Qin Zhang is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana developing a programmable electrohydraulic (EH) control valve. The new device consists of five proportional-flow control valves that are used with a hybrid control algorithm. Zhang and colleague Haibo Hu published a paper outlining their conclusions: They say it is technically feasible to integrate a programmable valve using five individually controlled proportional valves. It is important to obtain the characteristics of sub-valves before the integration, say Zhang and Hu. They also assert that the use of a simple logic control algorithm is sufficient for achieving programmable valve features such as open center, closed center, tandem center, and float center. For more information, call Zhang at (217) 333-9419 or visit www.uiuc.edu.
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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