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February 18, 2013
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Essential news for the global engineering community

  Today's Tech Buzz 
  • Car fits into parking space meant for motorcycle
    The Casple-Podadera is a small electric car built for two. When its wheels are extended, the car measures 7.5 feet in length. But when it's in Transformer mode, the rear wheels fold up and under, bringing the length down to 6.2 feet. It has a range of about 80 miles and a top speed of 66 mph. Gizmag (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Helicopter remote inspection robots win prize
    Small robotic helicopters whose video capabilities enable inspection of structures in hazardous places are the winning entry for a team of University of Michigan graduate students in a contest sponsored by the school and DTE Energy. SkySpecs LLC is now developing the technology, and the robots can be used to check such sites as bridges and wind turbines. The Detroit News/The Associated Press (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Digital just another tool in craft, invention
    Does the idea of craft still matter in the digital age? The answer may lie in thinking of digital as just another form of tool. "Someone relying on computers and robots, say, or a combination of tools, is a digital craftsman when he/she is employing the tools to achieve a desired 'craft,'" writes Guy Horton. (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Spotlight on Energy 
  • Next-gen nuclear reactor concept to be tested at Oregon State
    A proof-of-concept facility for very high-temperature nuclear reactors at Oregon State University has won $4.8 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The project, which will be heated by electricity rather than uranium, is expected to come on line in April and demonstrate the feasibility of VHTR, which has the potential to produce hydrogen for fuel cells as well as electrical power. (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Freshwater wind turbine concept gets international engineering help
    The problem posed by ice for water-situated wind turbines is an obstacle that Lake Erie Energy Development hopes to overcome with help from U.S. and international expert companies and laboratories. The group wants to build the first freshwater wind turbines in North America. The project has received $4 million in federal money as well as $1 million in private funding, and has a year to get the engineering plans in order. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovations & Trends 
  • Plasma may be future key to lower-cost nanoparticles
    Plasma may be a future low-cost platform for producing nanoparticles if work by scientists at the Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory bears fruit. The research goal currently consists of exploring how low-temperature plasmas function as synthesizing material, according to PPPL's Yevgeny Raitses. "We want to understand just what plasma does in order to use it in the best way possible." Nanowerk (2/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 10 tech advancements to watch for this year
    Ten technologies are likely to help deliver sustainable growth in 2013, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies. Among the most promising: 3-D printing, self-healing materials, nanoscale-level drug delivery, and electric vehicles that draw power wirelessly from cables buried beneath the road. World Economic Forum/Blog (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Global Window 
  • Simulator duplicates Russia's Mi-171 helicopter operation
    A flight simulator that duplicates the cabin of the Mi-171 helicopter has been added at the Ulan-Ude training complex for Russian Helicopters. "It can be used to train on a complete range of flying and navigational skills in all weathers and also to train crews on how to respond in the event of aircraft or equipment failure and other emergency situations," says CSTS Dinamika, maker of the simulator. (U.K.) (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership & Development 
  • 4 leadership lessons from George Washington
    George Washington led his troops to victory against the British redcoats at Trenton, N.J., in 1777 in part by adopting a more democratic approach to leadership, writes Signe Spencer. Rather than simply issuing commands and expecting obedience, Washington sought the advice of his subordinates and thereby hatched a battle plan that was more innovative and effective than anything a single general could have devised alone. Great Leadership (2/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration."
--James Allen,
British author

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