Thursday, September 11, 2008


I know I haven't updated for a while but I have a good excuse, well for the last week or so at least... Last Saturday I started a course to get my paragliding license with the Australian Paragliding Centre, who are based out at Murrumbateman.

I've been flying an orange and yellow Ozone Element glider (the yellow/orange glider in the above and following images, and the short video at the bottom of the post, is me) and have had an awesome time doing it!

Since starting the course I've learned the basics of handling a paraglider, have about half a dozen 'high flights' under my belt, and am well on my way to having my restricted license rating.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

'sbeen a while...

After copping enough rubbish about not updating for so long, though rightfully deserved I guess, I've finally put up a post. A lot has changed since my last blog, I've graduated, got a new job, a new car and am living in a new apartment.

I'm now working at ANU working on the development of a solar concentrator dish prototype for commercialization, which is keeping me plenty busy. The dish is similar to the original Big Dish built by the team I'm now working for, shown in the below image, though slightly larger and should be built sometime before the end of the year.
I'm not going to attempt to get up to date with everything that has happened since the last post in one go, but hopefully it won't be so long until the next one.

Monday, July 16, 2007

My Jet (2)

Over the break I headed home to Beechworth to do some final building and testing on my jet. While I was down there I took some video of the Jet running that can be watched by clicking on the images below.
This first video is of me starting the engine and running it for a while. The sound, though it came out a bit funny in the video, is really cool. At the end there's a shot of a set of scales, which measure the thrust being produced, as the engine is accelerated and decelerated.
This video is, I think, the more impressive of the two videos posted here. It's a video of me spraying a jet of water from a garden hose into the exhaust of the engine as the engine's running. The result gives a pretty good indication of the volume of air being pushed through the engine.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Cowra '07

It was that time of year once again when we don our best, or visit the charity shops, and head for the Cowra Picnic Races! Once we got there we thought it wise to get a shot of the respectable group that we had traveled with whilst we could be described this way...Whilst everyone was looking sharp Pinko was honoured with an invitation to take part in fashions on the field, which he gracefully declined.
The girls were getting into the spirit and Phil kept on popping up everywhere.
The fire was very welcome after the sun went down as our beer blankets could only carry us so far.

Friday, June 29, 2007

My Jet

Since I've been back from Europe the majority of my life has been consumed by uni, more specifically my final year project which is the design, build and analysis of a jet engine. The design and build stage is well and truly done, and I'm well on my way with the analysis.
For the key part of the engine I've used a car turbo, which can be seen in this photo. The right hand side of the turbo is the air inlet, the stainless tube which can be seen hanging from the turbo is the combustion chamber, and finally the jet nozzle can be seen in the left side of the photo. The engine runs on LPG, same as your BBQ, and is controlled from the instrument panel shown in this photo. This picture points out most of the different parts of the engine and where everything's going. The engine develops up to around 35N of thrust, which isn't bad considering the size of the turbo. No doubt I'll have some more photos to post soon about this as I'll be spending the next couple of months finalizing the write up of the thesis.
Oh and if anyone can come up with some ideas for a name for this engine feel free to let me know.


Whilst I was living in the UK I managed to get across and do a bit of a whirl-wind tour of Europe.First we went to Belgium, which I was pretty impressed with and probably deserves a bit more credit then it seems to get.
Next was Germany, which was nice, although the people weren't the friendliest. Even getting this photo was a hassle. Next was Vienna, which I really liked. Not somewhere that would have been at the top of my list of places to visit, but definitely somewhere I'd recommend. I had the best cake I think I've ever had there. It was a really mild winter while I was over there, but in Switzerland we got to see some real snow! Venice was definitely one of the best places we went, there's just nowhere else like it.

Florence was a bit of a let down, although in all fairness we didn't get to spend enough time there to get a good feel for the place. This isn't the real David, but it's about as close as you get.

Rome was really amazing, it's crazy to be in the middle of a city and then turn the corner and be looking over ancient ruins. Being there at Christmas we got to get blessed by the pope too, twice! Paris was really cool, but I reckon to you'd need spend at least a few weeks there to really see it. The Eiffel Tower is amazing by night. The Louvre was crazy, the Mona Lisa is surprisingly small, but I reckon managing to find our way out of there was the most impressive part of the visit. When in Rome.... Well, Paris in this case. Only problem was where we were you could only order these snails by the dozen. Frogs legs went down much easier...
On the way back we went though Japan and stopped in Tokyo for the best part of a week. While there we went on a tour up Mt Fuji, shown in photo, but could only get up to about 2000m, which is apparently really good for the time of year we were there. Sydney's like a small country town to Tokyo, even London had nothing on it. Still the strangest place I think I've ever been...


Ok I said I'd try and put up some stuff to fill in the blanks from my last posting so here goes...

I did a six month exchange to Leeds University in the UK and lived here (well the buildings off in the distance to the left)Spent lots of time on a bus very much like this one heading in and out of town. This is one of many trips into town of a night. My bus line ran until 3am most mornings which was handy.

Even though London was only about 4 hours by train, I knew many locals who had never been! Most Pom's had absolutely no real concept of distance.

You don't have to be studying engineering to realise that things were built differently a while ago. This is a photo of The Shambles in York, in which some of the buildings date back to the 1400's.Edinburgh was only a couple of hours on the train and was probably the most impressive city I saw in the UK. Ireland was very easy to get to, especially from Leeds, but really from anywhere in the UK. This is a photo from when I visited a friend who I met in New Zealand, Judith, who lives in Belfast. I headed back to Ireland twice more, not paying more then about $60 return including taxes.

Jen, another Aussie studying at Leeds, and I trying to fit in amongst the locals in Dublin. The beers weren't quite as cheap, although admittedly I wasn't there on a Thursday, but they did a great lunch, and the Guinness is always good in Ireland. Who says drinking isn't a career... These guys get to drive around to all the pubs in Ireland and 'test' the Guinness to make sure it's being served right. Where were these guys at careers day in high school!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I'm Back!!!

It took me a while but I finally regained access to my blog! There's a bit of a gap since my last post, so I'll try and upload some photos for what I've been up to for the last year or so...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Indian Otley Run

Just a quick post before I go to class of some pics from last week when my house (Whewell) did the 'Otley Run'. (Look out for more explaination soon...)

On the bus on the way in (the before shot...)

The first pub.

Hmmm, still seem to be having troubles with blogger, but will try again soon.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ash is back

Ok, though my computer is still playing funny buggers I can now put up posts from other computers so hopefully soon I'll get a chance to put up a whole bunch of photos to put up from my travels. The above photo is from the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, cheers everyone!