Welcome Cyndy!

PBC is proud and excited to welcome a new addition to the team this week. Cyndy Reddy is our newest fire safety engineer. With a background in research and development, and a degree in materials engineering, she has a keen interest in finding ways to improve safety outcomes with the latest technologies.

Cyndy’s journey to PBC started a year ago, when she decided that she’d like to move into the building services space. Cyndy ultimately chose PBC because of our fun and innovative culture.

“From my first interview, I realised that PBC had a different mindset. It was such a fun atmosphere. Fire safety is all about protecting people, so what we’re doing is serious, but at PBC it was clear that I’d have the freedom to be creative and work on projects that challenge me, and that felt important,” Cyndy said.

So far, Cyndy is kicking goals in her new position, and our director Will couldn’t be more thrilled with her performance.

“Cyndy stands for everything that we value at PBC. She is constantly looking at things from a different perspective and loves a new challenge. She impressed us from the moment we met her, so I’m excited to have her on board,” Will said.

Cyndy is just one of many new recruits we’re hoping to add to the PBC team in 2018. For more information on our open positions, click here.

Energy Milestone

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The Importance of Energy Storage in Delivering a Sustainable Future

Australia’s dependency on fossil fuels is often criticised – why do we rely on coal and natural gas to provide 91 % of the power to our country? Shouldn’t we be like Iceland, who use fossil fuels for less than 0.2 % of their power (relying on geothermal and hydroelectric), or Denmark, who can pull 39 % of their energy from the wind? How should we move forward as our resources are depleted, and we become starved for energy?

An oft-quoted answer is solar power. We are the sunburnt country – a dry climate and convenient latitude allow us many hours of high powered sunlight, to be harnessed by everything from rooftop panels to solar farms. Which is fantastic, right up until it’s cloudy. Or night. Or winter.

Inconsistent power supplies cannot meet the demands of a consistent society. It is not acceptable for the lights to go out when it is overcast. The elevator cannot stop working after sundown. We need some method of storing this energy – and to the surprise of many this simply doesn’t exist.

The current best method of storing electricity is through hydroelectric dams. When we have excess energy, we pump water up a hill. Then, when we are low on energy, we run the water back down, spin some turbines and supplement the grid. Pumped height storage is surprisingly efficient (over 70 %), however due to the huge infrastructure requirements, and geographical locations being a long way from the city, this only works in certain circumstances.

This problem can be solved with batteries. Batteries can store this excess energy when it is available, and release it when it is not. They are unlikely to achieve the same efficiency as hydro – but they are not geographically restricted, and can be installed without huge infrastructure commitments. Powerful batteries are the keystone in the arch of electricity generation, and as the technology develops we will see the harnessed capability of renewables explode.

If Tesla is able to bring their 100 MW array to South Australia – it will inspire confidence in this new technology. Implementing this will allow the development of renewable infrastructure around South Australia with incredible increases in efficiency, and push the energy policy of the world into the future.

Learning from past events.

In July 1981, the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri hosted a large party in the atrium area of the hotel. During this event, a pair of suspended walkways on the 2nd and 4th floors collapsed leading to 216 injured and 114 dead. Following investigation, the cause was determined to be resulting from a seemingly minor change in the original design of the walkways proposed by the fabricator and approved by the structural engineering without due process.

The original design had the 2nd and 4th floor walkways supported by box girders suspended from a single pair of hanger rods passing through the 4th and 2nd floors and retained by nuts and washers. Each floor is independently loading the hanging rods. The proposed change split the hanger rods in two sets where the 4th floor was hung on the first set and the 2nd floor suspended from the 4th floor girders. This resulted in the 4th floor nuts and washers supporting the weight of the 2nd floor below.

This loaded the nuts and girders with at least twice its designed loading and subsequently, with a large crowd and live loading, the box girders split, slipped over the nuts and washers to the crowd below.

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A good analogy is to consider two people hanging on a rope. In the first case each person is gripping onto the rope but in the second one person is gripping the ankles of the other. There is still the same amount of loading on the rope but the second case is much more precarious.

This seemingly minor change had a catastrophic result which would have been picked up by the engineers had they performed a review of the design or calculations.

