I have had a lot of fun writing what
I hope are amusing short articles, based (very) loosely
on materials science. Many of these have been published in issues of Materials Bulletin,
the house journal of the MRS (Materials Research Society) in the USA. Some, which apparently
do not conform to US ideas of appropriate wit, did not make it into Materials Bulletin
but are included in the compilation which I have called "Across the Grain".
You can download the whole set of 18 articles below.
Download Across the Grain
Like many engineers I worry about the image of engineering and thus the quality of
its future practitioners.
As part of a project to attempt to discover what attitudes or habits of mind make someone an engineer, I collected a number of short
definitions and jokes about engineers and engineering. These one-liners probably tell us more about the nature of engineering than a dozen ten-page articles.
See if you agree, by downloading them here.
I also occasionally have one-line thoughts which I like to record. Here are a few.
Please don't take them too seriously.
Everyone's middle initial is J
Everyone's partner is a teacher
All metals are fcc
Most research is like masturbation - a lot of fun, but of no use to anyone else.
In order to avoid an old age in poor health, take part in more dangerous activities as you get older.
Why don't we charge fares by weight (as well as distance!) for all transport?
Don't you hate sitting next to someone who is overflowing the adjacent seat?
If you need statistics to analyse your experimental data -
you should think of a better experiment. [Attributed to Ernest Rutherford.]
If you need a KPI or any sort of audit to detect that you have made a difference - you haven't!