Most Clicked Engineering Research and Development SmartBrief Stories


1. Organic, 4D printing technology being developed

Engineering Research and Development SmartBrief | Dec 30, 2014

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Autodesk and Stratasys are developing 4D printing technology that allows the printed material to change and adapt over time based on environmental conditions. "The most exciting part is the numerous applications that can emerge from this work. This is not just a cool project or an interesting solution, but something that can change the lives of many," said lead researcher Dan Raviv. "In the future, we imagine a wide range of applications." 3DPrint.com (12/19)


2. Internet of Things' practical applications are coming to life

Engineering Research and Development SmartBrief | Jan 06, 2015

Web services to coordinate and control a proliferation of connected devices in the home are hitting the market and will be making a splash at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "This is the digital lifestyle not just coming into concept but into practical execution," Accenture's John Curran says. Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model), The (01/04) New York Times (tiered subscription model), The (01/04)


3. Combined copter/airplane among military's top innovations of 2014

Engineering Research and Development SmartBrief | Jan 13, 2015

A combination airplane/helicopter is among the defense industry's top aerial innovations of 2014. Others include a more capable battle "quarterback" for the Navy, as well as the Navy's new long-range anti-submarine warfare aircraft, based on Boeing's familiar 737-800. FoxNews.com (01/08)


4. NASA's 3D images offer inside view of "stellar monster" Eta Carinae

Engineering Research and Development SmartBrief | Jan 13, 2015

NASA has released 3D imagery of the stellar system Eta Carinae, a system 10,000 light-years from Earth's solar system. "It's an erratic stellar monster," said NASA astronomer Michael Corcoran. United Press International (01/08)


5. NASA looks at inflatable rings to solve Mars landing problem

Engineering Research and Development SmartBrief | Jan 13, 2015

NASA engineers at the Langley Research Center are looking at inflatable rings as a possible solution for landing humans on Mars. A lightweight, inflatable heat shield could slow a vehicle down when it enters the red planet's atmosphere. The inflatable device would be similar to a child's stacking ring. Times of India, The (01/05)


6. Research aims to make oil tankers slippery, speedy

Engineering Research and Development SmartBrief | Jan 13, 2015

Oil tankers may in the future slip rather than plow through the waves. Chang-Jin Kim, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, is at work on a material that would place a layer of air between the tanker hull and the water to greatly reduce drag and fuel usage and boost speed. Business Insider (01/07)


7. Mercury mission extended through April

Engineering Research and Development SmartBrief | Jan 06, 2015

Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory have until the end of April to capture high-resolution images of the planet Mercury, before the Messenger spacecraft crashes to its surface. The mission team is using helium gas in the spacecraft's propellant tanks to slow Messenger's descent. Baltimore Sun, The (12/29)


8. Can remote work still allow for optimal collaboration?

Engineering Research and Development SmartBrief | Jan 06, 2015

There's an ongoing argument among engineers over how best to collaborate. Some hold that face-to-face interaction in a central office is necessary and that engineers too often overemphasize the value of working alone and remotely. Others say that digital tools can bridge the remote-work divide. Quartz (01/02)


9. SpaceX rocket launches Dragon cargo ship, but lands hard in return test

Engineering Research and Development SmartBrief | Jan 13, 2015

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launched Saturday from Cape Canaveral, Fla., sending its Dragon cargo ship on a supply run to the International Space Station, but had problems landing on an ocean platform in a test of the company's plans to eventually return rockets to their launch sites. "Rocket made it to drone spaceport ship, but landed hard. Close, but no cigar this time," CEO Elon Musk wrote of the test on Twitter. He later said that the rocket ran out of hydraulic fluid, which it needed to maneuver its steerable fins, and that more fluid would be added for subsequent attempts. Reuters (01/11)


10. New insights with industrial implications bubbling up

Engineering Research and Development SmartBrief | Jan 06, 2015

Researchers looking into the mystery of bubble formation in liquids like Champagne are coming to the conclusion that it all boils down to a theory in math first proposed in the 1960s. And that could open the door to developments in a wide range of industrial applications, including engineering, energy generation, chemistry and medicine. SmithsonianMag.com (12/31)




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