Author Archives: Lucy Care

Lucy Care was a target candidate in Derby North in 2010 and would have been the second ever female Chartered Engineer in Parliament if she had been elected. She blogs at lucycare.net.

Opinion: Breaking the mould

Being a woman in a man’s world can be a lonely existence.

As an engineer, working on a manufacturing site in the 1980s, for the majority of the time I was the only woman in the whole of the engineering function – apart from the boss’s secretary. Engineers, technicians, tradesmen and labourers were all men, apart from me.

Technically and professionally this wasn’t a problem. I was at least as competent as the next engineer and respected for this.

But socially there definitely were differences. In my year in industry and at university I socialised with my fellow student engineers, among others. But …

Posted in Op-eds | 7 Comments

Energy – where we are and what we need to do

Our society is energy hungry. Cutting carbon from this diet is vital. And we mustn’t forget gas!

Decarbonising our electricity supply is an on-going hot issue, and challenging too. For example, the technology is not yet all proven – like the uncertainties of carbon capture and storage (CCS) – and for some technologies the reality is harsh – like maintaining wind turbines and tidal barrages in marine environments. There’s also the big challenge of matching a variable supply of power with actual demand.

If we don’t decarbonise our electricity effectively, then transferring from diesel locomotives and petrol cars to electric …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 13 Comments

Opinion: Trident coalition split or positive move to safeguard British expertise?

The Government announces investment in Rolls-Royce to safeguard technology for nuclear propulsion, and the BBC’s angle, is “Is this another Coalition split?”

Let’s get this right.

Take aircraft engines.  Rolls-Royce made its name back in World War Two by developing the gas turbine to power military aircraft.  It was earth-shattering stuff, but had nothing to do with the development of munitions.

Posted in Op-eds | 20 Comments

Opinion: Gove’s message – “vocational” = “worthless”

Secretary of State for Education, Conservative Michael Gove, has downgraded the value of nearly all 14-16 vocational qualifications at a stroke.  I felt angry when I heard this.  However, it did little to reduce my respect for Mr Gove; I had very little anyway after ‘free’ schools, and his arrogant disregard of the role of Local Authorities to support ‘failing’ schools.

But having thought about this a little more, I am left perplexed by Gove’s decision. The impact goes against so much I thought was accepted wisdom.

Industry has for many years had a

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 23 Comments

Opinion: Two suggestions to shorten the dole queues

A couple of nights ago I was chatting to someone who had just lost her job.

Like so many other people she worked as a professional in the public sector. Her department was being reorganised and jobs redefined. Professional posts were being regraded downwards, and people were being invited to apply for posts below their qualification and experience.

Understandably, she felt angry; the jobs still needed doing, her skills would become out of date unless she got a new job fairly soon and their household income would suffer a severe cut. She was also angry that so many of the current round of job losses are hitting …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 21 Comments

Opinion: Feed-in tariffs and the Lib Dem fight to ensure the Coalition really is ‘the greenest government ever’

Feed-in tariffs, a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy technologies, have been used successfully in many countries to increase the amount of electricity being generated from renewable sources.

The UK has actually been fairly slow off the mark on this. Our aim to be ‘the greenest government ever’ included support for feed-in tariffs.

Indeed, in the Coalition Agreement the preamble to the section on Energy and Climate Change said: ‘We need to use a wide range of levers to cut carbon emissions, decarbonise the economy and support the creation of new green jobs and technologies.’ It went on to say ‘We will establish a full system of feed-in tariffs in electricity,’ and ‘We will encourage community-owned renewable energy schemes where local people benefit from the power produced.’

So what is happening to the system of feed-in tariffs? And how are the changes going to encourage community-owned renewable energy systems?

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 14 Comments
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