How to find IT in a driveway

On Thursday 1st August, 2013, A Current Affair broadcast a story about driveways that are too steep called Driveway Debacle. Somehow I ended up with a cameo role in the feature towards the end. So how did this come about?

The thrust of the story is that there is a number of homes that that driveways that have been made so steep that they are unusable. They wanted to find a 'boffin' who would be able to calculate the gradient of the driveway, and to make some judgement about its steepness. Some time ago, I had put my name on a list of experts (both one at RMIT, and another one, if I recall correctly), and so the producer of the story found my contact details and rang me up late on the Wednesday afternoon. After some discussion about what they wanted, he emailed me a photo of one of the driveways. I then found a way to quickly measure the angle of it, and looked up some information on gradients and recommended levels. It took less than an hour overall, and I thought that was that.

Later that night, another phone call came, asking if they could come and film me doing the calculations on the Thursday morning. We found a mutually agreeable time, and soon there was the reporter (Laura), a cameraman, and a sound person in my office filming me writing on the whiteboard and talking about the results. The whole thing took no more than about 15 minutes, and then appeared on the programme that night. I had no idea when it would appear or what my role would be; all I knew was that they had found some steep driveways.

To see the photos and what exactly I did to measure them, click here.