Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Transporting Wastewater at UWA

I'm doing a unit called Engineering for Sustainable Development, which is in fact a mechanical unit, but I had to do it anyway due to timetable issues. It's one of those fluffy units that's not very well defined, and where lectures are guest lecturers from industry, and I haven't quite figured out how to enjoy it yet.

Although, it does have it's moments. One of the major assignments for the unit was a Wastewater Transport Project. There was a company, JAMARG, who was producing a bunch of wastewater (i.e. water from a hose) that needed to be transported through the Fiefdoms (different regions of the campus) by the 9 transport companies A-I (we were Transport Team I - iTransport) to UniTreat, the wastewater treatment plant located on the opposite side of uni.

The lead up to the practical was to write a huge management plan involving a risk assessment, communication plan, forms, procedures, policies, etc. That... was not fun, and turned out to be a huge time sink which is not good in final year. However, the day was pretty awesome!

We were given a wheelbarrow and 4 buckets, and we had to physically transport the 220L of wastewater (per transport company) with a wheelbarrow via our secure transport system. Some teams went all out and bought paint buckets as enclosures. We went for the cheap option - put bags in the buckets and fill those up instead, then tie them up with a knot to prevent spillages. By the way a spillage is penalised by a 10minute wait and some money loss too.

We didn't do too badly - we only had one minor spill, but didn't manage to deliver our full consignment. This was relatively minor compared to UniTreat who managed to have two fatalities; a mother pushing a pram wandered into the wastewater treatment area and became contaminated, and promptly died.

So after all my complaining I managed to have a pretty good time! Going down to the tav with our blue suits on was a nice end to a hard days work hauling hazardous waste.
Wastewater Transport

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Glad Wrap vs. Al Foil

This is something that's been bothering me for a while now, and I was hoping to get some comments that will clear up my kitchen konundrum.

OK so how do you make the decision to use Al foil rather than Glad Wrap and vice versa? Sometimes it's obvious, for example, left over pizza is definitely an Al foil thing, where as left over chicken is definitely a Glad Wrap thing.

But sometimes I'm left confused - how do I cover up the left over sausage sizzle? What about left over steak? Left over pasta? Help!

On another note, check out Matt's post about the worst movie in the world, Dark Hunters, which happens to star Jeff Fahey, a Lost cast member. I strongly suggest that you watch this movie if you ever happen to come across it - it's... HILLARIOUS - I think I've seen it about 10 times now and each time has offered a new facet of ridiculousness. I picked it up from a bargain bin in a Sydney $2 shop as a joke present for Matt's sis. Best $2 spent ever!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Face to Face Expo and Google Visits

I thought I'd post about some stuff that happened last week, since I've been really distracted with final year project proposal due in, tests, assignments... the usual stuff!

Google Tech Talk
The Google guys have been going around to universities spreading the word and doing tech talks. UWA was lucky enough to have Susannah present the Map-Reduce tech talk. I had already heard it at the Anita Borg finalists retreat last year (tech girls - APPLY!), but I picked up a lot more this time around.

The Googlers invited the previous year's finalists out to dinner to catch up on what was going on. Of course the topic of final year project was taboo (for obvious stress reasons) so it was no tech talk at the dinner table. Speaking to the guys got me thinking about applying for an internship over the summer... but I've just moved out so small steps, small steps.

Trust me to choose the Best Parking SpotEngineers Australia Face to Face Expo
The Face to Face expo is held at the Claremont Showgrounds and is really just a hoard of companies with stalls trying to scope out the talent (engineering talent that is). I attended this year not as a student, but as a representative for L-3 Nautronix! It was very fun being on the other side, despite the being soaking wet all day (there was torrential rain all morning - but my shoes were fine phew!).

The L-3 Nautronix StandOur stall was put together in a bit of a rush, so we definitely learned a lot that will make it better next year, for example, we're planning on having a banner that lists the types of engineering disciplines that are relevant so that the civil guys don't bother inquiring.

We had a few really interesting people talk to us, so all in all it was successful! Hopefully there's a lot of applicants this year, since it seems to be hard to find good graduates who aren't planning to move away from Perth.

Uni Stuff
Digital Microelectronics System Design (DMSD) test next week, group assignment due, Digital Communications and Networking (DCN) assignment due, Engineering for Sustainable development management plan and practical due (it's actually quite awesome, I'll post about it later), final year project in continuous high stress mode... I miss the days when comp sci and maths units took the edge of the engineering :(

Keeping my chin up though!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

RIP Penny the Mouse

Penny was a happy mouse and was loved by everyone (except for my grandma, but that doesn't count). She liked to be patted between her ears, and her favourite treat was biscuit crumbs.

Penny was my pet for a year, and she is greatly missed :( Goodbye Penny!

Penny In the Sky