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Events 2017
Welcome to the programme for 2017
Guests and non-members are welcome to all these events.
We appreciate a donation to help fund future events.
First Listings
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Dates for your Diary 2017


Owing to circumstances beyond our control it has been necessary to change our meeting evenings to Thursdays, so please check the revised dates below. The dates of the visits to Holy Well Glass and Wyke Farms REMAIN UNCHANGED. The time and venue of our meetings also remain unchanged

Wednesday 25th January "100 Years of Cosmic Rays, An Illustrated Talk by Dr Roger Moses of Bristol University

THURSDAY 23rd February-Climate Change and Solutions to Global Warming--A Talk by Trevor Letcher.

Wednesday 8th March - Visit to Holy Well Glass (Wells)-with Stephen Clare.

THURSDAY 20th April - History of The Somerset Coal Canal - A Talk by Mike Chapman.

THURSDAY 27th April - SciEngSoc AGM

Wednesday 17th May- Visit to Wyke Farms (near Bruton) - with Lucy Francis

Guests & non-members welcome - we appreciate a £2 contribution to help fund future SciEngSoc events

Please continue to visit our website at www.sciengsoc.org.uk for details of all our upcoming events

Roger Owens' photographs of our recent visit to BBC Bristol Studios can be seen by clicking on the PHOTO ALBUM link in the page header above.

Thursday 23rd February "Climate Change and Solutions to Global Warming," An Illustrated Talk by Trevor Letcher(Emeritus Professor)

The talk will begin with a look at climate change and the possible causes of the relatively sudden change in Global warming. The possible causes include; the role of atmospheric gases, variation of earth movement, changes in solar radiation, volcanic activity, aerosols, agriculture and cosmic radiation.Solutions to Global Warming include; adaptation of the present regime of fossil fuel with carbon storage, increase of nuclear energy facilities, development of renewable energy and energy storage methods, electric cars, manufacture of plastics from biomass and carbon dioxide, greener farming, reforestation, use of space reflectors and stratospheric aerosols, and personal action, such as the use of public transport and moving closer to work. Trevor is a leading researcher and academic in the field with a huge list of published work to his name.

Please continue to visit this website for details of future events

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Institute of Physics, Festival of Physics, Saturday 4th March 2017.

We are grateful to Dr Roger Owens, a long time member and treasurer of SciEngSoc for notifying us of this event, I quote his email verbatim.

"I thought SciEngSoc members might be interested in this IOP SW Branch event, to be held at the H H Wills Physics Laboratory on Saturday, March 4th, 10.00 - 16.00. The provisional programme and registration instructions may be found below. The event is free,and may be accompanied by free lunch. Registration is required"

Click Here for More Details and Registration

Wednesday 25th January "100 Years of Cosmic Rays" An Illustrated Talk by Dr Roger Moses of Bristol University

A Thin Hard Rain from Space - The Hundred Year Story of Cosmic Rays. Cosmic radiation is still in some ways as mysterious as when it was discovered over a century ago. Some individual particles have enough energy to boil a kettle and take about a month to cross the Universe. The radiation dose they give is a major hazard to space travellers and a minor risk to both crew and electronics in high-flying aircraft. Notwithstanding the above, it is probable that it is essential to the development of life, being one of the causes of spontaneous mutations in living cells. This talk (supported by a demonstration, maybe!) will cover the history of our knowledge of this fascinating topic, from Victor Hess pioneering balloon flight of 1912 to the latest space and ground observations.

Please continue to visit this website for details of further events

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WEDNESDAY 16th November"The Waters of Wells" An Illustrated Talk by Michael Blandford.

The Water of Wells An extensively illustrated talk on the sources, routes and history of water in Wells. Wells would not exist without the miracle of water that rises from the ground in the garden of the Bishops Palace.

Michael Blandford is a trustee of the Bishop's Palace who has concentrated on the history of the Palace. He is also a Guide at the Cathedral with an interest in the history of the area. His photographs are widely used in a range of publications.

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WEDNESDAY 10th August "A Visit to Moons Hill Quarry" Led by Phil Romford

The visit will start at the Somerset Earth Science Centre (BA3 5JU) near Moons Hill Quarry, Stoke St. Michael at 1400hrs on August 10th. 2016. The purpose of the visit will be to examine the geology of the quarry :- The Moons Hill Quarry management has kindly given us special permission to enter the main quarry. A short introductory talk will be given in the classroom of the Centre before Landrovers take us into the quarry. Since this is a working quarry, we shall be allowed to go only into safe areas and the Required Dress will be walking boots or Wellingtons and full length trousers. The quarry management reserve the right to cancel the visit if they deem it necessary. We will discuss the volcanic origins and the geological history from 418 million years ago when the volcanoes were active, then through time and tectonic activity, until their present location in the core of the Mendip Hills. There will be geological maps to see and hand-outs of detailed information will be provided. Phil Romford will deliver the talk. The expected duration of the visits is two hours. Download Poster

WEDNESDAY 20th July "Computers Have Come A Long Way" A talk by Peter Van Peborgh

General-purpose digital computers started in Manchester in 1948. Since then, developments in capacity, speed and uses have been breathtaking. In this talk, someone who has been around computers for a long time gives a personal view of the technology and his experience of it. This talk will be illustrated with examples, pictures and artefacts. There will be opportunities for questions and digression . . . .

