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March 21, 2013
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Essential news for the global engineering community

  Today's Tech Buzz 
  • Mass.' Cape Wind project catches a breeze from Japan
    The Cape Wind project is set to move ahead with funding of $2 billion from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. The wind farm of 130 turbines in Massachusetts' Nantucket Sound is expected to have a maximum theoretical output of 468 megawatts, which would rank it among the largest offshore installations. It could provide three-quarters of the energy needed by Cape Cod and the Islands. Gizmag (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Exoskeletons enter their age of practicality
    Exoskeletons that enable paraplegics to walk have now developed to the point of practicality, becoming economical and light enough to go into production, writes Will Oremus. The next step is to get them to tackle other types of tasks, including providing non-disabled people with heavy-lift capabilities in industrial and military environments. Slate (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Dawn of bionic suits is near:   Lockheed Martin and Parker Hannifin are among the big names joining lesser-known companies in the field of bionic suits, devices that enhance and power up human movements that could be applied on battlefields, in factories and hospitals and a variety of other situations. "We're now seeing a golden age in which we can produce this technology and derive benefit from it. There's a host of industries where this works," said Keith Maxwell, business development manager for Lockheed's program. San Francisco Chronicle (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Global Window 
  • Singapore leads list of Asia-Pacific's innovative cities
    Singapore tops the list of Asia-Pacific cities designated as regional leaders in innovation by Solidiance, an Asian marketing and innovation strategy consulting firm. Citing a quarter century of progress, the report says "Singapore is bold, fast and successful -- and Singapore Inc. will follow the same path." In second and third spots are Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, cited for their global integration, technological advancement and creative architecture. FastCoExist (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • EU project advances safety in nanomaterial innovation
    New detection devices and a handbook on the safe handling of nanomaterials are the product of nearly four years of work by the Nanodevice project of the EU’s Joint Research Centre. "We’ve developed devices like a personal nanoparticle monitor for less than [$260] that almost any company can afford and quickly learn to use," said Nanodevice project leader, Kai Savolainen. The next step for the project is real-time monitoring. Nanowerk/European Commission (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovations & Trends 
  • 3-D printing speeds crazy ideas into testable prototypes
    3-D printing, used to make a variety of finished items, is being used in a range of industries to quickly produce and test product prototypes. Ford, for instance, used a 3-D printer to produce a testable prototype for a hybrid transmission from aluminum powder. Said Charles Sprinkle, a systems engineer for loudspeaker maker Harman America, "This has more than cut in half the time it takes to go from a crazy idea in someone's head to a part that's ready for production." USA Today (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New approach raises hopes for thermoelectric power generators
    Research into improving the efficiency of thermoelectric power generators has generally focused on the conversion efficiency of thermoelectric materials. But research at Carnegie Mellon University that instead applies a periodic heat source has produced significant gains described as surpassing what is currently possible through materials development, writes Harriet Brewerton. Royal Society of Chemistry (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Natural-gas storage for vehicles goes the intestinal route
    The storage of natural gas for cars has taken a cue from the human intestinal tract with a concept that uses narrow cylinders that wind their way through a vehicle's available space. San Francisco-based Other Lab has been awarded $250,000 by the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy to explore the technology. SNL Financial (free content) (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sound-absorbing tower designed to produce clean energy
    Soundscraper is a concept structure that absorbs sound vibrations and turns them into clean energy. The tower, designed to be built near major highways and railroad junctions, features a double-skin facade. The outer layer of "sound-sucking material" contains thousands of electro-active cilia equipped with Parametric Frequency Increased Generators, energy harvesters that convert noise vibrations to kinetic energy. Transducer cells convert that energy into electricity. Inhabitat (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership & Development 
  • Make "mistakes and failures" your watchwords
    Good innovators need just two words -- "mistakes" and "failures," writes Howard A. Tullman. It's important to allow people to make mistakes, and to seek to understand how failures can eventually lead to successes. "Understanding and discussing these two ideas correctly in every conversation about innovation is crucial to your focus, clarity and momentum," Tullman writes. Inc. online (free registration) (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASME News 
  • ASME’s Jewers Bowlin and El-Ghobashy speak at Global Marathon
    Lauded for their leadership and inspiration, Jen Jewers Bowlin, an ASME senior volunteer, and Noha El-Ghobashy, president of Engineering For Change LLC, were among the speakers taking part in the 2013 Global Marathon this month. The Global Marathon is a worldwide online forum for women in engineering and technology. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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