WHAT IS the connection between a 19th century engineer, a present day water consultant and a 21st century spaceman?
The answer is that lecturer Chris Binnie dressed up as all three to give his first Water Millennium address to Northern Counties graduates and students section at Newcastle University last month.
The address looked at the development of water systems as seen by three different generations. The three characters representing the past, present and Binnie's vision of the future.
'I believe talks by engineers should be as interesting as possible,' said Binnie, who dressed as his great grandfather Sir Alexander Binnie to discuss the 'past'.
Sporting a stove pipe hat and frock coat, he described the sanitary problems that London suffered at the beginning of the 20th century, before the sanitary engineering revolution took place.
Binnie then spoke as a present day water consultant, highlighting important developments of the 20th century and the current state of the industry.
Finally, in a silver spacesuit and helmet, he transformed into his 75- year old 'son', living on the moon in 2050. As this character, representing the 'future', Binnie predicted world population problems, the growth of megacities, climate change and finite water resources. He also suggested futuristic ways these problems could be overcome.
About 250 people, from undergraduates to senior institution members, attended the lecture.