Background The start of 2019 has seen much media attention to various incidents resulting from, arguably, negligent decision making. One such incident was the recent high-rise apartment building fire in Melbourne that resulted in hundreds of residents evacuated. The fire is believed to have started due to a discarded cigarette on a balcony and quickly spread five storeys. The Melbourne … Read More
In October and November (2018), I presented due diligence concepts at four conferences: The Chemeca Conference in Queenstown, the ISPO (International Standard for maritime Pilot Organizations) conference in Brisbane, the Australian Airports Association conference in Brisbane (with Phil Shaw of Avisure) and the NZ Maritime Pilots conference in Wellington. The last had the greatest representation of overseas presenters. In particular, … Read More
Australian guidance for gas and liquid petroleum pipeline design guidance comes, to a large extent, from Australian Standard 2885. Amongst other things AS2885 Pipelines – Gas and liquid petroleum sets out a method for ensuring these pipelines are designed to be safe. Like many technical standards, AS2885 provides extensive and detailed instruction on its subject matter. Together, its six sub-titles … Read More
Engineers Australia with the support of the Risk Engineering Society have embarked on a project to develop a Risk Engineering Book of Knowledge (REBoK). Register to join the community. The first REBoK session, delivered by Warren Black, considered the domain of risk and risk engineering in the context risk management generally. It described the commonly available processes and the way … Read More
A recent conversation with a consultant to a large law firm described the current legal trend in Melbourne, notably that rights had become more important than responsibilities.
Arising from a recent expert witness commission, the legal counsel directed R2A’s attention to Makita (Australia) Pty Ltd v Sprowles [2001} NSWCA 305 (14 September 2001), which provides an excellent review of the role and responsibility of an expert witness, at least in NSW.
Both law and engineering are practical rather than theoretical activities in the sense that their ultimate purpose is to change the state of the world rather than to merely understand it. The lawyers focus on social change whilst the engineers focus on physical change. It is the power to cause change that creates the ethical concerns. Knowing does not have … Read More
Disclosure: Tim Procter worked in Arup’s Melbourne office from 2008 until 2016. Shortly after Christmas a number of media outlets reported that tier one engineering consulting firm Arup had settled a major court case related to traffic forecasting services they provided for planning Brisbane’s Airport Link tunnel tollway. The Airport Link consortium sued Arup in 2014, when traffic volumes seven … Read More
An introduction to the concept of Engineering Due Diligence Engineering is the business of changing things, ostensibly for the better. The change aspect is not contentious. Who decides what’s ‘better’ is the primary source of mischief. In a free society, this responsibility is morally and primarily placed on the individual, subject always to the caveat that you shouldn’t damage your … Read More
Engineers play an integral role in bringing society’s wishes to fruition. As Engineers Australia’s monthly magazine create notes, we engineer ideas into reality. However, when we go about taking ideas and making them real we have responsibilities. We are obliged to consider the ideas’ risks as well as benefits. We must ensure that our engineering activities meet our society’s expectations, … Read More