Why is the U.S. government getting so concerned about international standards? Growing numbers of U.S. firms are finding trade gates swung shut as compliance with standards developed overseas becomes the price of admission. So complains NIST Director Raymond Kammer. Equally disturbing is the way foreign firms determine conformity with their standards. U.S. companies often must demonstrate adherence not just through testing at home, but also by duplicate, costly, and time-consuming testing overseas. "It is fair to say that European governments and industries believe they can create a competitive advantage in world markets by strongly influencing the content of international standards," Kammer contends. "Europe does have a strategy, and it is up running at full throttle."
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
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.