A great thing about college demonstration projects is they don't have to have any commercial prospects. That's a good thing for students at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, who call their model an anti-gravity device. Despite that moniker, the machine uses the same principles that let high-speed magnetic levitation trains float above their tracks. The MSOE levitator uses analog instrumentation amplifiers donated by Analog Devices, a pulse-width modulated H-bridge from National Semiconductor, a coil, a feedback control compensator and Allegro MicroSystems Hall-effect sensors to magnetically suspend an object in mid-air.
The new composites manufacturing innovation center is intended to be a source of grand challenges for industry, like the kind that got us to the moon under JFK. These aren't the words its new CEO Craig Blue used, but that's the idea and the vision behind the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).
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.