Flying less is not an effective way to combat climate change, writes Michael E. Webber. Instead, the world should focus on low-carbon solutions such as synthetic jet fuel made from zero-carbon renewable electricity.
The US could ease its dependency on foreign steel by recycling up to 8.4 million tons of steel scrap, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. The automotive industry could eliminate more than 7 million tons of sheet metal scrap by adopting more efficient stamping techniques, they add.
A team of scientists in Israel has engineered a strain of heterotrophic Escherichia coli and cultured it with 10% carbon dioxide and limited sugar, converting the bacterium into an autotroph that eats and uses carbon dioxide to produce biomass. The researchers hope their findings, published in Cell, can serve as a springboard to future carbon-neutral energy sources.
European researchers have developed a photocatalytic coating composed of graphene and titanium dioxide that can reduce atmospheric pollution. The coating could be applied to concrete surfaces to improve the environment, says Marco Goisis, research coordinator at Italcementi.
The affordable-housing crisis is acute in many regions, and one solution could come from a modern spin on a century-old technology: prefabricated houses, which now can be manufactured with precision techniques to achieve detail that traditional home construction lacks. If technological innovation accompanies an influx of skills in the sector, home construction could improve dramatically in terms of efficiency, cost and environmental friendliness, Nigel Wilson writes.
Machine technology that could be implanted into the bodies of combat troops to boost their performance and allow them to control various weapons could exist within 30 years, according to a Pentagon report titled "Cyborg Soldier 2050: Human/Machine Fusion and the Implications for the Future of the DOD." The report says: "The potential for direct data exchange between human neural networks and microelectronic systems could revolutionize tactical warfighter communications, speed the transfer of knowledge throughout the chain of command, and ultimately dispel the 'fog' of war."
A 1989 San Francisco earthquake killed hundreds and damaged structures including this house that crushed a parked car. (Adam Teitelbaum/AFP via Getty Images)
STEM students in a Pennsylvania high school have been studying seismology and spent a month building models of earthquake-resistant structures. Students in the project-based class could use materials such as coffee stirrers and popsicle sticks to build their "Earthquake Shake" structures, which had to withstand testing on an earthquake simulator plate.
The idea that innovation could come from anywhere is apparent in the 2019 Mechanical Engineering magazine Emerging Technology Awards. The awards are in their third year now and celebrate technologies that have left the R&D phase, passed through the pre-commercialization “valley of death,” and have begun to make an impact on the marketplace. Some of those innovations and innovators have been from the most recognizable names in industry: GE, Microsoft, Airbus, and Siemens, to name a few.
ASME student members from around the world faced off during the final round of the ASME Student Design Competition (SDC) at the ASME 2019 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE 2019) in Salt Lake City, Utah. The event was one of two ASME student competitions, along with the Old Guard 63rd Annual Oral Competition Finals, that took place at the conference.