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February 20, 2013
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Essential news for the global engineering community

  Today's Tech Buzz 
  • Honored engineers discuss innovation, education
    Cellphone technology pioneers, researchers who helped develop PRK and LASIK for eye surgery and Olin College educators behind the school's engineering curriculum were honored Tuesday in Washington by the National Academy of Engineering. "The ability to recognize these leading technical accomplishments in terms of the impact they’ve had is really just an important contribution to the field of engineering," said James Shields, president of Draper Laboratory. The Washington Post (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Battery containment box proposed as quick fix for Boeing 787
      
    Source: Wired.com/Autopia blog/Boeing
    A more robust containment box -- made of titanium or steel -- for a problematic battery on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is proposed as a short-term solution to get the planes back into the air. A single cell in the battery is believed to be the cause of a fire and smoke hazard that has grounded the 787 worldwide, but a remedy for that is expected to take months. Wired.com/Autopia blog (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Tech workers, engineers split in Boeing contract vote
    Technical workers followed their union's recommendation and voted down a contract proposal with Boeing while engineers approved. The tech workers' vote also authorizes a strike that can now be called at any time. The contract would deny pensions to future employees, offering instead a tax-deferred retirement account. Dayton Daily News (Ohio) (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Global Window 
  • Space engineers: Rare earths may be key to off-Earth mining
    The rare earths so necessary for much of modern technology but so costly to mine on this planet may be the objective of near-future space mining missions, according to the first Off-Earth Mining Forum in Sydney, Australia. "I think we’ve got to the point where people are saying, 'Yeah, I think we can do this,'" said conference host Andrew Dempster from the Australian Centre for Space Engineering. The Sydney forum gathered leaders in space exploration and the mining industry to exchange ideas. Philippine Daily Inquirer/Agence France-Presse (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Chinese research centers advance 3D printing
    3D engineering is making an impression in China, where engineers have been exploring its possibilities since the late 1980s. The process now has four major research bases at Tsinghua University, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Beijing Longyuan Industrial Stock Co. MarketWatch (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Spotlight on Transportation 
  • Engineers deal with 6,546-pound new Bentley
    A host of engineering innovations help make the Bentley Flying Spur appear lighter than its actual 6,546 pounds. The "Audi-derived 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 powertrain, tied to a ZF eight-speed transmission brings about a very much welcome 616 HP and 590 lb. ft of torque to the big 19-inch 265/45 ZR20-rated rubber bits," writes Angus MacKenzie. "This new iteration delivers a 14 percent power to weight ratio improvement over the previous model." Gizmag (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Container ships growing so large as to be problematic
    The new class of Triple E container ships will be a quarter mile long and capable of carrying 36,000 cars. They'll be the largest ships of any sort currently afloat, so large that no U.S. port can handle them. But there is talk of still larger vessels that would challenge or exceed the limits of several choke points in water-borne world trade. BBC (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Engineers rise to the challenge of auto powertrain design
    New technologies from the design of engines to the fuels and other power sources that they use are all figuring in as the auto industry responds to unprecedented pressure to change. Much of the research and design are being devoted to hybrid technology. "As a mechanical engineer who has been doing engine and gearbox design for over 30 years, I've never known a more exciting time to be a mechanical engineer in this industry," said Brian Price, an adjunct professor with the Department of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ASME.org (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  Innovations & Trends 
  • Nanostructures, DNA can be used to produce new materials
    Mimicking nature, a new type of building block based on nanoparticles and DNA holds the promise of allowing scientists to assemble new structures from the bottom up. "Instead of taking what nature gives you, we can control every property of the new material we make. We've always had this vision of building matter and controlling architecture from the bottom up, and now we've shown it can be done," said Northwestern University's Chad Mirkin, a nanotechnology researcher who developed the building blocks. R&D Magazine online/Northwestern University (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Device renders chemical analyses visible
    A new tool developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign can render visible to the unaided eye analyses of chemicals and DNA. "With this device, the nanoplasmonic spectroscopy sensing, for the first time, becomes colorimetric sensing, requiring only naked eyes or ordinary visible color photography," said Logan Liu, an assistant professor of bioengineering and electrical and computer engineering. "It can be used for chemical imaging, biomolecular imaging and integration to portable microfluidics devices for lab-on-chip-applications." R&D Magazine online/University of Illinois (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASME News 
  • Global Marathon highlights women in science and engineering
    Next month, celebrate the critical role women play in engineering by participating in the Global Marathon. This year, the Marathon is being held in conjunction with International Women's Day and will consist of two components: a Main Forum, featuring daily live, online presentations covering a range of topics of interest to women in the profession; plus local satellite events. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
We must travel in the direction of our fear."
--John Berryman,
American poet and scholar


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