Checking the fine detail

Jason Ford

News Editor

Are you a business owner who winces when grumblings of “too many Chiefs, not enough Indians” emanate from the shop floor?

If so, a four-day conference organised by the IMechE could go some way to making your managers more effective.

‘Essential Management Skills for Engineers’, taking place from Wednesday at Keele University, contains workshops and lectures that the organizers say will introduce practical techniques for better project management, process improvement, financial management, negotiation and facilitation.

For companies, the event is expected to improve communication and team-working whilst strengthening business-to-business contacts. Individuals will likely find the event helpful with regard to motivation, creativity and productivity.

Tomorrow marks the close of a call for proposals that can enhance the awareness of soldiers to the visual cues associated with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

The research call from the Ministry of Defence Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) is, according to CDE, looking for innovative ways to increase the ability of soldiers on foot to identify the cues associated with local human behaviour, atmospheric (situational) indicators and the man made changes to the environment that directly or indirectly occur when IEDs are concealed.

CDE asks that research proposals are focused towards three-month proof of concept studies that will lead towards deployable solutions.

In Suffolk this week opinions are being sought from members of the public regarding proposed 7.2GW wind farm off the Norfolk-Suffolk coast that will be built in six phases and cover a total area of approximately 6,000km2.

ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall plan to build phase one – dubbed East Anglia One – 25 miles off the Suffolk coast. The development would take place in an area covering 300km2 and have a proposed capacity of 1.2GW.

On Wednesday and Thursday members of the public will be able to grill the project development team in Lowestoft and Ipswich about the project, which is planned to commence in 2015, subject to consents.

Arqiva this week hosts ‘Digital switchover: The greatest project in UK broadcasting’ in Winchester.

The five-year, £700m digital TV roll-out is well underway and event organisers will be asking how to deal with replacing 5,000 existing analogue and 500 lower-power digital transmitters with a new high-power digital network.

According to the event’s publicity material, the event will look at the challenges of the project and the progress to date, including an explanation of how the roll-out plan minimises disruption to existing services, how the new network was designed, and how HD services were incorporated into the main roll-out.

Registration for this joint IET Hampshire North Network- Royal Television Society is required as places are limited.

Finally, organisers of the Energy Innovation Awards have been in touch to say that there are just two weeks left to enter the competition.

The awards – the brainchild of the Energy Innovation Centre in Cheshire – celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations across the UK flying the flag for energy innovation and sustainability.

The organisers say they want to hear from anyone that has developed an innovative energy product or service.

The closing date for entries is Friday 15 April 2011.