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WEDNESDAY 22nd June "English Tower Clocks" A talk by Bob Frost

Bob, who is Keeper of the Wells Cathedral Clock, will talk about the various clock movements installed from 1393 to the present. By reference to Wells and other notable West Country tower clocks he will also describe how the original designs of clock escapements were improved to what we see today.

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WEDNESDAY 25th May " The Avro Vulcan in the Cold War" A talk by Andrew Shaw.

With the grounding of the last flying Vulcan, a first-hand account of the Vulcan Bombers while they were in service with the RAF will be presented by Andrew Shaw who served as Co-pilot and Captain on Vulcan B2 bombers.

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SciEngSoc AGM

Lambs in the fields, spring flowers and blossoms blooming everywhere, and it's getting warm at last which means that it is time for our AGM again. It will take place on Wednesday 27th April at 7.30pm at The Globe Inn, 18/20 Priests Row, Wells BA5 2PY, 01749 939137

Following the meeting we will show items from a DVD entitled "Fred Dibnah's Industrial Age" Download Poster and Agenda

A RECENT EVENT which took place on WEDNESDAY13th April at 7:30pm at The Globe Inn, Priests Row, Wells was a talk entitled "How The Higgs Boson was Discovered" by Dr Vincent Smith MBE. F.Inst P.

Dr. Vincent Smith is Reader in the School of Physics at Bristol University. During his last visit to the Society, he described the early work on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN(Geneva).

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WEDNESDAY March 23rd. A meeting of the Sciengsoc was held at the Globe Inn, Wells at 7.30pm

This evening's talk was given by Jane Hill and was entitled "Archaeology at Hinkley Point". Jane is the Learning Officer of the Hinkley Point Archaeology Outreach Project.

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A talk by Christopher Starr FRAS FBIS Chairman of The Wells & Mendip Astronomers, entitled " A Voyage to The Dawn of The Solar System"

The search for our origins and those of the Solar System has advanced greatly over recent decades, thanks to advances in Earth Science and through robotic exploration of our nearest cosmic neighbours by increasingly sophisticated unmanned space probes. This talk looks at our current understanding of the formation and early evolution of the Earth and the Solar System some 4.5 billion years ago, examining the contribution to this of NASA’s current Dawn and New Horizons missions, as well as that of the European Space Agency's Rosetta project. Download Poster


A visit to John Boyd Textiles Ltd Horsehair Factory, Castle Cary

John Boyd established a factory in Castle Cary in 1837 using the tails from live local horses to make a hard wearing versatile cloth. The horsehair is now sourced mainly in the Far East. Horsehair weaving is continued in Castle Cary using the original looms and techniques of over 150 years ago. John Boyd Textiles Ltd., is one of the last surviving horsehair weavers in the world. A visit to the factory has been arranged for Wednesday November 4th at 2.30pm. This will be unsuitable for visitors with severe walking difficulties. A charge of £6 per visitor will be made and the visit will occupy one hour. A maximum of 25 visitors is allowed with a minimum of 10. Please note photography is not allowed. Please download a copy of the visitor's guide from the link below

Guests and non-members welcome - we appreciate a contribution to help fund future SciEngSoc events

Download Visitor's Guide Download Poster

A Talk on The Technology Design and History of Firework Displays by Mike Jones

Mike Jones has worked in the production of public firework displays since 1983. He has managed and designed displays for large scale national events both in the UK and overseas and has lectured on display design at the International Symposium on Fireworks. He has worked with Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and Australian Pyrotechnicians. He is now the creative director for fireworks at Event Horizon, a Somerset company that specialises in large scale film effects and explosive devices for engineering projects. Mike will give an overview of firework displays both historical and current describing the technology behind their production.

Wednesday 14th.October at The Fountain Inn, 1,St Thomas Street, Wells. BA5 2UU at 7.30pm. Tel; 01749 672317. Guests and non members welcome--we appreciate a contribution to help fund future Sciengsoc events.

Guests and non-members welcome - we appreciate a contribution to help fund future SciEngSoc events

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The Geology of Vallis Vale, Led by Phil Romford

A field trip to visit the Vallis Vale area to see the De La Beche geological unconformity, and to look at the rocks that formed in a basin in ancient times when the sea level was very much higher than today. We will also visit Tedbury Camp to see more evidence of the same period. We will look at how the seas at the time eroded the Carboniferous limestone to form a platform, and the types of sea life that inhabited the shallow waters.We will look at some of the structure in the limestones that were created during the uplift of the Mendip Hills. We will discover what geology is missing in the sequence at the unconformity. We will look at the region on the geological map There will be a little uphill walking to get to Tedbury Camp, mostly easy walking, no great distance.

Wednesday 9th September 2015 13.00 at DH Truck Servicing and Coachworks BA11 3NN. For map and more details see attached poster.

