ASME and the ASME Foundation's philanthropic work and programs over the years have helped build a more qualified and diverse engineering workforce, John Falcioni writes. Falcioni shares how ASME Foundation scholarships have benefited the careers of Danielle Jacobson, a project engineer at Lockheed Martin Space Operations, and new Ph.D. recipient Eurydice Kanimba.
Toyota has unveiled its second-generation hydrogen-powered Mirai, which will get more than 400 miles on one fill-up, thanks in part to a redesigned fuel cell system. The car will launch this year in North America, Europe and Japan, though it faces challenges related to the scarcity of hydrogen refueling stations.
The common biomechanics of bird flight are still poorly understood, but Stanford University researchers have made significant progress with their flying PigeonBot, which features 40 actual feathers and a lightweight frame. Key to the development of the robot is the realization that a pigeon's wing is essentially a massive, underactuated system that allows it to soar without actuating each feather individually, said mechanical engineering professor David Lentink.
Scientists at POLYMAT Institute at the University of the Basque Country have developed a 71% renewable, biological, product-based, pressure-sensitive adhesive using piperonal, found in black pepper, and 2-octyl acrylate, derived from castor oil. Researchers blended the materials under conditions similar to those used in emulsion polymerization, tested the resulting polymer and found that the material's stickiness, strength and shear resistance could be adjusted by exposing it to ultraviolet light.
Veterinarians in Thailand outfitted an olive ridley sea turtle with a prosthetic left flipper to replace the section of flipper she lost after becoming entangled in a fishing net. The flipper will not enable the turtle to be returned to the sea, but it has enabled her to swim better and will improve her quality of life in captivity, says veterinarian Nantarika Chansue.
Boeing is evaluating how to win regulatory certification for its Transonic Truss-Braced Wing, a design that would enable cruise speeds of Mach 0.8 on 737 aircraft. The design is being considered for an aircraft design that will succeed the 737 MAX.
Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory and Northwestern University report development of a semiconducting device made with indium, lithium, phosphorus and selenium that can be used in portable neutron detectors. "The goal has always been to develop a semiconductor sensor that contains either lithium or boron as an integral part of the semiconductor material," said Paul Sellin, a radiation detector specialist at the University of Surrey.
Exoskeletons are unlikely to decrease workers' muscle mass and could actually increase or preserve it, says Karl Zelik, an engineering professor at Vanderbilt University and co-founder of exosuit company HeroWear. Exoskeletons also prevent costly overuse injuries, which could lead to muscle atrophy, he says.
Freshman mechanical engineering major Jovani Esparza, a Dean's Scholarship recipient at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, hasn't had an easy path, having worked since the age of 10. Esparza credits the examples of his immigrant parents and older brother to inspire him to new heights and hopes to use his engineering degree to help build the kind of water infrastructure that his parents lacked in their village in Mexico.