UK election and political communication

Taken by lakelandlocal, reproduced c/o Flickr, used under the cc licence

If you’re following the election countdown, you may like this blog:

The staff of Intute and the London School of Economics Library have created an Elections in the news blog. Set up to highlight key sites and useful resources for locating elections online, it also hopes to illuminate how the web is changing political communication. Although recent posts focus on the UK election, the scope will ultimately be worldwide, covering key presidential and parliamentary elections. 

To wet your appetite, recent topics include:

The changing language of political communication

Did the debate promote interest in the elections?

Twitter archives: do they show the rising popularity of Nick Clegg?


Elections in the news is currently being updated on a daily basis.

ASTM – integrated and improved searching

Until now,  ASTM has only been searchable as  two separate databases – the ASTM Standards and ASTM Engineering Digital Library. To simplify and enhance the search process, these have now been integrated into a single platform called the ASTM Standards and Engineering Digital Library.

This is a welcome upgrade ensuring the same functionality as previously but allowing the user to search across the entire collection, saving on time and duplication of effort. Helpful navigation tabs include Standards, Journals, Symposia Papers, Manuals and a Teminology Dictionary. 

View and start searching ASTM’s extensive range of industry standards (in excess of 12000 from 130 fields of industry) and technical engineering information.

Landslide Innovation

Taken by the Washington Department of Natural Resources, reproduced c/o Flickr, used under the cc licence

“Thousands of people worldwide are killed each year due to slope failures” – Dr. Neil Dixon, Loughborough University.

A partnership between the British Geological Survey (BGS) and Loughborough University has seen a recent stride forward in the development of new life-saving, landslide technology. Project funding has been received from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to develop a pioneering early-warning, low-cost sensor for the detection of landslides. The devices currently on the market tend to be expensive, with budgetary implications for those developing countries where such devices are often needed. Technologically their usefulness is also limited.

This is not the first time the University has been involved in this type of innovation. Between 2005 – 2009 the first part of this project, The Acoustic Real-Time Monitoring System (ALARMS) project, saw the development of an early warning system for slopes – the uncertainty and failure of slope stability in many areas of the world being a major cause of loss of life and immense cost to the economy, as well as disruption and damage to the local environment.

The latest funding is for a one-year project, led by Dr. Neil Dixon, Professor of Geotechnical Engineering who will be working with Dr. Matthew Spriggs, both from the Geotechnics Research Group, in collaboration with scientists at the BGS.

Check out some of Dr. Dixon’s publications on the University’s Institutional Repository and Dr. Sprigg’s profile for further information about the ALARMS project.

Internet Resources Newsletter


Culled directly from the Internet Resources Newsletter, here is the latest engineering-related internet news.  As ever, do take a look at the newsletter itself which is always packed with links to both useful and intriguing sites. 

Building Sustainable Design (UBM Built Environment’s latest brand) is a new monthly magazine for building services engineers, architects, clients and all construction professionals who care about sustainable, low energy design in the built environment. is a news/articles/discussions magazine by and for in-the-trenches practitioners.

Anyone interested in RSS feeds may like to view the following:

Royal Academy of Engineering News Releases

Take a look at 'Magnet'!

We’re delighted to announce the launch of ‘Magnet’, a newsletter from the Library Engineering Team. Aimed at all Engineering students, ‘Magnet’ will keep you up to date with new developments and resources. The first edition includes details of the drop-in sessions for project students, and how to access the new SAE Digital Library.

‘Magnet’ is available from the Library webpages at:

Perhaps members of staff could give ‘Magnet’ a plug too! 

Feedback (good or bad) is welcomed. Please use the comments box below.

Electronic access to all back-issues of Science


 Photograph by Kenny Louie: taken from

With an institutional subscription to Science Classic, the Library is delighted to make available all back issues of the journal Science. Covering the years 1880-1996, this is an indexed and fully searchable full-text digital archive.


Access to the archive and all issues of Science to date, is via the Library Catalogue or MetaLib (click on Find e-Journal). For ease of retrieval from the Library Catalogue it is recommended you use the Browse Index and select the Serials Collection category from the drop-down menu. Key in the word ‘science’ and the electronic version is the third item displayed.


Your feedback is always welcome (and encouraged!) via the Comments box below.

Guides to legal information

 Two helpful guides to UK and EU law have been added to Learn: Finding UK legal information and Finding EU legal information.

These tutorials provide comprehensive coverage of all aspects of finding legal information at Loughborough University and are designed for either dipping in and out of selected sections or following sequentially.