As the general public, we don’t have a choice but to trust the constructed environment in which we live is safe and sound. When we as engineers sign off on a design we take on the responsibility for its safety. But to err is human so it is essential that we develop processes to catch the mistakes and reduce this risk.

The views expressed in this article are those of only of the author, Nadav Cohen, not PBC itself.

Automotive Milestone

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Dieselgate and the Death of Innovation

Friday, September 18, 2015. The US EPA issues a notice of violation of the Clear Air Act to the Volkswagen Group. This was the beginning of ‘Dieselgate’. Volkswagen was found to have intentionally cheated emissions testing to meet the US standards. The auto giant was eventually fined $2.8 billion by the US government. Skip forward to late 2016 and Audi announces it is withdrawing from the World Endurance Championship (WEC), which includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Dieselgate had blown a massive hole in the VW Group’s budget and Audi’s Le Mans stake, no longer being profitable, was axed.

Audi competed at Le Mans for 18 years between 1999 and 2016 and was on the podium for every single one of those races, including 13 victories. Not in all my memory has a sporting team been so devastatingly dominant for so many consecutive years. Porsche, the winningest team at Le Mans, returned prototype racing in 2014 and subsequently won in 2015 to 2017. Then, just over a month after their 19th Le Mans win in July 2017, Porsche announced they would be withdrawing from the WEC.

This wasn’t so much of a surprise though. Prototype racing had been playing with hybrid racing since 2012. However, in later years, electrical faults have been wreaking havoc and retirements on the race. Toyota had showed dominance in 2016 and lead for much of the race but, still in search of their first win at Le Mans, their car gave out on the last lap of the 24-hour race (no joke). Porsche ploughed through electrical issues every year since its return in 2014. It was not a surprise that they’d had enough.

So, why am I telling you this story?

Well, for over eighty years Le Mans has been the event, the race, the place, where manufacturers come to test their new innovations. Audi, Peugeot, Toyota, Nissan, Ferrari, Volvo, BMW. Porsche, Aston Martin, Chevrolet, McLaren, Mazda… they have all built their road car empires on the lessons learnt at Le Mans. Engines, suspension, aerodynamics, brakes… this technology is developed and tested at Le Mans (and the Nürburgring too, admittedly). So, the collapse of prototype racing at Le Mans, largely thanks to Volkswagen’s Dieselgate, will likely mark the decline in new technologies from the German cars.

Toyota remains and hopefully Mazda and Nissan return too. The future of the innovation lies where it has for decades… Japan.

The views expressed in this article are those of only of the author, Phillip Hamilton, not PBC itself.

We are explorers.

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“One small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind”, Neil Armstrong’s words still resonates with all mankind who wish to be travel through space. However, almost 50 year later first human being set foot on moon, just 12 people have walked on the moon and none since 1972. No one has travelled any further than the moon.

After NASA’s shuttle program was retired in 2011, commercial space tourism has been one of the solution to keep going with the space exploration activities. SpaceX, a privately founded in 2002 by CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk is planning to fly two paying passengers around the moon in 2018. Blue Origin founded by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, planning to send first customers flights on short trips to space in 2018. Virgin Galactic founded by Richard Branson is also planning to give passengers ride aboard SpaceShipTwo, a spaceplane designed to carry six passengers and two pilots. These private companies contribute and continue man kind’s space exploration efforts.

The idea of space travel give rise to significant safety concerns as everyone could imagine. A notable setback in commercial space travel took place on October 31, 2014, when Virgin Galactic’s spaceship violently crashed, killing a test pilot. Being the first into the unknown is never safe but taking all precautions to be prepared gives us the possibility to advance beyond our limits.

At PBC we find inspiration from previous explorers to explore all the possibilities in the work we do. Exploring all the way we can do better, continuously learning and improving all we do.

Sources:

https://bigpictureeducation.com/short-history-human-space-travel

https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/3470209/virgin-galactic-cost-fly-space-richard-branson-spaceline-launch/

http://fortune.com/2017/08/24/spacex-spacesuit-elon-musk-design-space/

https://www.space.com/36267-blue-origin-space-capsule-interior-sneak-peek.html

How the world has become smaller.

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The natural barriers such as the mountains, seas and vast distances have divided the world and hindered our reach. With the advancements in transportation technology, these barriers have been overcome.  It’s bought the world to a higher level connectivity physically, bridging cultures together.

