On the road and in the sky

For those of us not transfixed by the engineering aspects of the Tour de France or the enticing prospect of the start of the Ashes series, there’s a number of intriguing items on this week’s agenda.


For those of us not transfixed by the engineering aspects of the Tour de France (bicycle design, telemetry, telecommunications, drug detection techniques… it’s got it all) or the enticing prospect of the start of the Ashes series, there’s a number of intriguing items on this week’s agenda. The early results of the government’s gamble on the car scrappage scheme will become apparent, with the release of the latest UK car registration figures; the automotive industry will be hoping for an improvement on last month’s 25 percent fall in new registrations.



More insights on the state of the sector will come from the publication of a report from the Confederation of British Industry and Siemens on recent changes to the UK job market; this will also give an industry-eye-view on the steps that can be taken to safeguard jobs during the downturn and long-term measures to make the UK an attractive place for employers. If our readers have any suggestions, please feel free to use the comment button.



Nobody could fail to notice the looming 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, and this week astronaut Buzz Aldrin is making up for the reticence of the mission commander and first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong, by publishing a new autobiography, ‘Magnificent Desolation’. It’s sure to provide insights into what it was like to be at the sharp end of one of the largest, most successful and inspiring feats of engineering the human race has ever undertaken, while the US, China and Russia all continue with their plans to revive manned exploration of the lunar surface.



Meanwhile, space travel continues with the scheduled launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a 16-day mission to the International Space Station.



Back on Earth and in the UK, the march towards nuclear new build continues with a conference on the legal aspects of constructing a new generation of reactors. Planning, environmental constraints and risk management will all be on the agenda as the nuclear construction sector visits London, with speakers from the US and Finland describing their experience with these construction projects.



Stuart Nathan
Special Projects Editor