van Gogh's 'Starry Night' Transformed into Solar-Powered Bike Path
Blog 11/21/2014 19 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.
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.
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.
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.
Why You Need to Take a Break
Blog 11/6/2014 21 comments This is the article your manager doesn’t want you to read. Are you working on a tough engineering problem? Don’t keep plugging away at it. Take a break and do something else for a while. Your manager will thank you later.
Get Your Gadget Freak On
Gadget Freak 10/16/2014 1 comment Design News and Allied Electronics have raised the stakes for our second-annual Gadget Freak of the Year contest. The top three gadgeteers will be awarded a total of $10,000. Don't delay, enter today!
Michigan Brewery Also Serves Solar Energy
Blog 10/9/2014 47 comments The Dark Horse Brewing Company teamed with the Patriot Solar Group, The Green Brewery Project, and Contractors Building Supply to create a 40-kilowatt, 140-panel system to generate solar energy not just to power the building but also the local grid. The brew company actually gets paid for the excess solar energy it sends to the local utility.
How to Think Like an Engineer
Blog 10/8/2014 31 comments Most engineers spend a lot of time thinking about how to solve design problems, but not much time thinking about how we think. Using analogies can help you come up with more, and possibly better, design ideas.
Top 20 US Graduate Engineering Programs
Blog 10/7/2014 8 comments As promised when we listed the top undergraduate engineering schools, here are the top 20 US engineering schools based on their graduate programs. We looked at a number of rankings and created an overall list based on an average.
Is Your Star Rising?
Blog 10/7/2014 1 comment Help Design News recognize engineers who are ahead of the trends and making big moves in the design engineering community. Nominate a Rising Engineering Star today.
The Job Market: Robots vs. Humans
Engineering Materials 10/3/2014 6 comments Some studies say that robots take away certain jobs from humans, but give us others in return. So far that's worked in the past, but things may be changing.
Flexible Solar Cell Can Be Woven Into Energy-Harvesting Fabric
Blog 10/2/2014 1 comment Many scientists have been working battery-free ways to power wearable electronics that can replace bulky battery packs, particularly through the use of energy-harvesting materials. Now a team of researchers in China have upped the game by developing a lightweight and flexible solar cell that can be woven into two-way energy-harvesting fabric.
Chew On This: Chin Strap Harvests Energy
Blog 10/1/2014 19 comments Researchers in Canada have developed a chin strap that harvests energy from chewing and can potentially power a digital earplug that can provide both protection and communication capabilities.
MAVEN Arrives at Mars
Engineering Materials 9/25/2014 17 comments NASA's MAVEN spacecraft has entered Mars' atmosphere, carrying instruments to help Earthlings figure out what happened to it. Launched last November, the spacecraft arrived at the red planet right on time after a journey of 442 million miles.
EV Makers Await More Battery Innovation
Automotive News 9/25/2014 47 comments Electric vehicle batteries are progressing rapidly, but there’s still no sign on the horizon that the technology is going to revolutionize the auto industry anytime soon, experts said at The Battery Show in Detroit last week.
Report: World Solar Demand Will Grow 75%
Engineering Materials 9/15/2014 35 comments The demand for solar energy around the world will grow a total of 75% by 2019, according to a new report by Lux Research. Trade disputes and policy changes, though, will complicate the picture.
CO2-Based Plastic Nears Production
Engineering Materials 9/8/2014 7 comments Bayer MaterialScience is using CO2 to produce a precursor for high-quality polyurethane foam at its pilot plant in Leverkusen. The transition to full-scale manufacturing is expected in 2016.
Video: Temporary Tats Harvest Energy from Sweat
Blog 8/29/2014 21 comments Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
Update: Converting Plastics to Energy Could Boost US Reserves
Engineering Materials 8/27/2014 25 comments Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
Good News & Bad News About Ocean Plastics
Engineering Materials 7/28/2014 22 comments The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
10 of the World's Smartest Cities
Blog 7/21/2014 29 comments Major global metropolitan areas are implementing a vast number of technology, energy, transportation, and Internet projects to make the metropolis a friendlier, greener, safer, and more sustainable place to be.
Video: Teen Invents iPhone-Charging Insole
STEM Connection 7/14/2014 10 comments Angelo Casimiro, a 15-year-old living in the Philippines, has designed an insole that uses two pairs of piezoelectric discs that produce electricity when they bend inward. When a person steps down on the discs in the insole, they produce electricity. He used two sets of discs to produce double the amount of electricity that one set would allow.
10 Engineering-Friendly Foods
Blog 7/3/2014 38 comments Normally it’s chefs who find inspiration in food. But a number of clever engineers and inventors are doing the same these days, developing new materials, biofuels, ways to harvest energy, and other inventions by using common foods and food waste to create the foundation or impetus for their designs.
Giant Flow Battery Connects Solar to the Grid
Blog 6/9/2014 16 comments A number of companies and researchers are working on storing energy from renewable sources so it can be reused on a grand scale and connected to the traditional power grid. EnerVault is the latest company to develop a viable solution.
Slideshow: Airbus Launches All-Composite, All-Electric Plane
Engineering Materials 5/27/2014 79 comments Airbus Group's all-electric, all-composite training aircraft took its first public flight last month during the company's E-Aircraft Day in Bordeaux, France. The experimental aircraft was designed and built as a technology demonstrator for small planes used to train pilots.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
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.
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