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The subject of mezzanine floor design/detailing (raised in the Verulam column for 21 November 1995) has exercised my brain for some years, and some elementary rules emerged by agreement with fabricators and the local authority I worked for at the time. It was apparent that two of the fabricators were not structural engineers and used safe-load tables/computer programs for their sizing of members. In most cases the floor comprised 38mm chipboard deck on cold-rolled purlins sitting on main beams or, more usually, cleated to main beam webs. The main beams were supported on cap plates to RHS columns on base plates bolted to an existing groundslab. I. Anderson
Educating engineers Melvin Hurst, writing from Abu Dhabi, wonders whether the balance between research and teaching in universities is really in the best interest of a profession and writes: In your editorial comment following Professor Jenkins’s contribution (5 December 1995) you invited opinions on the problems faced by academics when having to choose between research and teaching practical engineering themes. Verulam
It is easy to take the advantages of drugs available today almost for granted, but an enormous amount of effort is required to discover and develop a successful new drug. In fact, only something like one in 4000 new chemical entities synthesised and evaluated will become a marketable product. The scale of this research and development work, combined with growing concern about occupational safety and environmental protection, has increased the need for effective modem laboratory facilities. M.A. Barrie and A. Jefcoat