• Question: have you ever stayed up all night, whilst trying to solve a really hard problem?

    Asked by diabla to Becky, Carrie, Kelly, Robin, Usaid on 19 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Usaid Rauf

      Usaid Rauf answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      Loads of times. I used to stay up really late at Uni trying to complete different assignments all due in at about the same time. However, I don’t think I spent a whole night on the same problem – I usually mixed things up a bit.

      I hope that doesn’t scare you away from engineering. I found that staying up at night gave me a lot of quiet to work in. I used to live in a crowded house and my housemates were silent when asleep!

      I haven’t done this at work yet, and really hope that I don’t have to.

    • Photo: Becky Selwyn

      Becky Selwyn answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      No because I know my brain doesn’t work very well when I’m tired. I always planned projects so I wouldn’t have to stay up all night last minute to finish them and that saved me a lot of stress! At work if I get really stuck into a problem I stay late, but usually I’ll get hungry before it gets too late so I go home, get some food and start again fresh the next day.

    • Photo: Caroline Roberts Haritonov

      Caroline Roberts Haritonov answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      Occasionally I’ve had to work very late to respond to give an urgent response to a client. It doesn’t happen very often. Most of the time the projects are pretty well planned and there is enough time to get the work done properly in a normal day. But every now and then there is a bit of an emergency – the client (normally and oil/gas company) needs some urgent analysis, or urgent advice and when that happens we have to be there for them. When it does happen, its a bit exciting too, so the adrenalin keeps us going. I’m glad it doesn’t happen very often though!

    • Photo: Robin Stafford Allen

      Robin Stafford Allen answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      We used to have to complete the build of magnets and then pump the main vacuum for three days before cooling it down. If we had one that “might” be ready for the weekend, (when the pumping would not interfer with the working week) then I would stay overnight with the building technicians (and take-away pizza — one of the few benefits) until we had finished the build in time to leave it pumping for the weekend, otherwise it would be delayed considerably. Also when cooling and commissioning a magnet at CERN we had to work 7 days a week and have people in the clean room for 24 hours a day. This was hard work, but worth it as it was only for a few of weeks and as successful. Regards Robin