Humans as a species have continuously been expanding our potential to break through barriers in part due to our unique relationship with machines. Humans can not fly or break the sound the barrier alone but only with the collaboration of built machines. At PBC we embrace collaboration with all stakeholders to ensure all communication is acknowledged. Collaborating as early as possible to provide the best performance-based solution with efficiency and flexibility.

It’s not just our world that is becoming smaller - our reach beyond the Earth’s atmosphere has been extended; a barrier that once thought of as insurmountable. We broke through the atmosphere and set foot on the moon. In 1936 The New York Times said, “A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere”, but only 80 years later we have over 1000 satellites in orbit. 

While it is difficult to predict the future, we should never doubt our abilities to push boundaries and further our reach.

We uphold this attitude when designing performance-based solutions that cover all the details, delivering the highest calibre of work for our clients. As we can’t predict the future but you can be sure we’ll do utmost to make sure the future is safer and prepared for it. So shall we work together to make the world a safer place?

Why Workplace Health and Safety has almost nothing to do with offices and everything to do with people.

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If you didn’t know it yet, this year has been the worst year for the flu in quite some time. And it’s not just Sydney that’s suffering. Across the nation, Australians are experiencing most serious flu epidemic we've had since swine flu in 2009.

Many of us sitting in office-based jobs and businesses tend to think of Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) as slips, trips and falls. But in the Engineering industry we widen our view of what makes a safe workplace. We're pretty accustomed to making sure we arrive at site with personal protective equipment (PPE) and all the necessary equipment to prevent obvious physical injury. However, we often forget that hygiene is an equally serious WHS issue.

Think about the last time someone in your workplace has a slip trip or fall.

Now, think about the last time when someone in your work place got a cold or flu.

All the time, right?

Influenza and other communicable illnesses are a legitimate WHS issue and it’s costing the nation. The latest data (see our sources below) predicts this flu season will cost Australian businesses $4.6 billion in lost productivity this year. It also suggests that employers should expect nearly half their people to tap into their sick leave; and of those that do tap into their sick leave, 20% of them will take 3 or more days off.

7 tips to keep all hands on deck this flu season

The good news is that you can move the needle on this issue. A cleaner office with less germs (and therefore less colds and flu) can be yours for the taking. Here’s 7 tips to get your team back in the game and right as rain:

  1. Be flexible, like a gymnast – Offer your squad flexible start and finish times and the choice to work from home. Crowded public transport is a sure fire way to catch colds and flu. By allowing people to be flexible and arrive and depart the workplace at off-peak times you are reducing the likelihood of people catching communicable diseases. Likewise, allowing people to work from home reduces the likelihood of them getting sick, and if they are coming down with an illness or recovering it will protect the rest of the office.
  2. Its posh to wash -  On average, people touch their faces at least 18 times per hour so it is important that they regularly wash their hands. We know that 80% of infectious diseases are transmitted by touch, the flu virus can survive outside the body on a hard surface for 24 hours.
  3. Keep it lean, mean and clean – with disinfectant wipes. Set a reminder to do wipe down your desk and workspace, mouse, keyboard, headsets and other equipment. after you shut down at the end of the day. Once leaders are observably doing this, others will follow suit. Have a box of tissues on every desk and a bin to pop them into once used also at every desk.
  4. Coffee, tea, petri dish? – Make sure mugs, glasses, crockery and cutlery are not left on desks at the end of every day. These need to go straight to the dishwasher (and not hanging around in the sink either) where they’re free to cultivate all kinds of icky bacteria.
  5. “Your Kitchen Rules” – Tea towels might be ok for at home, but they have no place in your workplace kitchen. Opt for paper towel instead. Make Friday “Flick it out of the fridge” day, where what’s left over from the week will get checked out. And to avoid the uproar from your tribe, make sure everyone is aware of the rules in advance and has a role to play in maintaining them.
  6. No jab, no play – Well, sort of.  We know you legally can’t enforce a flu vax on everyone, however, offering the flu vaccination free to your team will absolutely make a dent on the illnesses. A great time to do this is Easter, before the season is in full swing.
  7. Get outta here! – Literally. Don’t eat lunch at your desk - encourage your people to get outside in the fresh air when the weather is good. Similarly, if they are coughing and spluttering, it’s time to get them out of the office, to the doctor and then to bed. No arguments!

