The Impact of the Maker Movement
Blog 2/24/2015 Post a comment The Maker movement is bringing engineering into the mainstream. Makers around the world are inspiring each other to create (or “make”) smart gadgets, robotic gizmos, autonomous drones, and wearable devices. These innovations are no longer monopolized by multimillion dollar companies.
Top 15 Cities for High-Paying STEM Jobs
STEM Connection 2/23/2015 16 comments Looking for a high-paying STEM job? The San Francisco Bay Area remains a good place to go to have a successful career in these fields, according to a recent study by financial analyst and data firm, SmartAsset, but it's still not the highest paying area of the country.
Welcome to National Engineers Week
Blog 2/23/2015 1 comment Through this week, DiscoverE will present National Engineers Week, a series of programs around the country that are designed to raise awareness of the importance of engineering.
3 Secrets to Becoming 'Awesomely, Amazingly, World-Class Excellent'
Blog 2/23/2015 4 comments Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that average Americans between the ages of 25 and 55 spend 30% of their lifetimes working weekends on top of already heavily loaded work weeks. In total, Americans spend almost three times the amount of waking hours at work than at home. But what do we get as a result of all this overachievement?
Manufacturing Up Modestly as Industrial Production Rebounds in January
News 2/19/2015 2 comments US manufacturing output increased slightly in January, contributing to a 0.2% uptick in the nation’s overall industrial production for the month. The preliminary January industrial production figure represented a modest rebound from a negative December that the Federal Reserve downwardly revised to a 0.3% contraction from an earlier 0.1% estimate.
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.”
Managing Product Costs in the Face of Complexity and Globalization
Features 2/17/2015 Post a comment Manufacturing organizations have faced a growing challenge of delivering products on time and to cost over the past decade, as product lifecycles and value chains have become increasingly complex. Even in the face of constant pressure to drive down costs, globalization and competition have led the design and manufacture of any given product or assembly to become distributed geographically as well as across organizational boundaries in the extended supply chain.
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.
IIoT Top of Mind at Manufacturing Show
Blog 2/12/2015 1 comment Manufacturing professionals at the Pacific Design and Manufacturing show in Anaheim this week discussed the opportunities and dangers of the Industrial Internet of Things.
IIoT Blooms with Applications and Possibilities
Blog 2/11/2015 3 comments Mass customization has already arrived. Buildings only light rooms when people are present. The farm soil will tell you when it needs water -- in fact, it will water itself. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is exploding with possibilities, and the deployment is now, not is some highly developed future.
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.
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.
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.
Video: Reconfigurable Robot Walks on Snake Legs
News 1/19/2015 4 comments Carnegie Mellon University's modular snake robot can be reconfigured to meet users' needs. Not only will this modular system enable completely new robot designs, say its inventors, it will also help speed up the pace of development and enable more flexible traditional industrial robots.
Manufacturing Expansion Slows Down, Industrial Production Dips in December, Says Fed
News 1/16/2015 2 comments US manufacturing output rose 0.3% in December, but warm weather that blanketed the entire country reduced heating demand, significantly dragging down utilities output and the nation’s overall industrial production for the month. The 0.1% decline in December was the first contraction in the nation’s total industrial output since August, the Federal Reserve announced Friday.
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.
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.
When Good Companies Make Bad Decisions
Blog 1/6/2015 19 comments Nearly every engineer has a story or two about mind-bogglingly stupid management decisions. The universality of this experience is one reason why Scott Adams’ Dilbert cartoons have enjoyed more than 25 years of popularity.
Who Will Be Gadget Freak of the Year?
Gadget Freak 1/5/2015 6 comments Voting in the final round of our annual Gadget Freak of the Year contest is now open. Cast your vote and come back next week to see if your favorite project garnered the $6,000 first prize!
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.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.