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Engineering Disasters: Galloping Gertie – the Tacoma Narrows Bridge
Blog 
11/25/2014  2 comments
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
How to Design Better 'Things'
Blog 
11/25/2014  4 comments
Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
Is Sexism Driving Women Out of Engineering?
Blog 
11/25/2014  2 comments
When my daughter decided she wanted to study engineering, I was very proud of her. At the same time, in the back of my mind, I wondered if she knew what she was in for.
AutoDesk, Artec Make 3D Modeling Easier
Blog 
11/25/2014  Post a comment
AutoDesk has teamed up with 3D scanner provider Artec to link CAD software and 3D scanners to make it faster and easier to create accurate 3D mesh models for printing or digital use.
Gadget Freak of the Year Reader Vote: Round 2
Gadget Freak 
11/24/2014  1 comment
Last year you helped Design News and Allied Electronics crown its first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year, and we need your help again. Vote in round 2 of our second-annual contest.
Driverless Cars Require More Passenger Trust
Blog 
11/24/2014  15 comments
The key to autonomous driving is not to forget about the driver, and to remember that passengers want a sense of control, as opposed to being utterly passive backseat drivers.
HP's 3D Printing Plans Still Seem a Little Out of Reach
Engineering Materials 
11/24/2014  2 comments
HP revealed more of its 3D printing plans in a recent webinar. Senior vice president of inkjet and graphics solution business Stephen Nigro spoke about how the technology works and expanded on HP's vision of open collaboration to commercialize its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology for end-production, and open collaboration on new materials. He also said HP will create software to help users decide when to use Multi Jet Fusion versus conventional subtractive manufacturing.
12 Black Friday Gadgets for Someone You Hate
Blog 
11/21/2014  25 comments
Get a load of these strange product designs. What's in the water these design engineers are drinking?
van Gogh's 'Starry Night' Transformed into Solar-Powered Bike Path
Blog 
11/21/2014  16 comments
The Dutch are known for their love of bicycling, and they’ve also long been early adopters of green-energy and smart-city technologies. So it seems fitting that a town in which painter Vincent van Gogh once lived has given him a very Dutch-like tribute -- a bike path lit by a special smart paint in the style of the artist's “Starry Night” painting.
What Reality Will You Make?
STEM Connection 
11/21/2014  8 comments
Cal Poly students use 3D printing to take flight -- and pass their class.
MegaBots Take Giant Robots From Science Fiction to Reality
Blog 
11/20/2014  11 comments
Ever wanted your own giant robot? Three engineers did, and now they want to make 15-ft, fighting MegaBots a household name.
10 Packaging Technologies at Pack Expo
Blog 
11/20/2014  3 comments
Here are 10 examples of the wide range of new technology on display at Pack Expo in Chicago earlier this month.
Desert Scorpions Inspire Abrasion-Resistant Surfaces
Blog 
11/20/2014  4 comments
For decades, engineers have worked to combat erosion by developing high-strength alloys, composites, and surface coatings. However, in a new paper, a team at Jilin University in China turned to one of the most deadly animals in the world for inspiration -- the yellow fat-backed scorpion.
Video: Bamboo-Based Hybrid Wind Turbine Aimed at Developing World
Blog 
11/20/2014  Post a comment
Green energy is being billed as a way to make communities that are energy deprived more self-sustaining. So it makes sense to use natural materials to create devices that harvest this type of energy. That’s the idea behind a hybrid wind/solar energy harvester made of bamboo that’s been developed by UVM researchers.
Engineering Disasters: Cracked Fitting Brings Down DC-10
Electronics News 
11/19/2014  33 comments
The question of whether engineers could have foreseen the shortcut maintenance procedures that led to the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 in 1979 will probably linger for as long as there is an engineering profession.
Keyssa: 'Kiss Old Connectors Goodbye'
Blog 
11/19/2014  11 comments
Anyone who’s ever moved files from a hard drive to a computer has sat patiently waiting for the transfer to complete. But what if this process could be done wirelessly, without having to connect devices with cables, and in seconds?
Where Rubber Meets the Bike Rack
Made by Monkeys 
11/19/2014  10 comments
Made by Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
Bullet-Proof Software Architecture Is Key to Product Development
Blog 
11/19/2014  1 comment
The CEC class, "An Introduction to Embedded Software Architecture and Design," will give attendees a path to successful software architecture for product design.
Forget About the Cool Factor – 3D Printing Saves Time & Money
Guest Blogs 
11/19/2014  1 comment
Iterative design — the cycle of prototyping, testing, analyzing, and refining a product — existed long before additive manufacturing, but it has never been as efficient and approachable as it is today with 3D printing.
