Category: efficiency

So, How Much Cheaper is Containerization?

  Besides all other Coronavirus upheavals, it has also affected our intern program. Joseph Schwarz, starting Penn State Engineering Junior was supposed to join us for the summer, but with an office that practices social distancing a face to face internship became quite impractical. In order to provide Joe with a meaningful training experience it… Read more »

Solar Math Update

I installed roof top solar on my house in July 2017 and wrote a blog about it promising to provide an update in a few months. I did not get to it until now, but after more than two years of operation it is even more fun to revisit the project to see how it… Read more »

A Forensic Engineer’s Short Course in Flawed Analysis, Or A Norden Bombsight Insight

This story will makes two important points about technical reasoning that in the heat of combat, disasters, disputes, commerce, parenting or politics often get overlooked. They are: 1.If your starting data is flawed, the rest of your argument becomes inherently flawed 2.Just because one thing looks like the other, it does not mean that they are comparable. The… Read more »

The Big Maritime Things In 2014

So here, at the end of the year, I have spent a few moments pondering the maritime events that affected my life. As usual, this is a personal list, but checking back against prior lists I am surprised that this list making can be very unpredictable. It almost seems that these annual lists carry a… Read more »

Great Design Is No Joke

True or not, this joke is attributed to Abraham Lincoln: A farmer’s young son comes running into the house. Out of breath he says: “Pa, Pa, the hired hand and Sis are in the hayloft. The hired hand has dropped his pants and Sis has pulled up her skirt! Pa, I think they are fixin’… Read more »

M&O Jeep Fleet

In 1994, M&O leased the then new Jeep Grand Cherokee, with miles per gallon in the 17 mile range. Twenty years later M&O has returned to the Jeep brand with the leasing of the new “Eco Diesel” Jeep Grand Cherokee, which can get some 33 miles per gallon on the highway. Stephanie Khadam-Hir of the… Read more »

Sprawl, the Infrastructure Trap, and A Real World Solution (Maxi Taxi 9)

A Time magazine article by Leigh Gallagher highlights a problem that we deal with on a daily basis but that pretty much stays just below our awareness horizon. In the article Mr. Gallagher describes a professional epiphany of a town engineer with regard to town planning codes that exhibits itself as suburban sprawl. The issue… Read more »

Goodbye Goltens New York

This week is a sad week for New York Maritime. Engine repairer extraordinaire, Goltens, has announced that they will be closing their shop in Brooklyn. Goltens New York was the last classic marine engine repair shop in the port of New York. Maritime is an incredibly dynamic business and we all know that nothing stays… Read more »

Sheer Efficient Madness

There is absolutely nothing so absolutely awesome as ice boating. It was the greatest thrill in the world 200 years ago and it still is today, and I have no problem betting that it will be still be an astonishing thrill 200 years from now. Ice boating is insane fun, but it is not just… Read more »

Are Five Foot Wide Maxi Taxi Roads The End Of Driving Fun?

Some people pondering five foot wide roads (or, at best, roads a little wider than 60 inches) populated with Maxi Taxis may think it would spell the end of driver excitement. Personally, having owned a Triumph Spitfire (57 inches wide) and always having coveted the original Mini Coopers  (55 inches wide), I doubt that is actually the… Read more »

Hyperloop and Maxi Taxi

In our office, we often discuss the pros and cons of new tech.  So when Elon Musk’s new Hyperloop preliminary design study came out on Monday, it was an obvious source of discussion. While some of us (*cough* Rik) have some doubts about the Hyperloop concept, we can agree that a very attractive design could… Read more »

What Is The Cost Of Efficient Transportation? (Maxi Taxi 5)

Not too long ago only a small proportion of humanity had access to vast resources (which actually equates to access to energy). Although the very rich could travel by ocean liner between continents, poorer people’s action radii were very much smaller. For most of humanity’s existence a human might be tied to a very small… Read more »

How Safe Is Automated Driving? (Maxi Taxi 4)

Automated driving is central to the Maxi Taxi concept. Although the Maxi Taxi ferry concept does not specifically require full automated driving, the ferry concept, at a minimum, will use automated parking type technology to load and unload the ferries automatically with human drivers on public roads. However, the Maxi Taxi concept will really come into… Read more »

The Really Big Picture

The April issue of (mt), the SNAME house magazine, will feature an article by Dr. Wayne Neu, professor of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering at Virginia Tech. Dr. Neu updated the classic 1950’s Gabrielli – von Karman plot using more recent vehicle data collected by the students in one of his classes. The Gabrielli – von… Read more »

What Needs To Be Standardized? (Maxi Taxi 2)

In the Maxi Taxi 1 blog we introduced the Maxi Taxi concept as a thought experiment to explore how people transportation can be made to be more efficient by whole system design. The Maxi Taxi is a passenger transportation concept that, through standardization, aims to rapidly increase system efficiencies. System efficiencies are different from component… Read more »

Containerizing People Transportation (Maxi Taxi 1)

We call this peculiar car a Maxi Taxi. Maxi Taxis are just a concept that was turned into this computer model by our intern Zach Davis (Harry Ottaway’s grandson!), but they are an interesting concept and have features that are pretty much available today. The Maxi Taxi concept rests on the success of containerization and… Read more »

The Thrill Of The Cutting Edge

Corporate longevity might imply tradition, but actually, and especially in the maritime industry, longevity is directly related to staying on the cutting edge and being involved in the next big thing. On March 5 and 6, 2013 Martin & Ottaway will be a minor sponsor of the Marine Log 2013 Offshore Alternatives Conference at the… Read more »

The Big Maritime Things In 2012

At the end of 2012 we can look back and see it has been another interesting year in our industry. Here are ten things, in no particular order of importance, that stand out for me: 1. Planet Solar There is no doubt that we can get around the world by sail, but what if we were to… Read more »

Let The Sun Shine On The Delaware

M&O covers quite a range of waterfronts. Some we only visit occasionally (for example, Bahia Blanca, Argentina we visit no more than about once a decade) but others we visit on an almost daily basis. The Delaware River ports are home turf for us, but every now and then we need to check the internet… Read more »

The US Maritime Industry, The Rodney Dangerfield Of World History

The Maritime Industry is the single most important driver for the world as we know it today. Before maritime commerce was established, trade consisted of horses and carts on bad roads, and since horses and carts can only move limited amounts of product trade was inherently deeply restricted. Before sailing ships, it was impossible to… Read more »