EurActiv - Letters to the Editor


Regarding ‘Aerospace industry aims to fly higher on innovation‘:

When asked to name the greatest attribute that a world-leading engineer could have, our late chairman – the great aeronautical and design engineer Prof. John Argyris FRS (Royal Medal) FREng (Prince Philip Medal) – pondered for a few seconds, which at the time seemed like an eternity, and answered as follows: “the greatest attribute has to be INTUITION”.

This was the reasoning from the man who invented the modern Finite Element Method (the world’s most advanced mathematical deign tool used by leading engineers throughout the world now as their primary design mechanism).

Also America’s greatest living structural engineer Prof. Ray Clough stated in his 1960 publication that the FEM was the ‘Argyris method’. Indeed, although it was Ray Clough who first coined the phrase, ‘Finite Element Method’, he ceded the FEM to Argyris. Added to this Argyris stated that without intuition, nothing can advance in science or engineering.

Therefore for the EU to capture the high ground it has to allow the intuition of its great engineers to flourish.

Unfortunately the directors of main boards do not take any account of this. They are predominantly accountants and have no comprehension whatsoever of what creative ‘intuition’ actually is. Considering this fact, until senior management within our major aeronautical corporations understand that ‘intuition’ is the greatest asset of engineers and allow intuition to flourish within their corporate systems, R&D investments will predominantly be a major waste of resources.

That is no matter how much is poured into R&D. For without intuition, there is no initial catalyst to successfully start the whole process off. The EU therefore requires centres throughout every member state for intuition and innovation to flourish. For this should be seen as the EU’s top priority in order to provide socially and economically successful futures for our 500 million+ European citizens and generations to come.

Dr David Hill

Executive Director

World Innovation Foundation Charity (WIFC)

Bern, Switzerland

Author :


  1. Re: Japan’s Future Land Use

    Food prices have started to rise, reflecting consistently higher demand than supply. Agricultural Land will be a long time reflecting this, but now might be a good time to think about not building on it. Highways are a serious offender and cars a poor transportation choice.
    I’m reminded of an architect’s proposal for the peninsula north of San Francisco, CA. He proposed a rail or highway line with station stops fairly often. The half-mile to mile around each stop would be zones with intense travel buildings — office buildings, hospitals, high-rise apartments — right next to, or even integrated with the stations. Around this would be lower apartments and townhouses. Single houses would occupy the rest of the settled area, leaving the rest wild or parklike.
    The North Peninsula is very mountainous, but that can be a reason to develop there. Consider that any light rail line is already very close in structure and rigidity to a bridge, and hilly areas have good views and make interesting parks.

    • cars are surely not a good choice for personal transportation. Even trucks might be best served by transloading a small container system onto light freight traincars parked on sidings. Thus only 1-lane or even half-lane roads (one lane wide with pullovers short distances apart and bicycle trails) might be all that is needed in agricultural areas. (Busses and emergency vehicles get priority.)
    A family touring or vacationing along the shore or among the farmfields or even furniture and appliance deliveries might travel on Personal Carts — bicycles and tricycles; and, towable, low–speed, lowpowered vehicles which, because of size or carried, might need to use the half-road, but could be wheeled onto trains or busses from at–grade stations.
    Time-zoning — charging more for travel during busy or rush hours — as well as larger trains and even a call-for-a-ride system could permit one trainline to serve everybody well.
    • south-facing surfaces make any solar power more efficient.
    Thought might be given to garden areas in apartments, as well as garden plots near housing.
    Medium and tall structures can focus prevailing winds to turbines which would be far cheaper and collect more energy than large windmills.

Comments are closed.