Since 2007, Justin Pollard – a writer on BBC TV’s QI programme – has contributed the Eccentric Engineer column to E&T magazine. The column has been campaigning to remind engineers of the extraordinary role that their subject has played in human history.
Justin’s new book, Buses, Bankers & the Beer of Revenge, gathers together the best of these musings, highlighting the most famous engineering tales, as well as the unusual, the erratic and the patently insane.
In its fifty stories, the book covers everything from aircraft carriers made of ice, to the origins of the omnibus. It toys with Roman turbines and Greek computers, looks at Renaissance hypertext and has arguments with Americans over the shape of our lightning conductors. It shakes Scotland with earthquakes and builds cars out of beans. But most of all it celebrates the joys and perils of living in an engineered world.
Buses, Bankers and the Beer of Revenge: An Eccentric Engineer Collection (ISBN 978-1849195812) is published by the IET at £14.99 and is available now from bookshops, the usual online retailers and from the IET website: www.theiet.org/eccentric8
Buses, Bankers and the Beer of Revenge is formally launched today, Thursday 15 November, at the Mountbatten Memorial Lecture held at Savoy Place, the IET’s London HQ.
This year’s Mountbatten lecture features Professor Brian Collins, Professor of Engineering Policy at University College London and former Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Transport, who will be talking about the engineering opportunities associated with modernising Britain’s Victorian infrastructure.
The lecture starts at 6.30pm (registration and refreshments from 6pm) and will be followed by a drinks reception and the chance to talk to Justin. Both events are free to attend, but pre-registration is essential, so if you fancy cutting along there tonight for all the vol-au-vents you can stuff in your pockets, you’d better act quickly: http://conferences.theiet.org/mountbatten/