Hilarious Engineer Talks Cardinal Grameters
Blog 
11/19/2014  8 comments
Check out this jet engine technology explained in engineering gobbledegook.
Take a Teardown 'Voyage' With Kindle
Blog 
11/18/2014  6 comments
Look and be amazed! Amazon has added a new tablet to its e-reader lineup, and this one aims to perfect the reading experience. But can it beat Amazon's rocky repairability record?
Engineers Make Great Leaders
Pamela Moore 
11/18/2014  10 comments
The Harvard Business Review claims engineers make great CEOs. What do you think?
Keeping It Together With Bolted Joints
Blog 
11/18/2014  5 comments
It's not uncommon for thousands of dollars worth of equipment to be held together by $.10 screws. Because of their low cost and high degree of standardization, screws, studs, bolts, and nuts tend to be thought of as commodity products. As a result, bolted joints too often fail to receive the level of attention they deserve in engineering design.
CPG Packagers Want Flexibility in Product Design
Blog 
11/18/2014  Post a comment
The packaging industry is managing major changes in consumer packaging, from multi-versions of packages to the drive for less packaging waste.
Gadget Freak of the Year: Did You Vote Yet?
Gadget Freak 
11/18/2014  Post a comment
There is less than a week left to vote in Round 1 of our second-annual Gadget Freak of the Year contest, sponsored by Allied Electronics.
The Government Can Spy on Cellphones, And You Can't Stop It
Chris Wiltz 
11/17/2014  27 comments
It doesn't matter what type of cellphone you own, law enforcement and malicious hackers can use 'fake cellular towers' to track you. And the government is putting the technology in spy planes.
11 Robots Take Flight
Blog 
11/17/2014  9 comments
Flying robot hardware is still important, but what's getting as interesting now is some of the new uses, such as equipping them with medical equipment for aiding first responders, monitoring and recording biometric health data about athletes, and commercial aircraft inspection.
Packaging Wants Industry 4.0 to Replace Retirees
Blog 
11/17/2014  2 comments
Advanced automation is solving a multitude of challenges in packaging, not the least of which is the retired-Boomer brain drain.
Video: German Kids Can Build Better LEGO Robots
STEM Connection 
11/17/2014  4 comments
Google has teamed up with the German research institute Fraunhofer IAIS to develop and offer OpenRoberta, which simplifies programming for LEGO Mindstorm robots for German kids and teachers and lets them control the robots from mobile devices.
Did You Know that Time Constants May Not Be Constant?
Guest Blogs 
11/17/2014  Post a comment
People usually think of a time constant as the time it takes a first order system to change 63% of the way to the steady state value in response to a step change in the input -- it’s basically a measure of the responsiveness of the system. This is true, but in reality, time constants are often not constant. They can change just like system gains change as the environment or the geometry of the system changes.
Do You Dream in CAD? You Might Be an Engineer
Blog 
11/14/2014  20 comments
You let us know through your comments on the last “You know you’re an engineer if ...” post that you agree and disagree with the notions of what makes an engineer tick. Here are a dozen more to consider.
Slideshow: Makers Decorate White House for the Holidays
STEM Connection 
11/14/2014  6 comments
The ornaments will be the result of the first-ever White House 3D-Printed Ornament Challenge, a contest that shows the Obama administration promoting one of the most disruptive design technologies to date.
You Generate the Power on Polaris eBike
Blog 
11/14/2014  21 comments
The new line of Polaris eBikes features technology called Perpetual Arc Regeneration that allows a rider’s pedaling and other uses of the bike’s motor system to generate power to the bike’s battery in a number of ways.
The Atlas Robot is Agile Enough to Mimic 'The Karate Kid'
Blog 
11/14/2014  5 comments
The Atlas robot, a DARPA project built by a subsidiary of Google, is coordinated enough to easily balance on one leg and navigate raised obstacles.
Engineering Disasters: A Deadly Mistake in Kansas City
Electronics News 
11/13/2014  50 comments
More than 35 years later, the post-mortem on one of the country’s worst engineering disasters appears to be simple. A contractor asked for a change in an original design. The change was approved by engineers, later resulting in a mammoth structural collapse that killed 114 people and injured 216 more.
Device Will Never Let You Forget Your Password -- it's Your Heartbeat
Blog 
11/13/2014  25 comments
Biometric identification for access to devices is nothing new, but a Canadian company has put a new spin on the technology by using people’s heartbeats to allow them to wirelessly access their devices -- including their smartphone, computer, car, or even their home.