Currently, the Australian Government advises that an annual vaccination is the best way of preventing the flu and any associated illness, and encourages all Australians of any age to get one. Because the flu virus is constantly changing, every year the flu vaccine changes too, so it protects against the flu strains which are most likely to be around during that winter.

Remember, you might be able to see that sparking wire, but just because you can’t see germs doesn’t mean they don’t do as much damage! Our WHS Legislation applies in EVERY office, on site – and every workplace you can think of.

We hope you have been unaffected by the 2017 flu season, but if you’re unlucky enough to find yourself laid up sick in bed, we’re sending you a virtual bowl chicken soup and best wishes for a speedy recovery!    

Find out more about how our team approaches safety here and follow us to see how we work!

http://performbc.com/blog/2017/6/7/new-starters

 

Sources

http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/Influenza/Pages/reports.aspx

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-21/flu-influenza-why-2017-has-been-a-particularly-bad-year/8826512

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/australia-hit-by-worst-flu-outbreak-on-record-in-2017/news-story/56d9f7266bcc8a0a7ceacd5298e06d88

http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/immunise-influenza

Rail Safety Week

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This week marks Rail Safety Week, an initiative to ensure commuters are aware of their surroundings and stay safe around the rail network.

But what about safety in design? Performance Based Consulting has recently been engaged with two major rail projects to help provide functional and safe stations for Sydney commuters. We made sure the stations would be dependable in a fire emergency situation, and that appropriate fire safety measures were installed to allow safe occupant evacuation, and to facilitate fire fighting capabilities.

By applying fire engineering principles to rail networks, we are able to ensure safety during evacuation. We look at things like distances to exits, widths of stairs, and evacuation times to make sure stations are as safe as can be. We make sure they are kitted out with extinguishers to allow first response fire fighting.

PBC exists to create safe spaces and change the way we build. Contact us to chat about how we can help you with your upcoming project.

What is Safe Design?

As designers, we have a duty of care to the people that use our products, buildings and systems that have been conceived and put in place by us.

Safe design is the combination of identifying hazards and assessing risks early in the design process to remove unnecessary risk, and to reduce the risk of injury for the duration of the product, building or system life cycle. Safe design has the most influence on projects at the earlier stages of the design process. Once significant resources have been invested into the design, it becomes difficult to revise fundamental safety issues which may have been already incorporated into the basis of the product. It is best to address these factors while they are still concepts.

Advantages of safe design include a stronger understanding a design’s requirements and limitations, prevention of injury, improved usability of the product, building or systems that can lead to improved productivity, meeting safety regulations, innovation, and adjustment for revised regulation. Rather than considering safety as a limiting factor, safe design can introduce opportunities to improve the existing product and allow it to work more effectively.

1 small detail that could ruin your trip.

We’ve given some tips on travelling safely throughout the week. Now we’re going to talk about one small detail that can be easily overlooked that could prevent us from travelling altogether.

Your passport’s expiration date.

Before locking in any travel dates have a look at your passport expiration date. Countries like Germany do not allow you to travel there if your passport is set to expire three to six months before your departure date. Other countries won’t let you in if your passport expires three to six months after your scheduled date to return from that country.

This is especially important if your trip involves visiting more than one country. Be aware of all the countries you are visiting their entry and exit requirements. Otherwise you may not be able to board your final flight home because you are denied entry to the country.

If you’re a frequent traveller also keep in mind that some countries require you to have two to four blank visa stamp pages in your passport.

Of course, you can have your passport renewed before your trip with an expedited processing time, but it will cost you more to have it rushed to you. And then you will need to worry about receiving it before you depart. All this could be avoided if you just check that one small detail on your passport.

7 ways to an eco-friendly office.

They say that if you can keep a potted plant alive you can nurture almost anything. When it comes to sustainable businesses, most want to see their indoor plants grow as much as their people do. When we come together at work a significant difference can be made. There are lots of ways to do this and even a small office can become more environmentally-friendly without making massive changes.  Here’s seven ways you can get "green".

