How can product designs be integrated better into manufacturing processes? The National Academy of Engineering seeks answers by awarding predoctoral fellowships each year for projects in integrated manufacturing and processing. Twelve fellows were named this year to research their ideas at different U.S. universities. Research in the program, which began in 1993, may cover aspects of unit operations, tooling and equipment, intelligent sensors, and manufacturing systems, as they relate to product design. One 1998 fellow plans to use an innovative tooling design to improve sheet-metal forming in the automotive industry. Another wants to find a simplified approach to composite repair of aircraft by identifying the integration of initial design, strength requirements, and manufacturing challenges. Each award carries a stipend of $20,000 a year, and an institutional allowance of up to $15,000 per year for three years of support. A similar competition is planned for 1999. You can find out more at www.fellowships.nas.edu, by contacting the Fellowship Programs Unit by phone at (202) 334-2872, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.