Why You Need to Take a Break
Blog 11/6/2014 30 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.
Advanced Warfare: 4 Real-Life Military Exoskeletons
Blog 11/6/2014 3 comments This week sees the release of the latest edition of the wildly popular Call of Duty video game franchise, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Sledgehammer, the studio behind Advanced Warfare, consulted with military experts on the design of the game's exoskeletons. What they eventually came up with is certainly very sci-fi but not too far away from technologies being developed today.
Astronauts to Get Out-of-this-World Java
Blog 11/5/2014 7 comments Dubbed ISSpresso, the world’s first galactic coffee machine has been designed by Italy's famous coffee company Lavazza, and engineered by a Turin-based engineering company, Argotec, to be rocketed into space early next year.
Students: NASA Wants You to Design its Next Space Tool
STEM Connection 11/5/2014 1 comment The winner of NASA's Design a Space Tool Challenge will watch the winning tool being printed on the 3D printer launched to the International Space Station in September. Students in grades K through 12 have until December 15 to submit entries.
Engineering Job Prospects 10 Years Out
Blog 11/4/2014 19 comments Job prospects for US engineers in the coming decade is a mixed bag, with some disciplines seeing a 27% growth rate (biomedical engineering), while others are flatlining (materials engineering).
HP Finally Reveals 3D Printing Plans
Engineering Materials 10/31/2014 8 comments After a year or so of missteps, false starts, retractions, and postponements, inkjet office printer giant Hewlett-Packard has finally revealed just what it plans to do in 3D printing.
NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission: Innovative or a Waste of Time?
Blog 10/31/2014 11 comments On April 15, 2010, President Barack Obama gave a major speech at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, announcing that the US would send astronauts to Mars by the mid-2030s. But in order to do so, NASA would first need to ramp up its capabilities through missions directed toward "a series of increasingly demanding targets," i.e. asteroids.
10 Talented Robot Arms & Hands
Engineering Materials 10/27/2014 14 comments We've found an amazing variety of robot hands & arms in medicine, space, and service robots, as well as R&D and assembly. Some are based on industrial designs modified for speed or dexterity, while others more closely emulate human movements, as well as human size and shape.
Metal & Ceramic Matrix Composites Beat the Heat
Features 10/24/2014 2 comments Engineers are looking more to metal matrix and ceramic matrix composites to solve design & materials problems in thermal management and lighten up industrial turbines and jet engines, as well as traditional aerospace & defense uses.
Plastics Can Do Almost Any Job -- Even Yours
Engineering Materials 10/22/2014 6 comments To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
3D-Printed Telescope Takes (Nice!) Pix of the Moon
Engineering Materials 10/21/2014 22 comments The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team £100 to make (about $161 US).
12 Robots That Play Sports
Blog 10/20/2014 26 comments Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
Shellfish-Inspired Glue Sticks Underwater
News 10/17/2014 14 comments Barnacles and mussels stay attached to ship hulls and rocks because of a very sticky protein glue they secrete, holding on for a long time even underwater. Researchers at MIT took mussel glue as inspiration -- and as an ingredient -- for engineering their own sticky waterproof adhesive.
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!
Understanding the Hardness of Metals
Blog 10/13/2014 8 comments When designing metal parts, it's important to specify their hardness. However, many engineers have only a shaky understanding of what hardness actually is, or how it's measured. This article helps clear up that confusion.
Video: Tiny Humanoid Robot Flies Plane
Engineering Materials 10/13/2014 9 comments A tiny humanoid robot has safely piloted a small plane all the way from cold start to takeoff, landing and coming to a full stop on the plane's designated runway. Yes, it happened in a pilot training simulation -- but the research team isn't far away from doing it in the real world.
China's Emerging 3D Printing Market Will Grow 4X
Engineering Materials 10/10/2014 12 comments Some in the US have welcomed 3D printing for boosting local economies and bringing some offshored manufacturing back onshore. Meanwhile, China is wielding its power of numbers, and its very different relationships between government, education, and industry, to kickstart a homegrown industry.
3D-Printed Robot Thwarts Drug Smugglers
Blog 10/10/2014 19 comments MIT researchers have used 3D printing to develop an underwater robot about the size of a football that can protect ports by scanning the hulls of ships for suspicious or illegal cargo.
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.
IAPD Plastics Expo Gives Engineers Alternatives
Engineering Materials 10/8/2014 8 comments You can find out practically everything you need to know about engineering plastics as alternatives to other materials at the 2014 IAPD Plastics Expo. Admission is free for engineers, designers, specifiers, and OEMs, as well as students and faculty.
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.
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.
SABIC Dishes On 3D-Printed Car Materials
Engineering Materials 10/2/2014 2 comments The Strati EV car printed at IMTS is made of SABIC's LNP STAT KON AE003. SABIC tells Design News why this carbon fiber-reinforced compound was chosen by Local Motors and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.
India's Mangalyaan Probe Reaches Mars
Blog 9/30/2014 13 comments Three days after NASA's MAVEN probe reached Mars, India's Mangalyaan probe went into orbit around the red planet. India's first interplanetary mission, and the first successful Mars probe launched by an Asian nation, has a total project cost of nearly $600 million less than MAVEN's.
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.
16 Great Engineering Schools You Never Hear About
Electronics News 9/22/2014 13 comments Conventional wisdom holds that MIT, Cal Tech, and Stanford are three of the country’s best undergraduate engineering schools. Unfortunately, when conventional wisdom visits the topic of best engineering schools, it too often leaves out some of the most distinguished programs that don’t happen to offer PhD-level degrees.
Airbus' 3D-Printed Metal Spacecraft Hinge
Engineering Materials 9/22/2014 10 comments Airbus Defence and Space has 3D printed titanium brackets for communications satellites. The redesigned, one-piece 3D-printed brackets have better thermal resistance than conventionally manufactured parts, can be produced faster, cost 20% less, and save about 1 kg of weight per satellite.
15 Great Hacker Movies
Blog 9/19/2014 35 comments Hacking has a long history in the movies, beginning with Tron and War Games and continuing through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
'Space Kid's' Design to be 3D-Printed on ISS
STEM Connection 9/16/2014 18 comments The “Space Kid,” 11, will be one of the first civilians to have his design manufactured in space, thanks to the City X Project, which inspires kids to think about new 3D-printed inventions that could be useful for humans living in space.
20 Top Employers for Engineers
Blog 9/15/2014 16 comments We searched far and wide for the top employers for engineers. These companies were ranked by engineering professionals, engineering students, and engineering instructors and professors. Does your employer make the grade?
How to Harpoon a Comet
Guest Blogs 9/12/2014 10 comments In November, a European space probe will try to land on the surface of a comet moving at about 84,000 mph and rotating with a period of 12.7 hours. Many factors make positioning the probe for the landing an engineering challenge.
Video: These Robots Have X-ray Vision
Blog 9/9/2014 10 comments Two small, wheeled robots can "see" through a concrete wall using nothing but WiFi wireless communication. They can detect and measure everything on the other side: people and objects, their positions and geometry, whether they're moving, and what materials they're made of.
NASA Invents Multi-Metals 3D Printing
Engineering Materials 9/3/2014 20 comments NASA's JPL and Caltech have achieved the mind-boggling feat of 3D printing multiple metals in a single end-part, grading from one alloy to another. They've also developed a method for combining metals with carbon fiber composites in end-production parts.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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