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Technology’s spread knows no bounds

Mark Hansford

I became a six second internet wonder this week. No, not that kind. Stop sniggering.

I did it by posting a clip on social media site Vine, crudely shot on an iPhone as a quick and easy way to promote our first ever live twitter debate.

The Twitter debate - and the Vine clip - was the brain child of RMD Kwikform’s PR guru Peter Haddock. I confess I was sceptical; we as a profession have not always been the keenest of adopters of technology, particularly as we dip down the supply chain. But he was adamant; the industry is ready, he said.

And it turns out, he was right. My tweets during the debate earned me more than 11,500 impressions - comfortably more than the rest of the month combined (am I ashamedly not a habitual tweeter).

The debate was pretty interesting too: throwing up some fascinating (and worrying) statistics - did you know that 75% of people are still scared to report accidents? Or that 52% of site fatalities involve vehicles? It was also great at flushing out some superb case studies of best practice.

We’ll be collating the essence of the debate for a future issue of NCE, but if you can’t wait - and why should you - #NCEsafety is the place to look.

More evidence of how technology can change the way we work and communicate came at last week’s High Speed 2 supplier day in London.

Quite interestingly it was screened live, online. And as technology advocates, we thought we’d give it a whirl. And we liked it: no travel time wasted; no expensive train ticket needed; good seat, good view. And you can get up when you want to, to put the kettle on or pop to the loo.

Slightly ironic that we discover that you really don’t need to be in central London to participate in a conference in central London… at an event designed to promote a £43bn way of getting people to events in London. But there you go, that’s what we found.

Across London others were also exploiting the web to good effect this week, none more importantly than engineering charity RedR. It has launched an online advice service for workers fighting Ebola in West Africa.

As it tells NCE this week, in this crisis, not all of the experts who are needed can be out in the field.

But experts in medicine, aid work and engineering will be online to rapidly respond to questions on Ebola from those at the front line.

It is working on the initiative in conjunction with the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, The International Committee of Red Cross, Médicins Sans Frontières and the Centre for Disease Control. And, quick plug here - it needs your support.

It seems that wherever you look, engineers are now seeking to exploit technology in ways that make their lives easier; more productive.

And - another quick plug here - so are we at NCE. Right now, we are putting the finishing touches to a shiny new app that will be faster, more responsive and more interactive. An app deserved by an industry that is fast catching up; fast becoming a widespread adopter of technology. It’ll be in the App Store or on Google Play any day. Look out for it. We like it. Hope you do too.

  • Mark Hansford is NCE’s editor

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