Mechanical engineering professor Paul Wright says that new information technologies such as wearable computers—earrings that monitor body condition, for example—present a host of design problems along with engineering challenges. He is one of several University of California at Berkeley professors behind the University's Center for Information Technology in the Interest of Society (CITRIS). "I'm interested in working with artists to study the human environment in an ethnographic way and to bring that information into the design process," Wright says. CITRIS research will initially focus on the areas of energy efficiency, transportation, seismic safety, education, health care, and environmental monitoring. For more information, go to www.citris.berkeley.edu.
For decades, engineers have worked to combat erosion by developing high-strength alloys, composites, and surface coatings. However, in a new paper, a team at Jilin University in China turned to one of the most deadly animals in the world for inspiration -- the yellow fat-backed scorpion.
Green energy is being billed as a way to make communities that are energy deprived more self-sustaining. So it makes sense to use natural materials to create devices that harvest this type of energy. That’s the idea behind a hybrid wind/solar energy harvester made of bamboo that’s been developed by UVM researchers.
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.