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Events

This page now contains details of upcoming SMEE events for second half-year 2018.  First half-year 2019 will be added soon, subject to Council approval.

 

6th October 2018

11:00 Council Meeting

14:30 Society General Meeting

Talk – William Fairbairn – a Great Nineteenth-Century Engineer by Richard Byrom

From a poverty-stricken Scottish background and an apprenticeship with a colliery millwright, William Fairbairn became one of the greatest engineers of the nineteenth century, and the best-known living engineer in the 1860s. How did this occur? In the second and third quarters of the century he was the leading international builder of mills with their prime movers – waterwheels and steam engines – and power transmission; and the leading research engineer undertaking the first major experiments on wrought-iron plates, riveted joints, creep, buckling, fatigue, the resistance of boiler flues to collapse and the density of steam at different temperatures. His work was recognised by honorary degrees from Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities and a Royal Society Gold Medal. He was also the leading iron shipbuilder during the critical decade 1835-44, and a major influence in wrought-iron bridge construction during the important decades 1845-65. In addition he built dockside and shipyard cranes and locomotives; and trained five men who went on to be professors of engineering and two others who were knighted for their services to engineering.  Fairbairn was both eye-witness and participant in the revolution from water, wind, horse and man-power to steam power; from hand tools to machine tools, rule-of-thumb to theoretical calculations; from wooden sailing ships to iron steamers, horse-drawn coaches and canal barges to a national rail network; from King’s Messenger to international telegraphy, balloons to the first wind tunnel; and from cast-iron, via wrought-iron, to steel.

Richard Byrom has spent his working life in construction, achieving chartered status as an architect, surveyor and arbitrator, and leading the multi-disciplinary consultancy Byrom Clark Roberts where several of his colleagues were chartered civil or structural engineers. He was introduced to William Fairbairn as an undergraduate in Manchester and went on to gain an MPhil and PhD in Fairbairn studies. He remains fascinated by this remarkable engineer.

 

7th October 2018

Celebration of SMEE 120. Golden Arrow dining train on Bluebell Railway.

For details see Society Journal

 

13th October 2018

09:00   Day 5 Polly course

 

18th-21st  October 2018

SMEE at Midlands MEX

 

20th October 2018

10:30   Digital Group online

 

27th October 2018

14:30 Rummage/disposal sale (viewing from 11:30)

 

3rd November 2018

11:00 Council Meeting

14:30 Society General Meeting

Talk – Designing and  Building the SMEE Wire Eroder by Brian Neale and the Digital Group

Most SMEE members will be familiar with spark erosion, the method of ‘burning’ a hole in a workpiece following the shape of an electrode and using sparks as the cutting tool. Industry has adapted the method to develop the wire eroder, a metal cutting machine using a fine, moving wire as the cutting tool and able to cut very complex shapes in the hardest materials. Although wire and spark eroders use the same basic cutting principles the wire eroder is a vastly more complex machine needing very sophisticated numerical control.

Several years ago Alan Wragg persuaded Norman Billingham to organise a visit for him and Mike Kapp to Sussex University to see their wire eroder. Although they did not see it in operation they were impressed enough to take on the challenge of design and construction of a benchtop version. Other SMEE members soon became interested and a decision was made to design and build a ‘proof of concept’ machine utilising the wide range of skills and experience of members of the Digital Group. Critical to the success was the group’s willingness to keep going, to share ideas and to find ways around the many problems that were encountered. After three years of collaborative work, a successful design has been demonstrated at shows where it was very well received and led to new members being recruited.

This talk, led by Brian Neale will outline the strategy which the group adopted and the challenges which had to be tackled along the way.

 

10th November 2018

09:00   Day 5 Polly course

 

17th November 2018

10:30   Digital Group online

 

24th November 2018

14:00 Model running, including Gauge 1

 

1st December 2018

11:00 Council Meeting

 

8th December 2018

10:30   Digital Group online

 

15th December 2018

14:30  Christmas party and competition

           Polly competition in am if sufficient entries

 

 

Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
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31
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2
3
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  • 1:00 amCouncil Meeting
  • 2:30 pmSociety General Meeting
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5
6
7
8
Current Date
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10
1
  • 9:30 amDay 6 Polly course
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12
13
14
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17
1
  • 10:00 amDigital Group online
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19
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1
  • 2:00 pmModel running, including Gauge 1
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