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.
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
Robots in films during the 2000s hit the big time; no longer are they the sidekicks of nerdy character actors. Robots we see on the big screen in recent years include Nicole Kidman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eddie Murphy. Top star of the era, Will Smith, takes a spin as a robot investigator in I, Robot. Robots (or androids or cyborgs) are fully mainstream in the 2000s.
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