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The 10 Greatest Inventors of the Mid-20th Century 
Blog 
4/24/2015  4 comments
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
UX Design: The Age of Voice Is Here
Guest Blogs 
4/24/2015  Post a comment
The age of touch could soon come to an end. From smartphones and smartwatches, to home devices, to in-car infotainment systems, touch is no longer the primary user interface. Technology market leaders are driving a migration from touch to voice as a user interface.
Soft Starters Spare Wear & Tear on Motors, Help Control Peak Energy Usage
Guest Blogs 
4/24/2015  Post a comment
Soft starter technology has become a way to mitigate startup stressors by moderating a motor’s voltage supply during the machine start-up phase, slowly ramping it up and effectively adjusting the machine’s load behavior to protect mechanical components.
NIST Report Analyzes Measurement Needs for Powder Metal 3D Printing
Engineering Materials 
4/24/2015  Post a comment
A new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) makes a start on developing control schemes, process measurements, and modeling and simulation methods for powder bed fusion additive manufacturing.
What Does It Take to Evolve from 2D to 3D CAD Modeling?
Guest Blogs 
4/23/2015  1 comment
Despite the astronomical benefits offered by 3D modeling, it is quite surprising that nearly 75% of the manufacturing industries still perform design operations using 2D CAD systems. What is the reason that keeps companies hesitant from adopting 3D technology?
6 New Bio-based & Renewable Plastics
Engineering Materials 
4/23/2015  Post a comment
Although bio-based polymers face challenges from petroleum-based polymers, in certain markets they can displace the petro-based incumbents. Here are six new bio-based and renewable plastics for a variety of applications.
Discover-E’s ‘New Face’ of Engineering Helps Bridge the Opportunity Gap
STEM Connection 
4/23/2015  Post a comment
Discover-E has chosen its 13 New Faces of Engineering for 2015, and the list includes an impressive number of young people who are using their roles as engineers to effect positive change through real-world applications of their skills and training. Design News had the opportunity to speak with one of them.
Moving Big Data to Equipment Design
Blog 
4/23/2015  1 comment
Industrial equipment can be improved by pushing big data from operations into the design process.
The Best and Greenest Cars of 2015
Automotive News 
4/22/2015  7 comments
If there’s a single theme to Kelley Blue Book’s list of the best green cars -- published just in time for Earth Day -- it’s that fuel efficiency alone isn’t enough.
Sustainability Expert: Solar Energy Can Help Alleviate Drought
Blog 
4/22/2015  21 comments
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
BASF Pushes Sustainable Materials, Design
Engineering Materials 
4/22/2015  Post a comment
BASF has developed tools and initiatives to help engineers use more of its renewable materials in their designs, more effectively, as well as to build parts using them with more predictable performance.
Using Energy Harvesting to Power MCUs and FPGAs
Guest Blogs 
4/22/2015  Post a comment
Energy harvesting in particular seems to be moving at an accelerating pace. We now seem to be at a point where it is possible to run low-power systems primarily from energy harvesting sources. This is a big shift from even just a couple of years ago. Three key trends seem to have accelerated this dramatic shift.
Steep Growth in 2015 CAD Adoption Trends
Blog 
4/22/2015  1 comment
CAD trends survey shows steep growth in 3D printing, cloud services, PLM, and simulation.
Top 10 3D Printing Projects
Blog 
4/21/2015  Post a comment
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
IoT Will Improve Design Engineering Relationships with Vendor Managers
Guest Blogs 
4/21/2015  Post a comment
ABI Research, a firm based in the UK that specializes in analyzing global connectivity and other emerging technologies, estimates there will be 40.9 billion active wirelessly interconnected “things” by 2020. The driving force is the usual suspect: the Internet of Things.
Bayer MaterialScience Gets Green with PU Foams
Engineering Materials 
4/21/2015  Post a comment
Just in time for Earth Day, chemicals leader Bayer MaterialScience reported from the UTECH Europe 2015 polyurethane show on programs and applications using its materials to help reduce energy usage. The company also gave an update on its CO2-based PU as that eco-friendly material comes closer to production.
Automation Tools Bring Viability to Renewables
Blog 
4/21/2015  Post a comment
Solar and wind energy are becoming more viable as a source of energy on the electric grid. For decades, the major drawback to solar and wind was that they’re temperamental. A cloudy day kills solar and a still day renders the wind turbines useless. Automation tools, however, are providing a path to help these renewables become practical.
