Zen and the art of building maintenance

  I am in the throws of reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Persig. In my view it is a philosophical book that challenges the reader…

“The late worm avoids the bird” and other stories…

I have my cousin Ralph (of Stringfever fame – see link to the left, under music) to thank for that piece of advice, which makes me laugh each time I…

Bending beams and counting the cost

During these first few weeks of my placement I have been carrying out some fairly entry-level calculations on a forty-five storey tower. These follow on nicely from courses in concrete…

Final Year Project

Last Friday I handed in my last piece of course work at ENPC.  Despite having started my placement two weeks ago, last week I was still finishing off work for…

The end of bridges and the beginning of projects

After seven and a half years, I had my final exam as an undergraduate last Friday.  As final exams go, it counted for a minute part of my degree –…

Womb with a view

Paris is slowly encircling itself in tramways. The latest tramway to open, connecting the disparate ends of several metro lines is the T3, which skirts inner Paris’ southern border. As…

The Metropolisians

My mate Ronan is in a band called the Metropolisians. A month or so ago they won their heat in a battle of the bands contest for which the ultimate…

Le vide grenier de l’onzième

We were recently asked in one of our French classes to write an article about a business in the style of short piece for a newspaper. The brief included nine…

Too hot in Paris

Austrian windfarm Originally uploaded by eiffelover. It has been a gloriously warm day today in Paris. Too warm in fact. I wish more countries would follow Austria’s example and plant…

American bridges number 1

There’s one thing that they do particularly well at the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées (School of bridges and roads), and that is teaching how to build bridges and roads….