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March 15, 2013
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Essential news for the global engineering community

  Today's Tech Buzz 
  • Carnival cruise ships confront more maintenance problems
    Mechanical problems caused issues aboard two Carnival cruise ships this week. The Carnival Dream suffered from an on-board generator malfunction, while the Carnival Legend experienced technical issues with its Azipod units. The incidents follow an engine fire that shut off power aboard the Carnival Triumph last month. CBS News (3/15) , ABC News (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Google's "X team" to unveil new product next month
    Google is assembling a team of technical experts for mysterious projects. Dubbed the "X team," the working group is behind innovations such as Google Glass. The team is expected to rollout a new product in April. Astro Teller. Astro Teller, a member of team said the product "revolved around 'control systems,' so it’s a safe bet that it’s yet another form of automation, possibly even something new in robotics," writes Christopher Mims. Business Insider (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Global Window 
  • GE partners with Danish center to test 10MW turbines
    GE announced an agreement on Thursday with a Danish center to build a facility to test wind turbine nacelles with an output of up to 10 megawatts. GE said the project will "test the functionality and performance of wind turbine nacelles by using a specially designed adapter that enables the turbine hub and all field operational software and hardware -- including pitch control –- to be included in the test." (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Spotlight on Biotechnology 
  • Mollusks could offer new drug treatments
    Researchers are studying ways to engineer drugs from the humble mollusk. The guts of mollusks contain ancient micro-organisms that could potentially yield antibiotic or neurological treatments for humans. "Bacteria that live in harmony with animals are promising sources of new infection-fighting drugs to replace our aging formulary of antibiotics," said Margo Haygood, a professor of science and engineering at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Haygood has also worked with shipworms and cone snails. (3/2013) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Mind-machine interface advances
    A pill-sized silicone array containing 100 electrodes thinner than a hair connects to 100 gold wires extending through a person's scalp in a BrainGate sensor device that translates brain waves into commands for mechanical devices such as prosthetics. In the future, a flexible housing of silicone, polyurethane or other biocompatible material may be used to help establish the brain-machine interface that makes mental control of robotics possible. (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Siemens introduces fully digital 2-in-1 imaging device
    The Luminos Fusion system, which combines full digital radiography and fluoroscopy into a single unit, has been launched by Siemens. The technology, which comes with flat panel detectors and other features, is designed to provide a more affordable alternative to existing devices, and the two-in-one system can be used at greater capacity and prevent idle time. (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovations & Trends 
  • Aerospace industry innovates to lessen environmental impact
    The ever-present pressure to keep fuel costs down and growing concern over the environment are driving much of the current technological development in air transportation. Among the innovations are the use of composite material to lighten the load and ideas for fuel cells rather than auxiliary turbines to provide on-board power. There's also a plan to develop runway tractors that produce much of the thrust necessary for takeoff. IndustryWeek (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • The roads of the future?
    This article presents two ideas for the roads of the future that use solar power and magnetic induction to energize transportation in the coming decades. The Solar Roadway was developed with the idea that a layer of concrete or asphalt used on regular roads could be replaced with "solar cells beneath a layer of glass." Installed on all U.S. roads and operating at just 15% efficiency, this could meet "more than four times our current electricity needs." Magnetic induction would be used in a system that keeps electric buses charged wirelessly through power-transfer systems in the road. FastCoExist (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership & Development 
  • Experiential learning making a difference at engineering schools
    Universities are revamping engineering programs, focusing on real-world applications and taking students out of a heavily math-driven environment for a more engaging educational experience. The effort appears to be paying off, with the number of master's degrees in the field rising 8% between 2010 and 2011. Experiential learning means that students "are more hands-on, active and learning that there may be more than one way to solve a problem," observed Gary May, dean of the Georgia Tech College of Engineering. U.S. News & World Report (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASME News 
  • ASME Energy Forum solar power webinar on March 28
    Binyamin Koretz of BrightSource Energy, Robert Cable of ACCIONA Energy North America, and Sarah Fafard from  AREVA Solar Inc. will be the featured speakers in the solar power webinar, "Catching the Sun," on March 28 at 2:00 p.m. ET. The webinar is part of the year-long ASME Energy Forum series. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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