RLK Associates

Richard King
Engineering Background



Engineering Background


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Hayling Island Second Bridge

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Following an early interest in science, as a child, in the early 1950s, I started at the Grammar School, March, Cambridgeshire, in 1957, moving to Clacton County High School when my parents went into the hotel and guesthouse business in 1958.

I left Clacton County High School with three “A” Levels in 1964 and studied for a Higher National Diploma in Production Engineering at north East Essex Technical College in Colchester, my industrial experience being at Davey, Paxman and Co., of Colchester, manufacturers of diesel engines and boilers.

It transpired that I had been badly advised at school and could have gone to university; the school only thought in terms of Oxbridge and London, or similar. As a result, I went on to
Brunel University  in 1967, gaining my Degree in Mechanical/Production Engineering in 1971. My industrial experience while at Brunel was at English Electric Special Products Group, Luton, and the Rocket Propulsion Establishment, Westcott.

After graduating from Brunel University, I joined the British Aircraft Corporation at Weybridge, later British Aerospace, initially in the Tool Drawing Office, then the Production Development Department, Non-Metallics. I returned to
Brunel University, on a part time basis, to study for a Master’s Degree in Non-Metallic Materials. I, later, moved to the Stress Office, working on VC10 Air-to-Air refueling tanker conversions; the stress analysis of the tanks and floor structure was down to me, under the supervision of Ron Boxer, Deputy Chief Stress Engineer. I was also asked, by the Chief Stress Engineer, to work on the determination design allowable properties for advanced composite materials, Weibull statistics, etc.

In 1983 I moved to Marconi Space Systems, Portsmouth, continuing my work on composite materials design data, among other things. I registered for a PhD at the
University of Surrey, for the composite materials work, and was told I had already done 75% of what was required for the Degree. Unfortunately, I had to move from Marconi soon afterwards and was not able to complete the Degree.

I joined Brown and Root Vickers, Consultants, at Eastleigh, later moving into freelance consultancy.

I was successful enough, as a consultant, to help a company triple its turnover in two years. I endeavoured to set up a “Technology Diversification Centre” in the South to bring business to the region, principally military advanced materials technology into the civil sector.






That "Technology Diversification Centre" project took five years and, as it transpired, due to meetings with people at Brunel University, would have been a stepping stone to a major centre at Brunel, co-sponsored by NatWest Bank. I would have been Director and Professor; the Professorship was suggested by Dr Joe Elliott, who set up the MTech course in non-metallic materials at Brunel, and I was on course for that, in part due to rearrangements in such positions being gone through at the time. The local Centre, in Havant, or nearby, would have been bequeathed to the region. The project fell due to corruption within Havant Borough Council. That is both entirely true and a perfectly legal, non-actionable statement under the "Derbyshire Ruling" Times Newspapers versus Derbyshire County Council, High Court, 1992-1993, I understand, having been advised as such by a trainee barrister before I was aware of the actual ruling.

In the mid 1990s there was discussion about the possibility of a second bridge for Hayling Island. I thought it could be built as a follow on to a technology demonstrator bridge, built entirely of composite materials, at Aberfeldy in Scotland. By 1999 colleagues in civil engineering composites, working for international consultancy companies, rivals to the company which built the bridge over the River Tay, were interested to the extent that they were, more or less, certain that the bridge could be built as a second generation technology demonstrator with European funding. A decade on from the Aberfeldy bridge, the bridge at Lansgstone would have had a greater span and would have been far more convenient to show visitors to the U.K.  There would have been no cost, or at least minimal cost, to Hampshire County Council and Havant Borough Council, other than acting as good hosts. No interest was shown in the proposal when I wrote to the Borough Council, principally, it seemed, because the Council did not want me in the public domain and the potential of the earlier corruption in the Council becoming equally public. There is more detail on the Hayling Bridge page of this Web Site and will be somewhat more on my Journaling Web Site when it is completed.

I barely survived, financially, finding other work, in due course, including part-time lecturing in technical drawing and materials at the Army College, Bordon, materials for “A” Level students at Chichester College, plus support work with other students on an individual basis (mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, mathematics and various other subjects) and materials, mainly one of my least favourite subjects, corrosion, for final year undergraduates at the University of Brighton.

I would have got past the Havant situation but for the purely co-incidental matter of no help from David Willets, M.P., now Minister of State for Science and Universities (others have found him equally unhelpful, apparently), the withdrawal from the Havant Office of the Portsmouth News reporter who was going to investigate the corruption in Havant borough Council, on an “as long as it takes”, as she put it, basis, and being obstructed, plus my time wasted, by Business Link Hampshire.

On the basis of the work I did in setting up the project and the advice of my advisers, the loss to the region over the last decade is several hundred million Pounds. Given that they and other advisers rated my non-engineering interests as being worth at least 10% on local tourism, the losses in that respect are even more hundreds of millions of Pounds; in total, a loss to the South of England of over a billion Pounds in the last decade.

Although I discussed the business aspects of my engineering side, as well as my other interests, with Bob Gumbrill, then Chief Executive of Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, I did not join the Chamber until after the problems with Havant Council. Someone tried to block my membership but Bob overruled them. It was Bob who rated my other interests as worth 10% on local tourism, at a minimum, an opinion backed up by Business Link Sussex and Dr Jur Bernd Atenstaedt of the German British Chamber of Commerce.

I should have got past the “Hampshire block” years ago, via my book, but have had various hang-ups, as well as many nudges to get it finished, hovering between wanting to be in the public domain but also being reticent about it. A local businesswoman was going to put her own money into getting it going but sensed, herself, she I was not quite ready, though she did end up, along with me and others, in a friends book in the genre, though I am still not sure if she is aware of that.

The final “nudge”, more of a push, to finish, finalise, the book was the way
Fedor Dzjuba, of Linn Systems, Chichester, my now ex-son-in-law, treated our daughter Emma, particularly the way he behaved last year. Fedor has a new partner, Marija Saripo, a Development Scientist at GSK Pharma and who studied molecular medicine at the University of Sussex, where, it seems, they met, while Fedor was studying for a part-time Master’s Degree; their time together seems to have overlapped Fedor’s relationship with Emma.

One of Fedor’s business partners is
IWOCA, Instant Working Capital, one of whose founders, the CEO of the company, is Chris Reiche
, to whom I, almost, wrote, partly tongue in cheek, to ask if he knew of any reasonably cost effective sources of financial advice for Emma. She wanted to sort it her own way, but, once part the above mentioned matters there should be other options, opportunities.

The more recent of the above events are part of the reason I have been quite busy in recent months. Finalising the MSS of the book,
"Remembering Lorelei", is slow but I only expect to give it just one more read through. Hopefully it will be available on Amazon sometime during the summer. What you, or others, will make of it is quite another matter.

My ambition is to go back to university to research certain matters “the engineering way” as opposed to just science. Those matters have connections with my book and the
Scientific and Medical Network, which a civil engineer, who I met in the early, mid, 1990s, suggested would be appropriate for me.