Energy conservation is a hot topic on the nation's campuses. Competitions like the Dept. of Energy's Solar Decathlon are fostering ideas for reducing power consumption in homes. Georgia Tech's entry employed five solar-powered systems that managed lighting, HVAC, energy, plumbing and motion control systems. About 80 channels of analog and voltage data was measured and controlled by National Instruments' Compact Fieldpoint hardware. The plumbing control system used thermocouple and analog voltage input cards, while the energy control system used a Compact Fieldpoint system with analog conditioning. The user interfaces for each of the five systems, programmed in National Instruments' LabVIEW, ran on standard PCs.
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.
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.