H-1B Visas: What’s Your Take?
Blog 2/18/2015 30 comments H-1B visas are one of the most controversial issues in the engineering community. According to many companies, these visas (which allow for temporary employment of high-skilled foreign workers) are needed to address the so-called “skills gap.”
10 Must-Have Skills for Embedded Engineers
Blog 2/17/2015 2 comments From getting familiar with open source software to developing apps, industry professionals are urging embedded engineers to get out of their comfort zone and acquire new skills to stay relevant.
3D Printing, Fastening Methods, & That Big Red Robot
Engineering Materials 2/13/2015 Post a comment As we saw on the show floor this week at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing and co-located events in Anaheim, Calif., 3D printing is contributing to distributed manufacturing and being reinvented by engineers for their own needs. Meanwhile, new fasteners are appearing for wearable consumer and medical devices and Baxter Robot has another software upgrade.
Apple Invests $2B in Solar-Powered Command Center
Blog 2/5/2015 19 comments Apple is turning a facility that was planned for sapphire-screen production into a solar-powered data center near Phoenix, Ariz. The company is investing $2 billion to turn the facility in Mesa into a command center for its data-center operations that relies 100% on renewable energy. The move is part of Apple’s larger plan to have all of its data centers run purely on clean energy in the next few years.
Deloitte Report Says 3D Printing Will Change Automotive Industry
Engineering Materials 2/5/2015 5 comments A new report from Deloitte University Press says incorporating 3D printing will transform automotive production, both in printed end-parts and in specialized tooling, by offering more control over both, as well as lighter-weight parts. Additional benefits include much faster production time and lower costs.
User Interface Designers: Start Seeing Colorblind People
Blog 2/3/2015 17 comments User interface designers ignore the fact that some form of colorblindness affects as much as 10% of the male population at their own risk. Relying on users to distinguish between colors that are fairly close together in the spectrum is a good way to ensure that at least some of them will have difficulties.
A Revealing Quiet
Sherlock Ohms 2/2/2015 4 comments Sherlock Ohms highlights stories told by engineers who have used their deductive reasoning and technical prowess to troubleshoot and solve the most perplexing engineering mysteries.
Special Effects, AM, & Oak Ridge Lab Gurus to Keynote AM Users Group Meeting
Engineering Materials 2/2/2015 Post a comment Three additive manufacturing movers and shakers will be keynote speakers at the upcoming 2015 Additive Manufacturing Users Group Education & Training Conference: Jason Lopes of Legacy Effects, Lonnie Love of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Todd Grimm, president of independent AM consulting firm T. A. Grimm & Associates and AMUG board member.
New Composites Institute Chief Talks About Grand Challenges
Engineering Materials 1/30/2015 1 comment The new composites manufacturing innovation center is intended to be a source of grand challenges for industry, like the kind that got us to the moon under JFK. These aren't the words its new CEO Craig Blue used, but that's the idea and the vision behind the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).
How to Handle Design Disagreements
Blog 1/28/2015 11 comments Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
The Conundrum of Published Specs Versus Real-World Performance
Guest Blogs 1/23/2015 5 comments What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Babak Parviz Goes Through the Glass
Chris Wiltz 1/22/2015 3 comments Golden Mousetrap Lifetime Achievement Award winner Babak Parviz on his new gig at Amazon, the origins of Google Glass and the Smart Contact Lens, and why humanities, not tech, is the future.
Decoding Procurement: How It Can Work as Design Engineering’s Ally
Guest Blogs 1/22/2015 Post a comment Procurement actually means well. There is no question that procurement can do a better job of phrasing their questions or making connections between engineering’s goals and the processes underway. And if you are using the right deciphering code, the result can live up to -- or surpass -- your expectations.
Gadget of the Year Won’t Spill Your Drinks
Gadget Freak 1/21/2015 8 comments The 2015 Gadget Freak of the Year goes to the DDV-IP -- or, a Drink Deliver Vehicle – Inverted Pendulum. The gadget is a two-wheeled self-balancing robot that can deliver cold beverages to thirsty folks on a hot summer day. A wireless RF remote enables manual control of the device beyond the act of self-balancing. All of the features of the DDV-IP result in an effective delivery vehicle while providing entertainment to the users.
10 Places to Visit to Interest Your Kids in STEM
STEM Connection 1/16/2015 16 comments Scientific and engineering history is evident everywhere you look in our modern world, and there are a plethora of institutions, museums, facilities and other places that celebrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) ideas and innovations.
3D & 4D Printing Will Grow in 2015: New Materials & Processes
Engineering Materials 1/16/2015 6 comments A growing though not-so-obvious role for 3D printing, 4D printing, and overall additive manufacturing is their use in fabricating new materials and enabling new or improved manufacturing and assembly processes. Individual engineers, OEMs, university labs, and others are reinventing the technology to suit their own needs.
How Do You Get Started Designing with FPGAs? Here’s How
Guest Blogs 1/16/2015 2 comments If you are interested in adding FPGA technology to you engineering toolkit, grab some free tools and an evaluation kit and get started on your own FPGA project. It never hurts to expand your engineering toolbox, and FPGAs are only going to become more popular over the next few years.
Tiny Bots Teach Your Kid to Code
STEM Connection 1/14/2015 3 comments While many would balk at the idea of robots looking after children not many could argue against robots educating the younger generation to code. After all, the world they are growing up in depends on it, and it’s still not -- for the most part -- being taught or mandated in schools. There’s even an argument to be made that computer literacy is becoming as important in today’s world as traditional literacy.
Will Cheap Oil Boost Manufacturing?
Blog 1/12/2015 13 comments At the moment a barrel of oil is under $50. It may soon be under $30, quite a collapse from the $112 per barrel we saw just last summer. The oil crash is prompting a question: will low energy costs result in a rise in US manufacturing? While headlines suggest a coming boom for manufacturing, the story is actually mixed.
3D & 4D Printing Will Grow in 2015: Industries and Applications
Engineering Materials 1/12/2015 3 comments 3D printing, 4D printing, and various types of additive manufacturing (AM) will get even bigger in 2015. We're not talking about consumer use, which gets most of the attention, but processes and technologies that will affect how design engineers design products and how manufacturing engineers make them. For now, the biggest industries are still aerospace and medical, while automotive and architecture continue to grow.
Some cars are more reliable than others, but even the vehicles at the bottom of this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey are vastly better than those of 20 years ago in the key areas of powertrain and hardware, experts said this week.
Many of the materials in this slideshow are resins or elastomers, plus reinforced materials, styrenics, and PLA masterbatches. Applications range from automotive and aerospace to industrial, consumer electronics and wearables, consumer goods, medical and healthcare, as well as sporting goods, and materials for protecting food and beverages.
While many larger companies are still reluctant to rely on wireless networks to transmit important information in industrial settings, there is an increasing acceptance rate of the newer, more robust wireless options that are now available.
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