Guests and non-members welcome - we appreciate a contribution to help fund future SciEngSoc events

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A Visit to Midsomer Norton Station

An evening visit to Midsomer Norton Station which is on the Somerset & Dorset Railway. The signalbox, museum and shop will be open and we hope that trains will be running, rides at £5 per person. If you wish to undertake this visit please provide your name to Gordon Newbery, (01749 870414) or g.w.newbery@btinternet.com), as the railway needs an estimate of numbers prior to the visit

Tuesday 14th July 2015 6.30 pm at Midsomer Norton Station, BA3 2EY. Tel: 01761 411211

Guests and non-members welcome - we appreciate a contribution to help fund future SciEngSoc events

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A Talk on Nuclear Safety by Bob Drew

Bob is well known to the Society for his talk on Nuclear Power and his demonstration of the Heat Pump System at Bagley Baptist Church. He spent many years as Control Engineer at Hinkley B Nuclear Power Station and, since his retirement, has traversed the Country giving lectures on Nuclear Decommissioning. His illustrated talk will cover Safety in Commercial Nuclear Reactors as it relates to the first fifty years of the British Nuclear Programme

WEDNESDAY 17th June 2015 7.30 pm at the EMI Sports & Social Club, 20 Priory Road, Wells, BA5 1TB Tel 01749 672066

Guests and non-members welcome - we appreciate a contribution to help fund future SciEngSoc events

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SciEngSoc AGM 2015

Time for our annual AGM, your opportunity to show your support for the Society and your Committee and add your suggestions for future events and speakers. Following the AGM we hope to show items from a DVD, "Fred Dibnah's Industrial Age" covering the the development of the Iron and Steel Industries and also Mining on a tour from Cornwall to Scotland. Please do your best to attend this important evening.

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WEDNESDAY 29th April 2015 7.30 pm at the EMI Sports & Social Club, 20 Priory Road, Wells, BA5 1TB Tel 01749 672066

A Talk on Big Data by Miranda Mowbray of Hewlett Packard, Bristol

The data scientists who find useful patterns in large data sets have been described as the new rock stars of the technology world. One particularly promising application area for big data analysis is computer network security. Miranda will talk about some general issues with analyzing big data to discover security problems in enterprise computer networks, and some specific techniques that have been successful.

WEDNESDAY 6th May 2015 7.30 pm at the EMI Sports & Social Club, 20 Priory Road, Wells, BA5 1TB Tel 01749 672066

Guests and non-members welcome - we appreciate a contribution to help fund future SciEngSoc events

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A Visit to The Somerset Earth Sciences Centre, Moons Hill Quarry

A visit to the Somerset Earth Science Centre, Moons Hill Quarry, Stoke St. Michael, BA3 5JU, has been arranged from 1pm on Wednesday 8th. April. At the Centre, a talk will be given about the fascinating geology of the area. A slide show will explain how the different rocks were made in different environments over the last 425 million years and we will get to handle samples of local rocks. This will be followed by trips to two local working quarries. Moons Hill is a large basalt quarry that produces road stone. In contrast, Doulting is a small Jurassic limestone quarry that produces building stone.

Wednesday 8th April, Guests and non members welcome, we appreciate a contribution to help fund future SciEngSoc events

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A Visit to The National Composites Centre, Bristol

The NCC is building the future for composites. The industrial scale research and technology development facilities of NCC support the needs of all sectors wishing to capitalise on high strength, low weight corrosion -resistant qualities of composites. The open access, secure facility is available to all UK-based companies, and it's mission is to become the world leader in composites technology. The NCC is a £25m investment owned and hosted by The University of Bristol.

WEDNESDAY 18th March 2015 between 3.30 and 5.00 pm

Members and friends who wish to visit should give their names to Gordon Newbery,(01749 870414 or email g.w.newbery@btinternet.com - we appreciate a contribution to help fund future SciEngSoc events

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Graphene Electronics

A talk by Dr Marcin Mucha-Kruczynski,of The Department of Physics, University of Bath

Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in hexagons, attracted huge attention not only in the scientific community but also in popular media since its discovery in 2004. Called by some a miracle material, it is the thinnest and strongest material we know and conducts electricity better than copper. In this talk, the potential of graphene for the electronic industry, and some of the problems associated with graphene transistors and realisation of all-carbon electronics will be considered. Other two-dimensional atomic crystals and the possibility of creating artificial materials by stacking different atomic layers on top of each other will also be discussed.

WEDNESDAY 11th February 2015 7.30 pm at the EMI Sports & Social Club, 20 Priory Road, Wells, BA5 1TB Tel 01749 672066

Guests & non-members welcome - we appreciate a contribution to help fund future SciEngSoc events

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Pylons in Java

A talk by Mr Alan Taylor

Using examples from the UK, Mr Taylor will show how overhead power transmission are designed, planned and installed. He will then go on to describe the overseas market as it was in the 1980's and 1990's and introduce the main characteristics of a 500kV line built in Indonesia. The illustrations will include a DVD of the project.

WEDNESDAY 14th January 2015 7.30 pm at the EMI Sports & Social Club, 20 Priory Road, Wells, BA5 1TB Tel 01749 672066

Guests & non-members welcome - we appreciate a contribution to help fund future SciEngSoc events

Download Poster

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