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Peter Widdowson

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Comments (8)

  • Comment on: The yawning gap that lies between form and function

    Peter Widdowson's comment 23 May, 2012 3:29 pm

    Has there ever been an analysis of expediture over time from conception to completion for such iconic structures described above from the UK and abroad? Perhaps a comparison as to where, oh where, money gets poured into in the UK for our major infrastructure. Most people enjoy bashing the UK construction industry, including HM Gov. but what is the foundation for this criticism. Are the figures like for like? How much gets spent in the planning stages in the UK compared to abroad?

  • Comment on: Drought pipeline proposal for HS2 route

    Peter Widdowson's comment 13 March, 2012 10:28 am

    Politics and Engineering will always be at loggerheads with one another where there is no clear consensus as to the value of a project. The value of providing a water network, or just a North South link, will vary depending on who the promoter is behind the valuation. How do you value [prevention of] drought? My position is that the baseline should be the cost of desalination on the proviso that in a first World country like the UK it is a right for any household to have the availability of water running out of a tap, metered or not. I am not promoting desalination but using it as a baseline on the assumption (right or wrong) that there will always be a sea from which to draw water for treatment.

  • Comment on: Drought summit stops short of recommending dramatic measures to save water

    Peter Widdowson's comment 6 March, 2012 4:26 pm

    Is this the same Michael Norton who, in the article 1 March regarding using HS2 as a corridor for water transfer, ridiculed the idea? I think the HS2 idea was spot on except that there is a need to cherry pick the sections providing the best cost/ benefit ratio.

  • Comment on: Bad weather causes wind turbine fire in Scotland

    Peter Widdowson's comment 12 December, 2011 11:36 am

    Why do we cheer at the failure of others or jeer at the first sight of new industry trying to get off the ground? I am not a green, a tree hugger or an enviro-mentalist by any stretch of the imagination but I do see the need to wean ourselves off the unsustainable fossil fuel power generation. There is so much energy out there in the natural world that is sustainable (includes nuclear) and 'green' (OK- not nuclear) but we do so little to harness it. When somebody comes up with a plan be it wind, tidal, solar there always seems to be 10 people to knock it to every 1 in support. These green solutions, in energy terms, may not always be 'green' in everyones terms such as the eyesore of the wind turbine, the costal damage of a barrage. For heavans sake though - I would rather a displaced or redefiined nature conserve to a coal fired power station or an oil spill. Base load power requirements will never be supplied by wind farms- this is known but still the first shot fired by every protagonist. This is why we have tidal energy or hydro-electric schemes. I still hold a candle our for nuclear fusion.

    Schemes like this need support. The real issue and debate about the subsideis received by such power generation isn't whether they should be subsidised but how much more non-sustainable power generation should be supporting sustainable generation.

  • Comment on: Trial pit death firm found guilty of corporate killing

    Peter Widdowson's comment 17 February, 2011 9:00 am

    Is anybody else incredibly frustrated by this case?
    I can barely believe that anybody would stand up in a Court today and say, '... this is how things are done....', when there were many reported breaches of Standards, Codes of Practice, Legislation, just about anything out there to protect us from such situations, let alone a QC.
    OK, the guy should not have entered the excavation, this much is fact, but GCH did not help themselves by not being able, reportedly, to demonstrate any form of risk assessment, method statement or training that may have served as a reminder about complacency.
    This is meant to be a Professional career and I can not see us being able to pursue that title (of Professional Engineers) and the recognition that should bring, when I read of such cases. Employers, This is what it boils down to: Information, Instruction, Training, Supervision; remember your SMSTS (or similar). This has been drilled into me and hopefully the vast majority of Engineers since the very early days of my career on site.

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