A sincere thanks to our many students, in over 120 countries around the world, who have believed in us and supported us in our engineering training and education endeavors. You have helped us build IDC Technologies and the Engineering Institute of Technology into the vibrant education and training businesses they are today. The learning has been reciprocal–thank you. A debt of gratitude, too, to an old friend, Jim Taylor, who worked with me on a number of our earlier training ventures in the New World, and who was always inspirational in engineering an elegant solution to the most thorny of problems.

Thanks to Ms. Heather Parry for her tenacity in creating a book out of a collection of ramblings and Ms. Krishna Ghoshal for her superb work on the graphics that grace this book.

I would like to thank Professor Darrell Fisher for being such a courteous, supportive and thoughtful supervisor for my doctoral research, which underpins much that is included here. His collaboration on this book is also greatly appreciated; he has enormous experience in research in education and training in the scientific fields and has a keen eye for detail.

I would also like to thank my lovely wife, Edwina Ross, for her continued and fierce support through all the travails of business and in the writing of this book. When the chips are down and things look bleak she remains positive. As a colleague put it, “She lights up the room with enthusiasm and happiness when she enters it.” For her efforts, which have transformed my rather formal engineering prose, I am grateful. Thanks also to our two children, Caroline and James. They have travelled companionably with us on our rather extensive overseas trips over the decades, debating issues vigorously and with good humor.


Perth, Western Australia 23rd December 2012