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March 18, 2013
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Essential news for the global engineering community

  Today's Tech Buzz 
  • New green energy technologies not all coming from predictable places
    Engineering advances in green energy generation are not confined to better designs for familiar wind turbines. One solution comes in the form of a short tower that captures wind, accelerates it in a tunnel and directs it toward a small ground-based turbine. Another comes in the form of metal-air batteries that hold more energy and are cheaper than the alternatives. Smart Grid News (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Former NASA engineers find a good fit in energy industry
    The habit of planning for worst-case scenarios is serving former NASA engineers well as they find work in Houston's energy industry sector. The skills and knowledge acquired from dealing with the hostile environment of space are proving especially useful in the challenging realm of offshore exploration. (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Global Window 
  • Device keeps donor livers alive and ready for transplant
    Rather than putting a donor liver on ice as it is transported to the intended recipient, a new device preserves the organ in a functioning state. The device developed by Constantin Coussios, an Oxford professor of biomedical engineering, and Peter Friend, director of the Oxford Transplant Centre, "can support human livers outside the body, keep them alive and functioning" until the transplant is performed hours later. (Boston) (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Israeli institute to present high-tech gifts to Obama
    A rescue "snake" that can maneuver through wreckage in emergency situations thanks to engines, a computer, sensors, wireless communication and batteries in each of its sections is one of three high-tech gifts planned for President Barack Obama during his upcoming visit to Israel. All are from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. The Jerusalem Post (free registration) (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Spotlight on Energy 
  • Initiatives focus on cost-effective fluids for concentrating solar power
    There are four basic ways that concentrating solar power uses mirror arrays to capture sunlight and direct it to a focal point containing heat-transfer fluid. Sun reflection can be complex but is well understood. Now the main obstacle to making this energy source cost effective is the absence of a sufficiently high-temperature heat-transfer fluid, the focus of two new projects under the Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative. (3/2013) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Body movements may be future source of energy for mobile devices
    Soldiers in the field burdened with dozens of pounds of batteries for their various devices may be among the first to benefit from new piezoelectric charging devices that take advantage of body movements. Knee braces that harvest energy from leg movements and backpacks that can power devices by harnessing the energy generated by the pack's jostling on the trail are two samples of what the near future may hold. Slate (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Report: Global biofuel production grew in 2012
    Despite the challenges last year, global production of biofuels grew from 27.9 billion gallons to 31.4 billion gallons, according to a report from Clean Edge. "2012 was a year of extreme uncertainty for clean energy markets, as venture investors pulled back and high-profile bankruptcies became a partisan wedge in the presidential election, all while climate disruptions brought clean tech back into the limelight," said Ron Pernick, Clean Edge managing director. (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovations & Trends 
  • Robotic mowers gain traction
    The demand for robotic lawn mowers that can trim the grass on their own with the help of a perimeter wire is expected to rise, according to international research firm Research and Markets. Husqvarna already sells its robot lawn mower in the U.S., while John Deere and Honda sell their own versions in Europe. "We are about to have two giant global players who are in the lawn mower industry releasing robotic mowers in the U.S.," said John Tarvin, a spokesman for Kyodo America Industries, which makes robot mowers in Atlanta. Dayton Daily News (Ohio) (3/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. first-to-file patent rules took effect Saturday
    The U.S. is set to enforce new first-to-file rules under the America Invents Act that went into effect Saturday. The new rules represent major changes to the nation's patent system, including increasing the amount of foreign prior art upon which claims of patent applications submitted by medical device firms after March 16 can be rejected by an examiner. Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry online (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership & Development 
  • Engineers seeing more traditional, new opportunities
    Job opportunities in engineering are increasing in industries across the economic sector. New construction and the need to upgrade aging infrastructure in the U.S. are fueling the demand for more civil engineers. "They're looking at gas pipelines, water, waste water, buildings -- making sure they all stay safe during [catastrophic weather] events," said Dan Wittliff, president of the National Society of Professional Engineers. U.S. News & World Report (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASME News 
  • Engineering Income and Salary Survey now open
    ASME members are encouraged to participate in the ASME Engineering Income and Salary survey. As an incentive, those who participate will receive two free individualized reports. Results of the income and salary survey, conducted by a division of Gallup Inc., will provide an overview of the engineering marketplace. Participation is free and open to both ASME members and non-members in the U.S. Learn more, and participate. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • St. Louis Leadership Training Conference lauded
    ASME volunteers and staff attending the Society’s eighth annual Leadership Training Conference in St. Louis lauded the program as an effective way to learn, grow, build leadership skills and forge connections with ASME colleagues and friends. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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