The Sound Beneath the Floors
Guest Blogs 
11/13/2014  4 comments
At its core, sound is a relatively simple natural phenomenon caused by pressure pulsations or vibrations propagating through various mediums in the world around us. Studies have shown that the complete absence of sound can drive a person insane, causing them to experience hallucinations. Likewise, loud and overwhelming sound can have the same effect. This especially holds true in manufacturing and plant environments where loud noises are the norm.
Solar Sponge Generates Steam by Soaking Up the Sun's Rays
Blog 
11/13/2014  4 comments
While previous methods of creating steam involved heating liquids, this solar sponge generates a great amount of steam for hygienic and green energy purposes by simply using solar energy.
10 Programmable Robots for Kids
Blog 
11/12/2014  7 comments
Here's a variety of robots for kids that are all programmable. Some can be controlled with simple building blocks while others use programming language.
DN Readers Say Climate Science Still Not Settled
Opinion 
11/12/2014  65 comments
Climate science isn’t a tennis match, and it certainly can’t be resolved by quoting numbers on a scoreboard. But if you’ve been watching the “Quick Poll” tucked into the lower right corner of Design News's homepage, then you may have noticed two surprising numbers related to global warming.
Welding Gun Not So 'New & Improved'
Made by Monkeys 
11/12/2014  1 comment
Made by Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
How Did a Concept Car Shed 26 Pounds?
Engineering Materials 
11/12/2014  19 comments
A lightweight electric urban concept car designed by several European companies weighs only 992 lb without its battery. It would have weighed 26.7 lb more if its windows were made of glass instead of the specially coated LEXAN polycarbonate resin from SABIC Innovative Plastics.
Samsung's Latest Battery Wraps Around Your Wrist
Blog 
11/12/2014  17 comments
At the InterBattery 2014 convention in South Korea, Samsung revealed it has invented a power source for the next generation of wearables and mobile devices -- a flexible battery that can wrap around your wrist.
Do Good Engineers Make Good Engineering Managers?
Blog 
11/11/2014  20 comments
Being a good engineer is a prerequisite for being a good engineering manager. However, it’s a necessary but not sufficient condition: not every good engineer will make a good engineering manager, or even want to be one in the first place. This is why good engineering managers are few and far between.
Inexpensive Incubator Tops Dyson Awards
STEM Connection 
11/11/2014  1 comment
This year's James Dyson Award winner created an inexpensive incubator to help curb childhood death in the developing world.
Update: 4D Printing Self-Assembling Shapes In Carbon Composites, Wood
Engineering Materials 
11/11/2014  10 comments
Skylar Tibbits' team in MIT's Self-Assembly Lab is now 4D printing self-assembling shapes made of programmable carbon composites and custom wood grain. The composites are being used in a sport car airfoil, and the wood grain is beautiful.
What About Crowdsourcing New Components?
Guest Blogs 
11/11/2014  2 comments
The tech industry is no stranger to crowdsourcing funding for new projects, and the team at element14 are no strangers to crowdsourcing ideas for new projects through its design competitions. But what about crowdsourcing new components?
Class Aims to Explain Analog Design Issues
Electronics News 
11/11/2014  2 comments
If you’re an embedded systems engineer whose analog capabilities are getting a little bit rusty, then you’ll want to take note of an upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Analog Design for the Digital World,” running Monday, Nov. 17 through Friday, Nov. 21.
'Extreme' Battery Aims to Shock EV Market
Automotive News 
11/10/2014  36 comments
An MIT spin-off says it’s on track to do the near-impossible task of making an electric car battery that offers three times as much energy for a fraction of the cost.
Would You Let Your Kids Play With Atomic Energy?
STEM Connection 
11/10/2014  25 comments
In the early 1950s, the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab offered young people the opportunity to watch radioactive decay with a spinthariscope, measure the radioactivity of uranium ore with an electroscope, watch the tracks formed by alpha particles in a cloud chamber, and even prospect for uranium using a Geiger counter. Yikes!
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The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
When my daughter decided she wanted to study engineering, I was very proud of her. At the same time, in the back of my mind, I wondered if she knew what she was in for.
AutoDesk has teamed up with 3D scanner provider Artec to link CAD software and 3D scanners to make it faster and easier to create accurate 3D mesh models for printing or digital use.
Last year you helped Design News and Allied Electronics crown its first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year, and we need your help again. Vote in round 2 of our second-annual contest.
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