NSA Encourages Trash Picking for Earth Day
Blog 
4/21/2015  8 comments
In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
The EV Taxpayer Shakedown: Time to Reconsider?
Opinion 
4/20/2015  68 comments
If you’ve noticed the recent news about electric cars and batteries, then it’s easy to wonder about the continuing wisdom behind public subsidies for EVs.
8 New Materials & Designs for Lightweighting Planes, Trucks, Cars
Engineering Materials 
4/20/2015  1 comment
A slew of announcements about new materials and design concepts for transportation have come out of several trade shows focusing on plastics, aircraft interiors, heavy trucks, and automotive engineering. A few more announcements have come independent of any trade shows, maybe just because it's spring.
Engineer-Backed Competition Envisions Woman on TV as ‘The Next MacGyver’
STEM Connection 
4/20/2015  3 comments
A group of collaborators wants to recast MacGyver or a show similar to it with a female protagonist as part “The Next MacGyver” competition, in order to get young girls interested in STEM fields.
Meet Festo’s Biomimicry-Inspired, 3D-Printed Bionic Insects
Blog 
4/20/2015  2 comments
Biomimicry and 3D printing have come together in new swarming ant and butterfly robots that act very much like their insect counterparts, the inventions of German robotics firm Festo.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Teardown
Blog 
4/17/2015  6 comments
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
The EU Forges a Pan-European Push to Enable IoT
Blog 
4/17/2015  1 comment
Fifteen European research centers have launched EuroCPS to help European companies develop innovative products for the Internet of Things.
Is the Volkswagen Microbus Poised for an Electric Comeback?
Automotive News 
4/17/2015  6 comments
Get your Allman Brothers albums ready. The iconic Volkswagen Microbus may be poised for a comeback, and this time it could be electric.
The 5 Biggest IoT Adoption Issues
Blog 
4/17/2015  3 comments
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
Origami-Inspired Solar Panels Could be Headed for Space
Blog 
4/17/2015  Post a comment
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
11 Not-to-Miss Composites, Software, and Processes from JEC Europe
Engineering Materials 
4/16/2015  Post a comment
At the JEC Europe 2015 composites show in Paris last month, makers of composite materials, software, and process equipment showed off their latest innovations. This year's show saw some announcements related to automotive applications, but many of the improvements came in the world of aerospace.
Nissan's Position Sensor Provides Wake-Up Call
Automotive News 
4/16/2015  3 comments
Using a steering angle sensor instead of a camera, Nissan Motor Co. engineers have introduced a simpler way to monitor driver drowsiness.
The 10 Best Cities to be a Biomedical Engineer
Blog 
4/16/2015  Post a comment
Biomedical engineering is one of the fastest growing engineering fields; from medical devices and pharmaceuticals to more cutting-edge areas like tissue, genetic, and neural engineering, US biomedical engineers (BMEs) boast salaries nearly double the annual mean wage and have faster than average job growth.
Design Tools Get Comfortable in the Cloud
Blog 
4/16/2015  1 comment
From CAD and PLM to collaboration and simulation, the range of software tools that support design are growing and available on somebody else’s servers.
IBM Watson Partners with Apple to Enhance Healthcare
Blog 
4/16/2015  2 comments
IBM has announced partnerships with Apple, Johnson & Johnson, and Medtronic to leverage the Watson supercomputer for Big Data health analytics.
Can the Internet of Things and the Cloud Work Together?
Blog 
4/15/2015  10 comments
A cloud-centric approach could be the solution to the IoT's data storage and analytics needs.
Engineering Disasters: Metallurgy, Rivets Sank the Titanic
Blog 
4/15/2015  10 comments
Cold temperatures caused the hull of the RMS Titanic to fail. But with better metallurgy and connector technology, Titanic's hull might have remained intact.
Toyota's ‘Global Architecture’ Strategy to Drive Development & Design Integration
Blog 
4/15/2015  6 comments
The world’s biggest automaker plans to introduce this year its first vehicles based on its new, sweeping product development strategy, called Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). Under TNGA, the carmaker will design and produce common parts for major automotive systems in order to realize efficiencies and cost-savings across all of its vehicular products.
In-Store Robot Makes Your Glasses While You Wait
Blog 
4/15/2015  1 comment
Tokyo-based eyewear brand, JINS, recently opened its first US-based store this week, selling high-quality, nice-looking, affordable glasses made by a robot while you wait.
