MiScion Home

Introduction

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.}


Certificates of Structural Adequacy – Origin

When we refer to a Certificate of Structural Adequacy (CSA) we are not referring to a formal certificate meeting some requirements of local regulation. Here in South Australia the formal certificate is a Certificate of an Independent Technical Expert (CITE), and the person issuing such certificate has to be a chartered professional engineer (CP.Eng). The […]


Design Guide for Attached Canopies

{Will provide notes here concerning the structural assessment of attaching a canopy to a building } Two basic forms: Canopy integral with the building and constructed at the same time as the building Canopy is a “tacked on after thought”, which is attached to the building after the building has been constructed. For residential buildings […]


Building a Structural (Engineering) Design eWorkbook – Part 8

Seems going to be a delay for a while, whilst make some major changes to the VBA code. Relative to existing workbooks the following are of importance: Workbook Design Engine The designEngine workbook has two user forms as illustrated here. The main form contains options to: Analyse gable frame (Kleinlogel Frame III) Produce Height vs […]


Building a Structural (Engineering) Design eWorkbook – Part 7

So taking a look at the workbook primary data tables. The table comprises of fields: group, description, block Name, value, units, edit field, editValue, CalcValue, isParameter. Block name, is carry over from Quattro Pro where group of cells referred to as a block rather than a range. In the main it is just the name […]


Building a Structural (Engineering) Design eWorkbook – Part 6

In part 5 I briefly covered classes, whilst in part 3 I covered the use of DBMS to store and retrieve data. One approach for the tables was a table with a record structure: characteristic, value, units, isParameter. For which purpose I wrote a function getCharacteristic and subroutine setCharacteristic to get and set the data […]


Building a Structural (Engineering) Design eWorkbook – Part 5

So in part 3 I made use of various DBMS to store input data and calculated results. the data stored in tables, each row of the table is a record and each column of each record is a field. High level programming languages allow data structures to be defined collecting all the fields together into a […]


Using Technical Library and Database for Cold-Formed Steel Design to AS4600

As I mentioned in Building a Structural (Engineering) Design eWorkbook – Part 4  a calculation of section and member moment capacity to AS4600 can be relatively simple, with my original illustration of such being presented here: On Calculations and Software Part 1. Using such technical library , and materials library, it is possible to generate simple member capacity tables […]


Building a Structural (Engineering) Design eWorkbook – Part 4

So as mentioned in state-of-play 2018/wk50  I got sidetracked using MSHTML to read data from html files, specifically the Chrome bookmarks file (the exported HTML not the main JSON formatted file). Also I started writing the state-of-play article on the thursday and got interrupted so completed today (19/12/2018). Now using VBScript doesn’t seem much of […]


State of Play 2018/wk50

Health Last week of phase 2 heart rehab. Last session thursday (13/12/2018), at the start of next year will start on phase 3 maintenance. So today repeated the 6 minute test, as did at the start of the programme. Showed improvement. Past few sessions also increased time on treadmill from 5 minutes to 15 minutes […]


Building a Structural (Engineering) Design eWorkbook – Part 3

Note that I am using VBScript because it belongs to a family of languages, and capability basically increases from VBScript, VBA to VB, to VB.net. Whilst software may support COM automation or whatever the .net equivalent is called, not all software hosts VBA. For example Multiframe structural analysis and DesignCAD have object models which are […]



Spreadsheet Bundle for Cold-formed Steel Structures Design

Price: name your price Design of cold-formed steel structures to AS4600.  Contains:  Materials library Technical library add-in Quick Calculator Workbook for member checks Bolt capacity tables Example of using spreadsheet iteration to calculate effective section modulus for cold-formed c-section. The technical library contains functions to obtain effective section modulus directly so do not need the […]


Spreadsheet Bundle

Price Name your Price ($0 is acceptable, especially if you’re a student). If you find any of it useful then please return and contribute funds to those items you found most useful. The table below has links to the individual workbooks. Description Single zip file package of spreadsheets otherwise available from my ExcelCalcs profile, Warning: […]


Footing Calculator using Rutledge Formula

Rutledge formula for flag pole footing design

Price: Name Your Price Description: Simple spreadsheet calculator to check footing design using Rutledge formula.   Previous Footing Design Next


Frame Selection Charts for Cold-formed Steel Sheds

Design charts for gable frame sheds, terrain category 3

Height versus span selection charts for fixed based portal frame sheds, with frames at 3m centres, made from cold-formed steel c-sections, for wind terrain category 3. The pitch of the doubly pitched roof is 10 degrees. Shed Industry Shed Design Next


Spreadsheet Bundle for Steel Structures Design

Price: (name your price) : As a start consider your own hourly rate and the time it is likely to take to create such workbook and the time needed to learn how to use. For students the hourly rate is zero therefore price is zero, for consultants working on multimillion dollar buildings a reasonable price […]