Restart your engines
Take a break from your overworked schedule to refuel by visiting the "Take a Break" section at www.designnews.com. Go to "Breaktime" to read about the less serious side of engineering from the latest issue. "Headwork" presents problem-solving challenges from each issue of the magazine to keep you on your toes. The site also includes links to engineering jokes, brainteasers, and games. Nothing stimulates the mind like a round of elf bowling (www.nstorm.com). The "Cool Site Award" section recognizes websites that may interest engineers, such as the Totally Absurd Patents and Inventions site (www.totally-absurd.com/index.htm), NASA's Virtual Wind Tunnel site (www.nas.nasa.gov/Software/VWT/), and the Popular Mechanics Movie Archive (http://popularmechanics.com/popmech/movie2/1HOMEMOVIE.html).
Own one first
At www.arbortech.com.au/airboard, you can see how the Airboard flying scooter developed by Arbortech Industries Ltd., floats on air. The site includes technical specifications regarding dimensions, control, and performance. The FAQ section describes the recreational craft in full detail, including whether or not you need a license to operate one (no) and if it can be used on water (no).
Find out why
You may know TenLinks.com as a technical professionals' website, but did you know they have a section devoted entirely to technical information related to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the U.S.? At www.tenlinks.com/NEWS/special/wtc/index.htm, you'll find links that connect to articles and images regarding architecture, engineering and construction, GIS, and Internet technology involved in the tragedy. Be sure to check out the University of Sydney Department of Engineering's site that presents background information on the structural systems of the Twin Towers, as well as an engineering rationale on why they collapsed.
Stock your supplies
Who has got time to shop? At Engineer Supply.com (www.engineersupply.com), browse through the company's product list to see photos, prices, and detailed information. Included in the tools and supplies are specialty calculators, measuring devices, measuring wheels, presentation equipment, printing/plotting equipment, large document storage, and drafting supplies. The site also features free online calculators.
Show you the money
National Engineering Search (www.nesnet.com/salary.asp) is a technical search firm specializing in software, hardware, RF, optical, and mechanical engineering industries. Not only can you access over 5,000 engineering job listings, you may also seek help with resume writing, interview skills, and other general career advice. But here's the gem of this site: it has a salary calculator in which you present your information regarding discipline, experience, geographical location, and company size, and in return the calculator estimates how much other engineers in your position are making.
Fly to the moon virtually
For those engineers who never quite pursued the path of
rocket science, here is a website designed by an engineer for engineers
interested in the subject. Robert Braeunig's Rocket and Space Technology website
(http://www.braeunig.us/space/) presents all things space-related, from a detailed chart of all manned space flights in history, and a map and information on space centers throughout the world, to drawings, specifications, and the assembly sequence of the International Space Station. And be sure to check out the Example Problems section, a similar section to the Design News "Headwork" page.