Tuesday, 27 October 2020

SyntheSys Defence extends its Tactical Data Link Online Training Programme


Following the successful delivery of a range of online Tactical Data Link (TDL) Training courses earlier this year, registration is now open for a further two online courses.

Delegates can join us for two introductory courses, taking place week commencing 16th November 2020.  We will begin the week with a short, half day course on Joint Range Extension Application Protocol (JREAP) where delegates will gain a comprehensive understanding of the protocol.

Thereafter, the Introduction to Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) Link 16 Training will run between 17th – 20th November 2020.  This course covers both technical and operational employment of MIDS Link 16 and aims to give a balanced understanding of technical characteristics.

Pricing information for these courses is available on application, please contact us via: training@synthesys.co.uk

For more general information including lesson breakdown, benefits of attending and our approach to online training, please visit: http://www.synthesys-defence.co.uk/online-training.html


Tuesday, 20 October 2020

SyntheSys Defence Welcomes James Norful


SyntheSys Defence is pleased to announce that James Norful has recently joined the team.  James comes to us having recently retired from the United States Air Force after serving 21 years in various assignments both in the States and within NATO.

Working as a Consultant, James will be primarily responsible for the delivery and maintenance of a wide portfolio of Tactical Data Link (TDL) training globally.  

James’ strengths lie across multiple TDL operations, training development, project management, strategic planning, and system engineering processes from design and development to validation and operation.

James has excelled as a data link subject matter expert providing student instruction, leading teams through test and evaluation processes, and course planning, with the ultimate goal of eliminating inefficiencies in a specific process for the benefit of everyone involved, from those participating in the system to the eventual stakeholders.  This unique blend of experience enables James to grow customer relationships and brings real value to our training customers.  Please join us in welcoming James to the team.

If you would like to discuss your current TDL training requirements and would like to hear more about how James can help empower your personnel through training and development, please contact us at; training@synthesys.co.uk

For more general information about our TDL training packages, visit: http://www.synthesys-defence.co.uk/data-link-training.html

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Engineering and the End of Rail Franchising

Although it hasn't exactly happened the way it was planned, anyone who has been following the Williams Review has expected that major changes were coming in the way passenger rail is operated in Great Britain.

The COVID-19 pandemic could have sent the rail sector into a tailspin from which it might not have recovered, had the government not suspended rail franchise agreements and assumed financial risk in March.

As a result, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) declared that the sector has effectively been renationalised, and in September the government chose to permanently end the franchising system, using a new Emergency Recovery Measures Agreement (ERMA) contract structure to manage the train operators for the next 18 months, with a view to implementing the Williams Review's recommendations when normal times resume.

Although that white paper has still not been published, it is widely anticipated to propose a move toward London Overground- and Merseyrail-style concession contracts for operators, with a new independent ‘guiding mind’ for the rail network assuming the financial risk, taking the lead on an overall coordinated strategy and contracting operators directly against performance targets for efficiency and passenger service.

Most rail engineering work assumes decades-long life cycles for the assets it produces and maintains, and the ability of engineering to respond directly to the present crisis in the rail industry is of course limited.  But the structural changes we are seeing in the industry now, or something like them, are going to persist for decades to come.  Engineering, like every other aspect of the rail industry, is going to have to account for this new reality in planning its way out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The impact of a change in the passenger-facing operating model might seem to have only rather abstract implications for engineering, but as the stakeholders change, so too will the requirements.  Future rail engineering will have to adapt to a different set of priorities, both with respect to the greater degree of central coordination applied to the rail network, and with respect to the changed incentive structure of the operating companies.

Rail engineering has been dealing with increasing system complexity for some time, from projects like the Digital Railway, as well as greater pressure from stakeholders on safety, accessibility and decarbonisation.  But with this faster-than-expected transition to greater central coordination for the network, these pressures for greater complexity will both accelerate and change in character.

Rail systems will need to collaborate better, as rail strategy becomes directed from the centre and more focused on the integrated performance of the network as a whole.  And even insofar as parts of the rail network can be treated as independent systems, more direct incentives on operators to improve efficiency and passenger service will doubtless also translate into more demanding requirements for engineers.

Systems engineering has already become an important tool for certain parts of the Great British (GB) rail network and has, in the last decade, been fully embraced by infrastructure owners like Network Rail and Transport for London (TfL) as a critical component of the sophisticated engineering necessary to deliver a more complex, interconnected and digital rail system.  Even before these major structural changes to the industry, rail suppliers were starting to wake up to the idea that participating in systems engineering processes with those major contractors could help them work more closely with their stakeholders and deliver better, more complex systems, that integrate more closely with the broader understanding of the network and its systems.

With this accelerated transition to requirements being driven from the centre, suppliers will accordingly need to step-up their transition to a more integrated approach to engineering.  Systems engineering techniques are fundamentally about finding ways to analyse, model and plan the behaviour of a system as a whole and in its context, above and beyond the details of individual components.  By having a suite of processes and tools designed to model and anticipate the structure of a system, projects can have assurance from the start that the right asset is being built in the right way, and that the project will interact appropriately with its context.

