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Small family structural design and technical services business, comprising of father (Roy) and son (Conrad). The business was formed in 1994 and operated in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia, in particular in the Tea Tree Gully (TTG) area and surrounds, until 2014 when we moved everything to Maitland on the Yorke Peninsula. The trading name was solely Roy Harrison & Associates until 2009 when we registered the company name MiScion Pty Ltd: now the name alternates between the two.

Licensing And Registration

Here in South Australia, there is no registration or licensing of design or engineering services, it is relatively democratic allowing DIY development approval applications.

However a building proposal has to be demonstrated fit-for-function to the satisfaction of a chartered professional engineer (CP.Eng) working on behalf of the regulating authority (local council or private certifier). Most of the required proof-calculations are relatively simple and are within, and always have been within, the capabilities of Australia’s engineering associates (on condition they have gained supervised experience putting their education to use, as is also a requirement for the engineers).

The need for CP.Eng on the regulating side is to ensure that there are no complicating features which may have been missed by lesser qualified persons (qualified=education+experience). The requirement is also an independent check, self-certification is not allowed.

If a system is critical then we recommended getting an additional independent review/check completed before regulatory approval. A proper independent check involves doing the proof-calculations from scratch based on the specification-of-intent, with no reference to the design-calculations.

Engineering vs Evidence-of-Suitability

We prefer to use the term “structural design” rather than “structural engineering”. The term engineering is often taken to mean just doing the numbers (eg. Calcs-for-Council), whilst design involves more than that.

We take engineering as referring to design activity taking place at the frontiers of science and technology. We expect that most projects make use of established technology and science, and therefore design can be based on calculation, without need for experimentation to determine new theory, and therefore the design activity is not engineering.

Legislation may define engineering, as being little more than checking code compliance. In terms of South Australia we can provide the ill defined thing regulators call engineering: the “engineering” you were told to go get.

It is preferable to avoid the term “engineering” when it comes to checking code compliance. The requirement is not “engineering” but documented “evidence-of-suitability“. The task is to demonstrate by proof-calculations and other means that a proposed structure is fit-for-function or suitable-for-purpose.

Mere compliance with a code of practice is not adequate proof of fitness-for-function.

It is important to question the relevance of the codes, and determine the requirements which will achieve fitness-for-function. This requires us to understand the functions and purpose for which you intend on using the structure.

Often we get builders who complain about some “engineer” who got the design wrong. It isn’t that the “engineer” got the design wrong, it’s that the building designer didn’t fully describe the building, and the builder didn’t specify the resources they had access to and what they were willing to do: and as a consequence the structural design didn’t meet their needs. Both product and process need to be designed, not just the product. The structure needs to be buildable. Just dropping drawings off, and requesting calcs-for-council, will rarely result in something that is buildable.

We all need to work together as each of us only has part of the picture: we need to bring each of these parts together to create a whole.

We don’t impose and mandate. We try our best to help you to learn and understand. We don’t generate dependency. We try to enable and empower, we produce design tools. Whether these be tables, charts or software, the purpose to to allow you to experiment with various options. We can validate the final choice and take responsibility for asserting it is fit-for-function.

We are here to assist, advise and help.

Technical Services

Primarily structural design and associated computer software development. With formal education in industrial, manufacturing and mechanical engineering we have potential to provide assistance in more areas than structures. Such areas include: total quality management (TQM), statistical process control, inventory management, materials requirement planning (MRP), manufacturing resource planning (MRP II), design-for-manufacture (DFM), design-for-assembly (DFA), agricultural engineering, business logistics, Business Computer Systems Development.

Or drafting services: structural, mechanical, civil.

No project too small.

Machines are structures which move. Non-machine structures are mechanisms which are locked.

Project Locations

Whilst projects may be located anywhere, places in close proximity to Maitland(SA) are given preference:

  1. Yorke Peninsula Council
  2. District Council of Copper Coast
  3. District Council of Barunga West

Maitland, Arthurton, Point Pearce, Balgowan, Sandilands, Port Victoria, Ardrossan, James Well, Dowlingville, Rogues Point, Tiddy Widdy Beach, Agery, Winulta, Clinton Centre, Price, Black Point, Moonta, Port Hughes, North Moonta, Curramulka, Warburto,Port Julia, Bluff Beach, Paskeville, Minlaton, Kadina, Port Vincent, Port Wakefield, Wallaroo, North Beach, Wallaroo Plain, Stansbury, Hardwicke Bay, Alford, Bute, Tickera, Point Souttar, Point Turton, Yorketown, Warooka, Coobowie, Edithburgh, Corny Point, Honiton, Port Broughton, Foul Bay, Mundoora, Marion Bay, Inneston{NB: Locations are roughly in order of increasing radial distance from Maitland SA.}