June 23 2022

An excellent dinner meeting at the Auburn Hotel, with 41 attending. Several new people made welcome.

First, FESA member and engineer Tom Dohrmann (a professional mechanical engineer who has worked in automotive design,  ergonomics and forensic investigations for sixteen years) spoke on the complexities of converting a new US muscle-ute (the F150, selling here soon) to right hand drive. 


Ten minutes with a spanner?  Not at all.  Tom took us through the fascinating range of new mechanical parts and systems where information sharing was permitted, and described how Ford's methods enhance ride and reliability. Tom is a part of an Australian  engineering design team punching above its weight globally.  Great to see that the work has created 150 jobs in a brand new new manufacturing facility.   

Second, FESA member Peter Paras, a Chartered Professional Engineer with thirty-five years of structural and civil engineering consulting experience, explained his work as a mediator in building disputes.


Peter is an accredited mediator (NMAS), a panel Conciliator at DBDRV (Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria) and a Member of the Building Appeals Board of Victoria, where he carries out conciliations and mediations.  He spoke clearly about the concepts and the processes of mediation – how it works, what issues arise, how resolutions are achieved, and the benefit that forensic/expert reports have with disputes at mediation.   Vigorous discussion arose, including the obligations of an neutral engineer-mediator when (for example) two parties reach a compromise which the mediator knows is technically flawed.

Both these presentations are being separately recorded, with all their presentation slides, and will be made available to financial memberson the FESA website.

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April 28 2022 meeting   (at the Auburn Hotel):

Member Geoff Fletcher spoke first to 34 members and guests about the 1907 collapse of the Quebec bridge over the massive St Lawrence river, with 86 lives lost.  It collapsed again in 1916.  An insight into egos in engineering. 


This presentation was very well illustrated, with video and  fascinating forensic clues outlined.

You can watch Geoff's presentation (from three minutes in) here:  Passcode (required to view): 1?!qP%7T

A second  presentation entitled " Who is responsible for the safety of your electrical switchboard and its supply cables?" was by mechatronics engineer Nicholas Jenkins, about a recent argument about who owned the electrical assets in a building.  Very interesting issues of liability here.

Nick was standing in for his colleague Peter Hart (regrettably unwell) and did a great job, presenting clearly and dealing capably with questions.