Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our new friend Bill

Not a terribly good picture... but on the left is our new friend, Bill. Eunson (think, as he explained, Johnstone.) New Zealander, MD and chairman of a small basically electrical engineering firm, Motech, in Crawley, W. Sussex. Very pleasant, gentle, thinking, man. Even if he was flying to Edinburgh on Saturday to watch "the Rugby" (I'm told NZ won.)

By pure chance and Google search he'd come across my boat-conversion blog and so decided I might be able to help with his plan to make "off the shelf" diesel-electric hybrid units for boats... and so came to visit last Friday to see how our boat goes.

It did, even through the Sheepwash channel that runs to the river from the canal, against just about the fastest river flow we've ever driven through.

Upshot is that his firm is going to pay me (not fabulously, but, I think, fairly) to act as consultant for their diesel-electric project. I have to write a report of what I think are essential features to include... tricky because there's all sorts of possibly trivial-sounding things are really quite important - especially if the new unit is to be used easily by a normal boater and not a freak like me fascinated to observe all sorts of readings and neurotically check what's happening.

I've never been head-hunted for a hobby before. Well, except that my first D.Phil. offer from the Oxford nuclear physics lab (I chose teaching instead) I reckon all turned on me luckily and rapidly spotting a soldering fault in a bank of electronics equipment during a vacation job... which was not really anything to do with my vast(?) knowledge (long gone) of theoretical physics and had far more to do with my part-time hobby of fiddling with electronic circuits.

So I have an official title again, sort-of. "Consultant to Motech Control Ltd." Perhaps I should run up some headed paper. Or just remember a pleasant half-day meeting Bill... and get on with writing the damn report he wants.

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