Engineers at Ohio State University are developing a computer control system that improves the fuel efficiency of hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles. Road tests on a Chevy suburban SUV show a 50% increase in fuel efficiency. "The work demonstrates that energy-efficient hybrid cars can retain the high-performance feel of traditional gas-powered vehicles," says Giorgio Rizzoni, professor of mechanical engineering. Based on numerical simulations and in-vehicle tests, the engineers created a computerized control system that relies on algorithms for optimizing the power split between engine and electric motor. For more information, go to www.osu.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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