Smart Windows Harvest Energy From Wind and Rain
Blog 
4/15/2015  4 comments
Windows are supposed to let the sun in and keep the fiercer elements of nature out. Now a team at the Georgia Institute of Technology has gone one step further, creating windows that not only protect against the elements -- specifically wind and rain -- but also use them to create energy.
A STEM Lesson from an IoT Electronic Thermometer
STEM Connection 
4/15/2015  Post a comment
The business and educational opportunities of Internet of Things (IoT) are abundant. Cisco’s forecast of every device being connected by 2025 -- the Internet of Everything -- is achievable by applying today’s embedded development tools to wireless innovations of tomorrow.
What’s the Future of the World’s Costliest Fighter Jet?
Blog 
4/14/2015  12 comments
The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is the most advanced military aircraft developed by the US. It is also the most expensive in history, with a lifecycle cost of $1 trillion. With the fighter jet inching toward initial operating capability in 2017, we asked Bill Sweetman, an editor at Aviation Week & Space Technology, to discuss its engineering advances but also setbacks.
Embedded Vision Is Guiding the Path of Smart Industrial Machinery
Guest Blogs 
4/14/2015  2 comments
The Internet of Things (IoT) is frequently defined by consumer or healthcare applications. It’s important to remember, however, that IoT offers at least as much potential to industry. One of the most promising subsets of industrial IoT is embedded vision -- or machinery that can see, interpret data, and act accordingly.
Want to Be an Engineer? Brush Up on 3D Printing
Blog 
4/14/2015  9 comments
It used to be that budding engineers just needed a solid grasp of physics, math, and their own healthy scientific curiosity, but these days, you need a fairly good working understanding of 3D printing too, apparently.
Can You Optimize this Example MCU-Based Design for Low Power Operation?
Guest Blogs 
4/14/2015  3 comments
Going back to older application notes or archived CEC courses remind us of some of the most useful tricks and techniques we can use to reduce the power dissipation in an MCU-based design.
13 Ways to Ease Packaging Engineering Tasks
Blog 
4/14/2015  Post a comment
Here are 13 automation game changers seen at the Automate trade show, held in March in Chicago.
What Are Job and Salary Prospects for Robotics Engineers?
Blog 
4/13/2015  10 comments
As National Robotics Week 2015 comes to a close, we wanted to look at salary and employment trends for robotics engineers. Although we did find some hints about career growth, there's very little salary information available.
It's Time to Investigate the H-1B Mess
Opinion 
4/13/2015  11 comments
The rancorous annual debate over the H-1B visa program could be definitively resolved if the United States government would commit itself to one difficult act: investigation.
How to Make Your Own Apple Watch, a Retro One That Is
Gadget Freak 
4/13/2015  Post a comment
If you think the Apple Watch will turn heads, wait until you build the Apple II version.
The Latest and Greatest in Healthcare Robotics
Blog 
4/13/2015  2 comments
Worrell Design and Daniel Kraft have teamed up to show you a handy infographic on everything you wanted to know about the latest for robotics in healthcare.
Survey: Engineers Want Better Plastics Performance, Recycling Technology
Engineering Materials 
4/13/2015  Post a comment
The DuPont-sponsored Plastics Industry Trends survey shows engineers want improved performance in a broad range of plastics and better recycling technology. These concerns top even processing enhancements that improve productivity.
Here are 10 Robots You Can Make Yourself
Gadget Freak 
4/10/2015  1 comment
From simple mods to more complex builds, here's a list and instructions for some of our favorite DIY robot projects.
Robotics Week Embraces Autonomous Vehicles
Blog 
4/10/2015  1 comment
National Robotics Week adopted a broader definition of robotics Thursday, as it shifted its focus from factory floor robots to autonomous vehicles and drones.
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The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
The age of touch could soon come to an end. From smartphones and smartwatches, to home devices, to in-car infotainment systems, touch is no longer the primary user interface. Technology market leaders are driving a migration from touch to voice as a user interface.
Soft starter technology has become a way to mitigate startup stressors by moderating a motor’s voltage supply during the machine start-up phase, slowly ramping it up and effectively adjusting the machine’s load behavior to protect mechanical components.
A new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) makes a start on developing control schemes, process measurements, and modeling and simulation methods for powder bed fusion additive manufacturing.
If you’re developing a product with lots of sensors and no access to the power grid, then you’ll want to take note of a Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Designing Low Power Systems Using Battery and Energy Harvesting Energy Sources."
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