Engineering & Technical

I seem to be quite intuitive about technical things so although I have not been formerly trained in these areas I seem to have a natural sense of how to do things.

While working at the University

  • I carried out all the maintenance required on four different mass spectrometers. As maintenance contracts made up a good proportion of my units budget this encouraged me to become proficient in this area until eventually we were only paying half to two thirds for our contracts as I usually solved most breakdown problems in house.

My technical expertise has enabled me to carry out quite sophisticated alterations to equipment for example:

  • The VG 605 – IRMS inlet system in its original form was badly designed; its solenoid operated valves caused electrical interference and there bulkiness required that the whole system be dismantled to do simple servicing causing us to lose two days work time. The connecting arrangement for the tubing was inefficient resulting in increased sample volume requirements meaning that we had to use a large sample size than necessary or less accurate results on the smaller ones. I solved these problems by redesigning the inlet system; significantly reducing the pipework connections, and converting the electrically switched valves to manual. These changes have allowed valve replacements to be carried out in minutes rather than days, it has also reduced the electrical interference to the system and halved the required sample size to achieve the same sensitivity and it was worth it to see the look of horror on my bosses face when I made the suggestion in the first place.
  • I also solved the design problems associated with replacing the GC on the Finnigan 1050 GCMS for a one of modern design, which allowed us to attach an autosampler.

While Building our house in Brasil

  • The design of the chalet was so stable that a tornado that ripped the top off one tree to one side of the chalet and pulled up two huge trees 10 meters the opposite side did not effect the chalet at all; it was a stable as a rock.