of Business and Engagement, Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Northumbria University

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