Carpool not Deadpool: How to reduce carbon emissions

Engineers and the construction industry tend to be known as rather competitive and scientific types, so why not hold a carpool emissions reduction competition with a business partner?  After all, mums and dads have been running the school carpool for generations and they can’t be wrong! Plus, it’s a great start to your day. Why not make one of you designated coffee person and the other on baked goods duty? And, if you don’t have a car, why not cycle in together? it’s good for the planet and good for your body. You don’t have to do this every day - just once a week can make a significant impact on our carbon footprint.

Coffee? Tea?

If your office has a coffee machine or buys freeze-dried coffee or tea, it's best to opt for free-trade and organic. The process of making the coffee and tea involves plenty of steps that do damage to the environment. But when you buy fair trade, organic coffee and tea its processed with least damage to the environment, plus its tastier too. Fair trade coffee/tea are made with respect to people and planet. Fair Trade CertifiedTH  products meet environmental and workplace standards such as providing fair wages for workers and restricting the chemicals used on crops that are harmful on the environment.

I can see clearly now

Let the natural sunlight in. Not only will it save on your lighting and heating bill, it has bigger benefits for all your people too. Exposure to natural light during the day will set their circadian rhythms (that's our biological clock which is modulated by external cues such as the temperature and sunlight) People get exposure to natural light during the day will sleep for an extra 43 minutes per night and the quality of the sleep will be better too.

Go paperless or reduce your paper wastage

If you're not game enough to go completely paperless, set the office up for a black and white and double-sided printing default protocol. The likelihood for actually needing to print much of anything is very limited. The general rule is that if a document requires a hard signature or needs to be filed then its worthy of print. Otherwise, keep it in the cloud!

Reduce, reuse and recycle

It’s not just paper that can be recycled. If your office uses coffee pods, containers of condiments and spreads they can be recycled to as well as milk bottles and empty tissue boxes. Not to mention old and broken hardware, printer ink cartridges, and batteries.

Turn off the heat, bring in your woollens

Don’t go crazy with the air conditioning. Twenty-one degrees might be a prefect temperature if you are a man (who tend to run hotter than women) or/and if you wear a 3-piece suit and a tie - hardly standard business attire these days anyway. But by keeping your office temperate, your people will be more comfortable to leave their cardigans at home and you’ll be saving the planet and your power bill.

Be green when you clean

Switch over to "green" cleaning products. You don’t have to be a crunchy hippy who uses vinegar and bicarb to clean everything, but even a small change can make a massive difference. Go for a biodegradable when you can. Likewise opt for a cleaning company that uses sustainable products. 

You’re such a turn-off

"Turn the lights off as you leave." Sounds simple huh? But why stop there? Switch off as much hardware as you can at the switch, kettles, toasters, sandwich presses, coffee machines, phone chargers, desk fans, to save extra dollars and environmental impact.

 

This list is in no way complete but it’s a great start to a more sustainable way of working.
It's up to all of us to take the opportunity to look around the office and ask how we can be kinder to the planet.

What’s your sustainability short-cuts? We’d love to know!

How sustainable are fuel efficient cars?

Let’s start with the obvious. Improving the fuel efficiency of a car is the right direction to go. There are three ways I can think of why fuel efficiency is important:

  1. Saves the customer money
  2. Less carbon emissions into the environment
  3. Might indicate the quality of the engineering

The first and second points are straight-forward: less fuel use saves you money and less exhaust saves the environment. I don’t think anyone can make a sound argument against either of these two points. However, the third point is curious and will be explored further. Below is a table which outlines some popular cars, hybrids and sports cars in terms of their fuel efficiency, power and torque figures.

Car

Fuel Efficiency (L/100km) Power (HP) Torque (Nm)

Toyota Prius (maximum performance)

(3 L/100km) (130 HP) (120 Nm)

Kia Rio (maximum performance)

(3 L/100km) (110 HP) (135 Nm)

Porsche 918 Spyder

(3.5 L/100km) (762 HP) (528 Nm)

Subaru Outback (2.0 L, petrol)

(5.7 L/100km) (150 HP) (350 Nm)

Toyota Landcruiser (4.5L diesel)

(11 L/100km) (300 HP) (439 Nm)

In January this year, I was driving a 2016 Kia Rio along the NSW south coast. Several times throughout my journey I was going up a hill, with the foot to the floor and the engine above 4000 RPM, and I was still losing speed. If a car doesn’t have the power to get up a hill, or make a highway overtake even while dropping to second gear and mashing the throttle, it somewhat defeats the purpose of dropping the engine size.

