Thursday, 28 January 2016

Minecraft training

Today's the day for attending a Minecraft training day at the University of Manchester!

Fact finding session thoughts begin.

Before going in my thoughts are:

1 I've seen my lads playing this game and it looks pretty simple. It seems to be a bit like Lego on steroids.

2 So you can construct great structures. I can see how this could be used to aid some sort of design process. Something akin to VR but  using blocks?

3 What I want to find out is can it be used for non construction training. Say for example safety engineering training, risk assessments and the like?

Okay here we go:

What a brilliant day! Got much more out of it than anticipated. Especially when the Internet connection dropped out giving more time to bombard the organisers with questions.

In answer to Q3  above the answer is yes. We had ideas of building for example a level crossing and injecting in guidance on design standards to aid knowledge based learning. Another idea was to inject failure rates into parts of the design to aid appreciation on safety and reliability effects.

The big idea was however to look to get youngsters involved in the railway arena through the design of their local station. Then to look for improvements and risks associated with the design. Needs a bit of through on exactly how to make this entertaining but we all though that it would be doable through the primary school tech programmes.

All in all - very impressed - off to learn how to programme in Python!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

2015 start of a new era

Well 2015 all in all was a bit of a blast. Not only did it herald in the start of my new business NTTX Advisory and winning a couple of sizeable contract it also saw me getting back to a bit of research.

The business is now up and running with things moving a lot faster that I originally intended. Which hasn't done much for my early semi-retirement plan but has been great fun and given me a reboot on a number of fronts.

The research and development has resulted in 2 papers both to be presented this year. One in Sardinia and the other in Brussels. Both on the use of 'big data' in risk assessment. On the back of this work we are developing a software product called ELBowTie which will implement the approach by integrating enterprise data into a living risk management tool. All very exciting! Well done to the Dev team of Alex, Richardsthe and Ray in getting this off the ground while not being paid for any of it! It is a bootstrap startup after all!

A lot of code designing went on last year - which is a step in the right direction with respect to the revival plan.