Engineers are going to have to adapt to the changing engineering practice expected in the future, says a new report by the National Academy of Engineering. According to the book, The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century, individual engineers will have to become more involved in all sectors of society as well as help the public deal with uncertain dilemmas such as climate change, spread of disease, and ethical decision-making for new technologies. The study, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, NEC Foundation of America, SBC Foundation, Honeywell International, and the National Academy of Engineering Fund, also has a free book available that outlines these issues at http://rbi.ims.ca/3852-522.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.