The point I am making is being obsessed with fuel efficiency can lead to underpowered, unsafe cars. Fuel efficiency needs to be carefully considered in conjunction with the performance of the engine. In my opinion, a car which does 5.7 L/100km with 150 HP and 350 Nm of torque is much more sustainable as an all-round form of transport than something with 3 L/100km making 110 HP and 135 Nm of torque. Cars are built for more than just the multi-storey carpark and should be treated as such.

Sustainability in Engineering - Progress and integration into the field.

ABC recently presented a program titled ‘War on Waste’. Craig Reucassel (of Chaser’s War on Everything – an influential program on my childhood) teaches us about the life of bananas – how they are picked and sorted and ultimately delivered to the supermarket display. Craig reveals that up to 40 percent of bananas are thrown away by farmers because they don’t meet supermarket standards. They are too bent, too straight, too long, too short, too fat or too thin – superficially inappropriate, and therefore unprofitable.

This was met with outrage by many of my friends! How could a company justify throwing out perfectly edible food when there are so many people starving in the world?

But I wasn’t concerned, or even phased. Four years of a mechanical engineering degree has taught me enough to be familiar with manufacturing design – this level of discard is standard practice. Anything mass produced incorporates copious amount of waste and unused product. Efficiency is only considered if it produces profit, or is required by regulation.

This mentality is foreign outside of engineering. People are used to making life decisions and considering a whole range of factors – ethics, convenience, effectiveness. They aren’t familiar with the engineering mindset of designing specifically and directly to achieve a set of project requirements. This is what we are paid to do. The engineer will only incorporate sustainable principles if they are contractually obliged to.

Sustainability is captured by those who set the requirements; the financiers, the managers, the corporations. Why should they incorporate sustainability? It will cost them more to produce the same quantity, reducing shareholder value and sacrificing profit. Losing jobs. The level of responsibility implemented by the people in power is governed by whether it is profitable to do so.

Sustainability will be implemented when the values of the culture and society require it – when the consumer will pay a premium for a product manufactured with ethical principles. The agent of change in society, in engineering, in the world, is the end user – and when they decide they want sustainable products, industry will follow.

Sustainability or convenience?

Our active lifestyles are permitted by convenience – which often comes at the cost of energy and resources. We can enjoy all the conveniences available to us but also need to be conscious of our decision making and the greater scheme of the impact it has on the environment.

For instance, what used to be a task of preparing food has been replaced by a virtual button on a smart device to have food delivered on demand protected by disposable packaging. It takes a significant amount of energy and resources to manufacture these single use items, which will be immediately discarded.

Recently at PBC we have provided our employees with reusable water bottles to encourage them to drink water instead of sugary drinks, stay hydrated throughout the day and to eliminate the need for single use water bottles. It’s a small step towards being more sustainable, and most importantly it’s a step towards being an environmentally conscious company.

Diversity in STEM and Engineering – Why we LOVE it at PBC.

So, the more Engineers we have coming through universities the more innovation we’ll have. Sounds great. More of that please.

But our Engineering tribe – well, we have a look don’t we? Historically we were a rung up from the boiler suit types and Engineering has been known as ‘old, white, male and dry’, we’re being kind. When we look at the ABS stats it’s no wonder.

Men make up the overwhelming majority, 92% of those with higher level qualifications in Engineering, and when we look broader to STEM, 71% of people who work in STEM are born overseas. So, there is in fact a cultural diversity that is taking place in STEM and in Engineering, but it’s not enough.

Diversity is considered critical in industries where innovation is key – namely STEM and Engineering. The more diverse we are as an industry the more innovative we’ll be.

While we all want the best person for the job, the right skill set, the right culture fit, maybe our industry should also add a diversity filter into our hiring practices. Especially when we know how important diversity can be for engagement and the bottom line for business and industry. But without a compelling argument it won’t happen.

