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February 4, 2013
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Essential news for the global engineering community

  Today's Tech Buzz 
  • Supercomputer takes on task of muffling jet engines
    Airline engines with a tamer roar are the new assignment for the Sequoia IBM Bluegene/Q supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories in California. The normal assignment for the computer's 1.5 million cores is nuclear weapon simulation, but the new job should be easier, though challenging. NASA and the Navy hope to design a far quieter jet engine through simulation without having to build a prototype. Gizmodo Australia (2/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Devices to monitor subsidence during tunnel building in Seattle
    Extensometers, crack gauges, automated survey machines, liquid level sensors, satellite-based interferometric radars and tiltmeters are just some of the technology tools being used to monitor signs of subsidence during the boring of Seattle's Highway 99 tunnel. Two hundred buildings above the tunnel route will be equipped with monitoring devices and about 700 devices will be added to sidewalks and streets. The Seattle Times (2/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Curiosity rover prepares for first drilling on Mars
    NASA's Mars rover is set to begin drilling into a rock in the planet's "John Klein" outcrop once it passes a series of hardware tests. The Curiosity rover's first-ever drilling will go just 0.8 inches into the ground, not deep enough to collect samples but enough to test whether the rock's material behaves as expected. Space.com (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Spotlight on Energy 
  • Power-generating buoy system to be installed off Oregon coast
    New Jersey-based Ocean Power Technology is tapping the mighty waves of the Pacific Ocean off Oregon for the first commercial wave-power project in the U.S. The 150 kW OPT buoy unit takes advantage of the up-and-down movement of waves to drive a piston-like mechanism that generates power. Eventually, an array of buoys is planned to generate 1.5 MW. ASME.org (1/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovations & Trends 
  • Are the robots coming to a home near you?
    Within seven years, all homes will have a robot, according to Shin Kyung-chul, CEO of Korea-based Yujin Robot, and he sees robots replacing some workers. The company manufactures a cleaning robot, an education service robot, an open-end robot platform that developers can use and has an elder-care robot in the experimental stage. However, Catherine Rampell says there is no need to be anxious about an android takeover. She notes, however, "that automation has increased living standards and rendered our workweeks both safer and shorter." The Korea Times (Seoul) (2/3) , The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Moo! MEMS-based collar rides herd on dairy cows
    Dairymaster has developed the MooMonitor, a collar for dairy cows that is based on a microelectromechanical system device. "The MEMS industry should be taking a much closer look at agriculture and its related industries," said Alissa Fitzgerald of A.M. Fitzgerald & Associates. "Agriculture could potentially be the next big market opportunity for MEMS sensors." EE Times (2/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Global Window 
  • Fuel-cell vehicle by 2017 is goal of Daimler, Ford, Nissan partnership
    The world's first mass-market fuel-cell electric vehicles could be on the market as early as 2017 as Daimler, Ford and Nissan join to work on the technology and bring it to commercialization. The goal is to develop a common fuel-cell stack and system that can be used in a wide variety of vehicles. Engineering will be carried out at several locations around the world. The New Zealand Herald (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Bionic man demonstrates scientific advances
    A real-world bionic man, created by a U.K. television company, a robotics company and a researcher from Zurich University, will be featured on British television and appear at London’s Science Museum. Zurich researcher Dr. Bertolt Meyer, an amputee who uses the iLimb Ultra prosthetic arm, was asked to build himself in bionic form. He agreed, saying, "My aim was to show that prostheses can, instead of conveying a sense of loss, pity, and awkwardness, convey a sense of 'wow' and amazement." The Guardian (London) (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership & Development 
  • Energy firms offer opportunities for engineering grads to get licensed
    Engineering graduates in Texas need four years of on-the-job experience before they can take their engineering license exam. Energy companies such as Dow Chemical, Chevron and ExxonMobil provide job opportunities and mentoring to most disciplines of engineering. Meanwhile, those with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering have a median starting income of $69,000, according to the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas. Houston Chronicle (subscription required) (2/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASME News 
  • Friedman video now online
    New York Times columnist and author Thomas L. Friedman said engineers and other professionals must work hard to remain relevant in this fast-changing, hyper-connected world. "Average is over," he told participants at the recent 2012 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Watch a video of Friedman’s talk. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, subtract things every day."
--Laozi,
Chinese philosopher


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