Systems engineering has developed a wide range of processes and tools for modelling and simulation, requirements analysis, scheduling, and all parts of the life cycle, tailored to better manage the development of complex systems.  In particular, systems engineering takes a robust and scientific approach to requirements management that cleanly and specifically identifies ambiguities and gaps in stated stakeholder needs.

The requirements that result are – among other benefits – clear, verifiable, functional, minimal and consistent.  And, critically, they are managed using tools which can integrate those requirements across every part of the network, with seamless supplier collaboration and the ability to see in requirements and models, how any given system is expected to interface with the network around it.

As the rail operating model changes, more requirements will be ultimately derived from the central coordinating body, and more of what is expected of rail systems will require seamless, integrated coordination with the network around it.  Stepping up progress toward systems engineering use could be the right way to engineer the railway out of this crisis, and beyond, to the challenges of the future.

If you have found this article useful, and would like to hear more about how your organisation may use systems engineering to better embrace change, visit www.synthesys-technologies.co.uk or contact us on cet@synthesys.co.uk

SyntheSys Maintains Cyber Essentials Plus Accreditation


SyntheSys is committed to minimising our information security risk as well as meeting our ongoing contractual and supply chain needs, which is why we are pleased to announce that we have recently passed our latest assessment in recognition of our commitment to cyber security.

We see the Cyber Essentials Plus certification scheme as vital in protecting our business and our customers.  The certification process tests an organisation’s Information Technology (IT) systems through detailed vulnerability assessments, carried out by independent cyber security experts, to ensure that IT systems can withstand the most common cyber threats.

If you would like to hear more about the Cyber Essentials Plus certification, or the work we are doing in this area, contact: info@synthesys.co.uk

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Speedy Success for Porter Sport Racing


The UK automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy worth more than £82 billion turnover and adding £18.6 billion value to the UK economy*.  SyntheSys has been providing Engineering services to the automotive industry for several years which is why we were thrilled to hear of an interesting and unique opportunity to get involved with local motor car racing team, Porter Sport Racing, via an exciting sponsorship arrangement. 

Tom Porter, 25, from Gateshead established Porter Sport Racing in 2019 after his interest in vehicle manufacturing and production lead him to a world of motor sports racing.  Tom is currently competing in the Celtic Speed Scottish Mini Cooper Cup.

Tom started off as a keen track day goer but soon realised he wanted more, he wanted to go racing!  So, in 2019 Tom competed in the Super Lap Scotland as a guest driver in his Fiesta ST at the Croft away round, he had great success finishing second in class.  After the event and talks with LUX Motorsport, Tom decided he wanted to compete in the 2020 Celtic Speed Scottish Mini Cooper Cup.  Following on from this decision, Tom purchased a base car and started building it into the race car you see on the grid.  Tom gained his mechanical experience building his Fiesta ST and working with Jamsport Racing in the British Racing and Sports Car Club (BRSCC) Fiesta Championship and Mini Challenge. 

Tom Porter from Porter Sport Racing commented:

‘‘It’s great to have SyntheSys on board for my debut season in the Celtic Speed Scottish Mini Cooper Cup.  After a disrupted start to the season due to the ongoing pandemic it’s great to finally be out on the track racing in the Mini.  We managed to complete two pre-season test days to shake the car down and check for any issues as well as dial in the set up on the car.  The car performed fantastically on both days thanks to LUX Motorsport with their set up expertise.  So far, we have completed two race weekends and are looking forward to the rest of the seasons with SyntheSys onboard.’’

SyntheSys’ Managing Director, John Hartas commented:

‘’It’s not very often that such a vibrant opportunity to support young talent presents itself in our business areas and we are thrilled be involved with Porter Sport Racing.  The precision and commitment involved in preparing and competing in these races is commendable.’’

If you currently work in the automotive sector and would like to hear more about the role systems engineering can play in complex automotive engineering development programmes, please email cet@synthesys.co.uk or telephone +44 (0) 1947 821 464.

For more information about SyntheSys, visit: http://www.synthesys-technologies.co.uk 

To follow Porter Sports Racing on Facebook, visit: https://bit.ly/313RUNb

*According to The Society of Motoring and Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

Monday, 12 October 2020

SyntheSys Becomes a Member of the North East Automotive Alliance

It’s no secret that the North East boasts a prosperous and vibrant automotive economy.  With its impressive manufacturing capacity and thriving supply chain, the region has firmly established itself as the second largest automotive region in the UK.

The North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) is a not-for-profit, industry led group which supports the economic growth and competitiveness of the North East of England’s automotive sector, and today we are delighted to announce our membership with the Alliance.

Managing Director, John Hartas commented: Becoming a member of the NEAA marks our continued support of regional development and will allow us to forge strong relationships within our local automotive communities whilst further promoting the North East as an automotive region of excellence.

Paul Butler, CEO at NEAA added: “We are delighted to welcome SyntheSys as a new member of the NEAA and we are confident their service portfolio will be a valued addition to the network. We encourage our members to take time out to learn more about the company and what they can offer to the automotive supply chain.”

If you currently work in the automotive sector and would like to hear more about the role systems engineering can play in complex automotive engineering development programmes, please email cet@synthesys.co.uk or telephone +44 (0) 1947 821 464

For more information about SyntheSys, visit: http://www.synthesys-technologies.co.uk

For more information about NEAA, visit: https://www.northeastautomotivealliance.com