Engineer internet

miscellany submarine cables and submarines – dive dive dive

submarine cable map courtesy of my old alma mater today, Bangor University. It’s nice to get invited. We are opening a new Laboratory and then the Annual Engineering Lecture. This year it is entitled “Submarine Engineering across the years”  and is to be given by Rear Admiral (retd) Paul Thomas CB, FREng, FCGI, FIMechE, Hon FNucI, Hon FSaRS. That’s more badges than most of us could possibly dream of!

The subject is quite convenient because some time ago I bookmarked a website thinking it was cool and would come in handy some day. Well now it has and whilst absolutely  nothing to do with today’s lecture it is fascinating to see where all the undersea cables are. The whole internet is underpinned by relatively few connections really.

If you click on an individual cable line it tells you who owns the cable, how long it is, when it was laid and where it lands. This is big business. Some of these cables are very long. SeaMeWe3 for example is 39,000km, stretches from Germany all the way to Australia and South Korea and is owned by a cooperative of 16 organisations.

Keeping it topical, some governments, ours included want to monitor the traffic running though these cables. When you look at the map it makes you realise how absurd this is.

I have visions of Rear Admiral (retd) Paul Thomas in his sub pootling along following the cables to find his way home – a bit like the pilots in their Sopwith Camels during WW1 following the roads and railway lines. Fiendishly clever. Splice the mainbrace, Klingons on the starboard bow, land ho, take her down number one, dive dive dive, etc etc etc.

I’ll let you know how the lecture goes 🙂

End User fun stuff

Universities getting savvy re recruitment process

Universities having to adopt commercial practices to attract good candidatesMy daughter is in her last year at school. She is a clever hard working girl1 and will do well for herself. She has had 4 good offers from top universities but hasn’t yet made up her mind which one to accept. She is off on her last “site visit” this week. An “overnighter”.

Students from two of the universities have now rung her to “see if there is anything they can help her with, any questions etc?”

This is remarkable and just shows how competitive it is out there, at least for good candidates. It is also mirrors life in the big bad world outside. This is a world where you can’t afford to leave things to chance. Every aspect of your business has to work for you. If you sit back and wait for that customer to place (or renew) his contract you can kiss goodbye to that customer. It means you aren’t giving him enough attention.

I am comfortable that an university that applies business process to its recruitment campaigns will also produce graduates well equipped to face that big bad world. The decision now is all hers. I have done everything I can to help when asked but now for the first time she is on her own. I can’t make that decision for her. Exciting times!

I don’t know about you but the fact that my kids are now at university age makes me wan to step on the accelerator when it comes to progress. It only seems like yesterday that I was there and the time has whizzed by. So much to do, so little time. Lets get on with it 🙂

1 gets it from her mother