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Rules of Thumb Archives - Being Brunel

Maths In The Head

July 13, 2014 1

It turns out there is one thing that everyone knows about engineers: We Do Maths. I’ve lost count of the amount of times friends have simply deferred any arthritic to my good-self because “you’re an…Read More

IKEA Engineering

April 14, 2014 1

Over the last year I’ve been learning some real practical engineering lessons from the most unlikely of sources: my IKEA Austmarka wardrobe. Brought from that nightmarish trip, which has become…Read More

Fermi Estimates Preliminary Design

February 23, 2014 4

Enrico Fermi was a physicist who was renowned for making good approximations with no actual data, and a Fermi estimate is a method for making a ball-park guess that might actually be right…Read More

Five Ways Out of a Design Corner

January 24, 2013

Here are a few techniques I’ve picked up over my time, which can offer an escape when things just aren’t working out. Common Sense: Beware of stair climbing fire trucks… There’s always the “but would it really…Read More

Five Ways to Annoy Contractors

October 11, 2012 6

It is surprisingly easy, sitting in the office, to forget that the bunch of design calculations and drawings you’ve been pondering over all morning will one day have to be built by someone. Consideration of constructibility is a CDM requirement … Read More

Designing With Your Thumb

August 23, 2012

Not so long ago the aim of structural analysis was to develop simple, elegant, and reliable methods of design. The idea of splitting a member into thousands of tiny elements and calculating their individual behaviours…Read More