So here are 4 reasons to achieve diversity:

  1. Diversity Broadens Our Vision:  One-sided perspectives smother innovation. Diverse teams give us a yin and yang, a renegade and a traditionalist. By bouncing ideas, and having various perceptions we can come to some robust decision making.
  2. It Strengthens Capabilities: According to the Australian Government Workplace Gender Equality agency, businesses that value diversity “are better able to attract and retain high performers and improve operational performance.” Errr yes please!
  3. It Drives Customer Satisfaction: We are all virtual, businesses can sell to customers everywhere and at any time. If businesses want to keep up must adapt to diverse client and customer demographic. If your employees don’t mirror that they are disconnected. 
  4. Diversity Improves the Bottom Line:  Diverse businesses are more profitable. BANG! 

What’s your experience of diversity in Engineering? Or lack thereof?

 

Sources:

Australian Bureau of Statistics

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4250.0.55.005~2010%E2%80%9311~Main%20Features~Demographic%20characteristics~5 

Diversity Council of Australia

https://www.dca.org.au/

Workplace Gender Equality Agency

https://www.wgea.gov.au/

Diversity - What it is to us.

Diversity in the work place has more to do than just the variety of differences in ethnicity. A Diverse workplace is an ensemble of employees with differentiating characteristics including but not limited to gender, education, cultural background, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation and lifestyle.

Here at PBC, we are committed to promoting equality and diversity as a part our company’s culture. We are creating a company culture inclusive of members of various attributes. We have set up our company culture on a foundation that encourages individuals to retain their identity instead of requiring them conform to another character and being someone else when they are at work.

We need as many perspectives as possible so we can interpret challenging problems and objectives from different angles in identifying a solution.

Safety + Shortcuts

Now and again we take an occasional shortcut in our lives. Which may just be crossing the road that is not at a pedestrian crossing. It is an action an individual takes assuming it will save time and/or effort at the risk of more severe consequences.

The safety and wellbeing of people is far more important than the short-term benefits of meeting deliverables before deadlines, or choosing to achieve objectives in a cost-effective manner because of a ‘time is money’ attitude. We take shortcuts because of short-term thinking, rather than the long-term consequences involved.

Is it just human nature to take the path of least resistance? Is this why individuals continue to take shortcuts?

The recent fires in Lacrosse Docklands, Victoria and the Grenfell Tower in London have highlighted the risks and consequences when safety measures have not been met or properly maintained throughout the building’s life after the initial development.

The Lacrosse Docklands’ fire demonstrates the risks of an external fire spreading up the external façade of the building, involving the external composite cladding panels. In the London Grenfell Tower, which is still under investigation, the severity of the fire is suspected to also involve the use of an external composite material and its installation.

Throughout the team at PBC we have performed fire safety engineering on a wide variety of buildings. If you have any concerns about your building or simply want to know more please contact us.

Our sincere thoughts go out to all those affected.

World Environment Day

Today (being World Environment Day) remember to take a moment in our busy lives and be grateful for the precious environment we prosper from and call home.

We at PBC are committed to operating in a way that considers the financial, social and environmental impacts of its business activities in a positive, responsible and ethical manner whilst understanding and professionally servicing its client family needs and enhancing value to all stakeholders.

Regular practice already undertaken in this regard includes:

  • Turning off lights in meeting rooms after use
  • Turning off monitors and electrical equipment at close of business
  • Double-siding printing and black and white printing defaults
  • Purchasing recycled paper
  • Recycling IT hardware

New Starters

 From top to bottom: Jess Tang, Elliott Vercoe, Dan Vo

From top to bottom: Jess Tang, Elliott Vercoe, Dan Vo

April and May have been busy and exciting time for PBC, as we continue to grow.

We'd like to formally welcome Jess Tang - Senior Fire Safety Engineer and Elliott Vercoe - Fire Safety Engineer to our Fire Safety Engineering Team.

Jess has Fire Engineering project experience spanning across various sectors - infrastructure, healthcare, residential, commercial, stadia and entertainment precincts including the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Elliott has a background in commissioning mechanical systems, and has worked on projects including the Barangaroo Precinct, and data centres.

Similarly, we would also like to welcome Dan Vo - Design and Marketing Coordinator to our Shared Services Team. Dan comes from an Industrial Design background and has a keen interest in Human Factors and Visual Information.

We're really happy you’ve decided to Make Your Way with us.