Uk legal information topics covered include: Case law; Legislation; Finding journal articles and Citing legal materials.

EU legal information topics include: EU legal sources and European court cases.

Please let us know if you find these guides helpful, particularly from an engineering perspective, or if you require further information.

Useful engineering websites



The latest engineering news highlighted by the Internet Resources Newsletter includes:

Conference notification:

SEB ’09 – International Conference on Sustainability in Energy and Buildings. Hosted by the University of Brighton and taking place on 29th -30th April and 1st May 2009. “Organised by the KES International research and knowledge transfer organisation, SEB’09 will be a major opportunity for researchers in subjects related to sustainability, renewable energy technology, and applications in the built environment to mix with industrialists and other stakeholders in the field”. [from website].

New journal:

The International Journal of Mechatronics and Manufacuring Systems

The first issue of this new journal is now available in print and online. Publication will be four times a year and all papers are refereed.


A total of 2338 presentations are currently available free of charge from, the webcast division of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Coverage is from 2002 and  search categories include corporate presentations, research seminars, communications, electronics, manufacturing, power and transport.

Free subscription to technical magazine:

You may like to take advantage of the free subscription currently being offered by TechXtra to Production Engineering Solutions. Geographical eligibility is the UK and Ireland. “The editorial team on Production Engineering Solutions is dedicated to covering all of the technological areas pertinent to mechanical and production engineers everywhere” [from website].

Environmental publisher:

For books and journals on the environment, development and sustainability Earthscan is the highly-regarded and world-leading publisher. Specific topic areas covered include climate change, energy, business and environmental management, cities and built environment and natural resource management.

Knowledge network:

‘Find, share, connect’ is the strapline of the knowledge network created by the Institution of Engineering and Technology.  IET Discover is a good place to search for information that other people in your field of interest are finding useful. Or, you may have some helpful material you’d like to share with others. You can also join or create groups with other engineers in your sector.

Exciting SAE news

A significant and welcome addition has been made to the Library’s electronic resource collection. We’re delighted to tell you that the SAE Digital Library is now available! (Previously SAE papers were only available as CDs or in print within the Library building.)


With coverage from 1990, you can find the SAE Technical papers online from:

Access is freely available on campus.

From the SAE homepage, select full text products, and then follow the link to the SAE Digital Library.

You can keyword search or use a Document number. There are also Advance search and Field search options. Once you have found the technical paper you are interested in, click on View Document to see the full text. You can read the documents on screen, or print them is you prefer.

The SAE Digital Library also features abstracts from a variety of other related professional bodies and publishers. If you find interesting articles which are not available in full text – you can always use our Inter Library Loans service:

If you require any assistance, or have any comments, please contact Becky Jones (Ext. 2344, email: or Tracy Marshall (Ext. 2344, email: Feedback via the comments box below is also welcomed.

Internet news

Here are the latest engineering ‘bits and pieces’ from the Internet Resources Newsletter. If you find any of the links particularly helpful please take a moment or so to let us know via ‘Comments’ at the foot of the post.

Conference news:

Two for the civil engineers this month – The Fourth International Conference on Forensic Engineering takes place on 2-4 December 2008 at the Institution of Civil Engineers, Westminster, London. “This international conference will focus on moving from failure to understanding of built environments in order to help with managing sustainable life-time performance of constructed assets” [from website].

The Ninth International Conference on Computational Structures Technology, Athens, Greece, 2-5 September 2008. Please note, this conference is running alongside the Sixth International Conference on Engineering Computational Technology and attendees will be permitted to attend events from both conferences.

New journal:

The International Journal of System of Systems Engineering has published its first edition. with the following remit:

IJSSE proposes and fosters discussion on the evolution and current developments in the field of system of systems and systems engineering concepts, with emphasis on the implications of the fact that new developments on technical and non-technical systems are merging” [from website]

Open-Access journals:

Are you aware of Biotechnology for Biofuels and Drinking Water Engineering and Science (DWES)? Both are Open Access (i.e. free and internationally accessible) online journals. Biotechnology for Biofuels features “high-quality studies describing technological and operational advances in the production of biofuels from biomass” [from website] and DWEA is interactive and encourages online debate.

Online web directory:

To help you locate subject specific information, try the Online Library of Civil and Environmental Engineering website. Materials are subdivided into helpful categories including software source codes, technical drawings and documents/e-Books. Free registration is required.

Biological engineering:

OpenWetWare is an information-sharing portal created to encourage collaboration between those involved in biology or biological engineering. The site aims to promote the sharing of knowledge and expertise.