Rik van Hemmen's blog

Our artist friend Mary Mattingly often contacts us for technical advice since she is very much interested in wetland and maritime community projects.

 

Often our involvement with her projects relates to providing her with assistance in finding solutions to floating her projects. (Actual flotation, not the financial kind)

 

As an artist Mary works with tiny budgets and often the largest cost component relates to the procurement of the float on which the project can be mounted. This blog presents an interesting flotation solution.

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The MAX1 conference, which took place in Wilmington, NC on June 24, 2015, set a new standard in Shipboard Waste Management studies. The conference was a rapid fire exchange of ideas by 30 industry professionals representing almost all stakeholders involved in shipboard waste management.

 

For too long OWS and Shipboard Waste Management has been a stove piped debate and this conference finally broke the stovepipes and allowed industry professionals to interact with their peers in a completely transparent setting. Thanks to the hard work of all attendees we initiated significant advances and mutual understanding in developing solutions that have evaded the industry for almost 50 years.

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In engineering there are the difficult problems and the really difficult problems. Getting to the moon or designing a safe replica schooner is difficult. The really difficult engineering problems often require that the user also needs to be re-engineered. Such problems may involve removing addiction or stopping irrational behavior or reducing poverty or altering preconceived notions.

 

I have often stated that the most difficult problem in my career has been the problem of proper bilge water management in all its forms, and on June 23 and 24 there will be a conference that completes the MAX1Study effort and that discusses the latest developments in that regard. It will address old and new concerns and present the latest thinking in achieving rugged and efficient solutions. Especially the search for efficient solutions is taking center stage and often only after massive study will the efficient solutions start to become more apparent.

 

Very strangely, in the middle of this work, I came across a very interesting article in the Atlantic magazine about making proper police reforms. read more »

In March of 2014, I posted a blog where I expressed my frustration at a lack of simple and affordable NAME programs. This led to a very lengthy SNAME Linkedin discussion, which now, sadly, seems to have evaporated in the mists of time. Regardless, the discussion was not in vain, because it connected a large number of enthusiasts and led to the start of a SNAME T&R effort which we have called Project 114.

 

The project lead is Steven Hollister, who is now developing a quite remarkable NAME computing backbone.

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When we were asked to look at OWS effectiveness by NFWF, one of the tasks we proposed was the development of a survey to obtain more information of actual OWS and shipboard waste management. With input of the research team (made up of all types of stakeholders in our industry), we have now developed the survey and invite everybody in the marine industry to take it.

 

Go to: www.surveymonkey.com/s/max1survey

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Life is complicated, and designing to deal with life’s complications is difficult. Unfortunately bad design unnecessarily punishes humanity by increasing inefficiencies and frustrations. Design mistakes get made, and sometimes the mistakes cannot be easily corrected. However, it is difficult to imagine anything more destructive to humanity than bad design that affects many people that can be easily corrected, but is not, due to mental laziness by those in charge. This story is about a sign.

 

 

 

On Easter I visited Hoover Dam. Earlier that week we had visited some of the great National Parks in the area and marveled at the skill of the National Park Service in designing and redesigning access to some of the most striking places in the world. Knowing that the Hoover Dam, like the National Parks, falls under the Department of the Interior, I was disappointed to note that the Bureau of Reclamation does not lean into the problem like the NPS.

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In almost every technical case, or operational problem we get involved in we find that it first takes the construction of a chronological narrative to get an idea as to where the shoe sticks.

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In 1522 a sailing vessel, named the Victoria, arrived in Spain and thereby completed the first circumnavigation of Earth using only sustainable power (wind). This voyage is generally called Magellan’s voyage, but the person who completed the voyage in command was Juan Sebastian Elcano.

 

Since that time, humans have circumnavigated Earth in any number of novel fashions including rockets, aircraft, and submarines, but with the exception of a balloon circumnavigation (Picard and Jones, 19 days, 1999), which is more akin to drifting with the wind rather than navigating, all those novel methods used fossil or external fuels in some fashion.

 

By water we have copied the Magellan feat any number of times using solar cells or much faster sailboats, and greatly improved on the circumnavigation time. The record for a sailing circumnavigation is 45 days and the record for a solar waterborne circumnavigation is 584 days. Not bad, noting that the original voyage took 4 years but these feats are really improvements on a method rather than a novel approach.

 

Only this year, almost 500 years later, are humans attempting to take a new approach.

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Rik van Hemmen's picture
Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Double Dog Day

Dog days are good days in an office. Today is a double dog day. Jim brought in beagle Buddy and Rik brought in golden/lab Harris.

 

Nothing easy about taking a picture of two dogs at the same time.