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March 12, 2013
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Essential news for the global engineering community

  Today's Tech Buzz 
  • Molten-salt reactors promise safer power, less cost
    A revival of an old type of nuclear power reactor could run on nuclear waste, be immune to meltdowns and provide power at half the cost of current plants with a new design being developed by Transatomic, a spinoff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The reactors, which use molten-salt technology proven at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1960s, also are much smaller and can be produced in factories and shipped by rail. MIT Technology Review online (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Auto industry a growing home for aerospace engineers
    Much of the engineering associated with the field of aerospace can be applied to the auto industry. And engineers trained in developing lightweight materials and exploring aerodynamics in the former field are finding welcoming homes in an auto industry increasingly focusing on the same problems and hiring the people who can help. Financial Post (Canada) (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Global Window 
  • Young Canadians find open arms in aerospace
    Young Canadians are enthusiastically pursuing educations in aerospace and related fields and finding early career paths to match their ambitions. And the future looks even brighter. "Aerospace engineering will become more and more necessary as our need for air transportation and our desire for ever-expanding space exploration continues to grow. We will continue to rely on aerospace engineers to design and develop advanced technologies and new aircraft and spacecraft to meet those needs," said Barbara Bowen, manager of special programs at Manitoba Aerospace. Financial Post (Canada) (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovations & Trends 
  • Scientists expect powerful telescope to unveil more on alien planets
    Though the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, dubbed the world's most powerful radio telescope, hasn't officially been introduced to the world, it's already begun to help researchers learn more about the alien planets that surround us. Scientists are still adding additional antennas to the array, but even without full completion, the telescope has captured narrow dust rings around a brown dwarf and helped measure planets around the star Fomalhaut. Scientists expect ALMA at full power to have "a view of the universe that we can't even imagine even now," said Wolfgang Wild, a project manager with ALMA. (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Boeing's Tinseth sees proposed fix as "permanent" solution
    Randy Tinseth, Boeing's vice president of marketing, says he's sure that the company's proposed fix to the 787's battery issue is a "permanent" solution.  "It is a solution that we believe provides three levels of protection for the airplane and it's a solution that we're confident will ensure safe and reliable service for the 787 in the future,"  said Tinseth. Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board has scheduled a forum and hearing on the troublesome battery issue for April. Reuters (3/11) , (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Cardiac ultrasound devices from Toshiba debut
    The Aplio 300 CV and Aplio 500 CV ultrasound devices were showcased by Toshiba America Medical Systems at the American College of Cardiology meeting in San Francisco. The devices incorporate the company's 2D wall motion tracking system for quantitative evaluation and imaging of myocardial wall motion, and can be used with premium 2D heart tests. (free registration) (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • MIT robot rivals cheetah for stride efficiency
    A robot about the size and weight of a cheetah is coming close to matching the speedy cat's enviable locomotive efficiency. Key to the device are lightweight electric motors at its shoulder joints that produce a lot of useful power with little waste heat. Walking and running robots could be useful in emergencies where the ground is too dangerous for human beings, but "one of the reasons people think it’s impossible to make an electric robot that does this is because efficiencies have been pretty bad," said Sangbae Kim, an assistant professor in the mechanical engineering department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That's one reason the MIT project puts such a premium on efficient operation. MIT News Office (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Robotic room detoxifiers may be answer to hospital superbugs
    Robots that spray a bleaching agent into hospital rooms and then detoxify them are one answer to the growing threat of superbugs in hospitals that resist or are immune to treatment by drugs. A study at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore found the devices, which disperse a thin film of hydrogen peroxide across the unoccupied rooms, reduced by 64% the rate at which patients became infected with sometimes deadly bacteria. (3/2013) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASME News 
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