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March 26, 2013
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News for Engineering Professionals

  Innovation 
  • Scientists develop ultra-fast fiber optics
    Researchers at the University of Southampton in the U.K. have developed optical fibers with ultra-thin glass rims, capable of sending large amounts of information at speeds more than 15,000 faster than traditional hollow fibers. "Previous fibers either have higher bandwidth but high loss, or lower loss but narrower bandwidth," said researcher Francesco Poletti. "We've achieved both in the same fiber." New Scientist (3/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Google sets plan for first expansion of fiber service
    Google plans to expand its fiber-based, high-speed Internet service to Olathe, Kan., a suburban community outside Kansas City with 125,000 residents. The online giant, which launched its service nationwide last year in the Kansas City area, is eyeing additional locations in the market, according to Rachel Hack, a Google Fiber community manager. The Wall Street Journal (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 3D printing speeds crazy ideas into testable prototypes
    3D 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 3D 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
  • Domed recumbent tricycle keeps riders protected
    It's a big, LED-lighted transparent fabric dome attached to a recumbent tricycle. The Firefly is designed to keep the rider dry in the rain, warmer in the wind and visible in the dark. Designed by GeoSpace Studio, the fancy trike is yet to be marketed. Gizmag (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  News Affecting Your Business 
  • Key characteristics of an effective strategy
    One prerequisite for creating a successful strategy for your business is to set specific goals, Geoffrey James writes. "You can't manage what you can't measure. If your goals are vague, you have no idea whether your tactics are achieving them," he writes. In addition, your goals must be attainable and you must develop a plan for achieving them, he writes. Inc. online (free registration)/Sales Source blog (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Technology and Trends 
  • Exoskeletons becoming practical, less costly
    Practical exoskeletons that boost human strength are on the way, with Lockheed Martin and Parker Hannifin among the big corporate names joining the field. Military and industrial uses are envisioned for the newly practical devices, one model of which weighs less than 50 pounds and goes for under $70,000. The next step may be assembly line production. Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas)/Bloomberg (3/25) 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
  • Intelligent urban transportation could begin with smart parking
    A phenomenal amount of air pollution and wasted time is generated when frustrated urban drivers search for parking spots. Smart parking could be the answer, directing drivers to the nearest opening. The components needed for such systems -- data management, software, sensors, smartphones and model pricing systems -- are all available, and efforts in this direction could provide a solid start for more comprehensive intelligent transportation systems, writes Rocky Mountain Institute consultant Greg Rucks. GreenBiz.com (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What could skyscrapers of the future look like?
    This article highlights nine concepts for skyscrapers of the future, including the top three designs of eVolo's 2013 skyscraper design contest: the Polar Umbrella arctic skyscraper; the Phobia Skyscraper and the Light Park Floating Skyscraper. These structures can "challenge the way we understand vertical architecture and its relationship with the natural and built environments," eVolo notes. FastCoExist (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  SmartQuote 
A thing is mighty big when time and distance cannot shrink it."
--Zora Neale Hurston,
American author


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