Archive | November, 2012

Olympic Velodrome engineer to celebrate imaginative engineering

This looks like it’s going to be brilliant. We’re going, are you?

Can engineering really be emotional, beautiful and exciting? Velodreamland, a talk from Olympic Velodrome engineer Chris Wise, will explore just that question at Rook Lane Chapel in Frome on 20th November.

The event has been organised by the Mayor of Frome, Councillor Pippa Goldfinger, in partnership with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) South West.

Chris’ talk will examine whether engineering is just science and maths or if it could be one of the most exciting and creative professions in the world.The award-winning engineer will look at the possibilities of imaginative engineering, encouraging engineers to work in a more intuitive way and still respect the laws of physics.

Chris is co-founder of Expedition Engineering, a successful, experimental practice that has won awards for highly acclaimed projects such as the Olympic Velodrome and the Infinity Bridge. He has worked with some of the world’s leading architects including Richard Rogers, Michael Hopkins, Norman Foster and Renzo Piano.

Councillor Goldfinger, who graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering with Architecture, sits on ICE’s Bath City Club committee and is actively engaged with promoting civil engineering. She commented: “Chris Wise was recently awarded Gold Medals by both ICE and the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), and is widely known for his hands-on engineering projects. We are delighted to have him present what I’m sure will be an inspirational talk!”

The session is open to both those in the industry and members of the public. Tickets cost £6 and bookings are being taken online via the ICE South West website,

Rook Lane Chapel
Bath Street
United Kingdom
BA11 1DN

Date: 20th November 2012
Time:  18:00 – 20:00

More information is also available by contacting Joanne Mallard on 01752 766230.

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Smarta 100 – Top 25!

So we didn’t win, but we did come 25th which is a brilliant achievement. Truth is that to have been selected as one of the 100 winners was more than we’d hoped for and to think that there were over 1500 nominees, well, we still can’t quite believe it.

Thank you to everyone who voted for us, we really appreciate it.


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140 isn’t always enough…

We’ve been so busy over the past few months that the blog has become a little neglected. Because of how quick they are to use our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds have been our main method of communicating, and they’ve worked well, but have felt a little too short, too sharp and too impersonal to replace our blog posts completely.

So, from now on we’re going to make a special effort to stay on top of the blog.

That’s a promise.

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The Great British Braze Off

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Mathew Sowter (Made in England and Saffron Frameworks) telling me about an event that he and Ryan from Oak Cycles were planning – The Great British Braze Off – a demo at Look Mum No Hands to showcase a select group of framebuilders and allow the public to engage with them as they work. As lots of framebuilders were due to be in London for the Made in England Book launch the night before it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss, but Matthew and Ryan needed a little help to make the event happen. Well, The Bicycle Academy has some great supporters so I spoke to Weldability-Sif who kindly provided all the welding equipment and rods, and Air Products too, who were good enough to support the event by supplying the gas.

For the people watching it was a great opportunity to see exactly how these artisans work, what they use and how they achieve the results that they have become so famous for. For those of us who are working with these tools every day it was a great opportunity to learn from each other – discuss techniques and use different materials (such as the Sif 101 rods that proved to be really popular with all the builders).

The event was a great success with loads of people watching and asking questions, and the framebuilders realising that although a little nerveracking, working infront of a large group of people wasn’t as affecting as feared.

In addition to those already mentioned thanks to Reynolds for supplying the tubing, and builders Rick featherTom DonhouTed James, and Robin Mather for taking part.

Watch out for other events from us all in the near future…

Photos 2, 4, 5, 9 & 10 by Apollo Gerolymbos

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