Stephen Mraz

Senior Editor,
Machine Design

Steve serves as Senior Editor of Machine Design.  He has 23 years of service and has a B.S. Biomedical Engineering from Steve was a Flight officer in the U.S. Navy. He is currently responsible for areas such as aerospace and medical.

From Tomato to Tom-AUTO: Ford and Heinz Team Up
Ford Motor Co. has been working for two years with several companies, including the H.J. Heinz Co., on developing a 100% plant-based plastic that could be used to make automotive parts and fabrics and replace petroleum-based materials.
Canadian Concept Car Chock-full of Connected Technology

The Connected Vehicle Working Group in Canada, established by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, crammed all the Canadian–built “connected-vehicle technology” it could find into a concept car, which started as a Lexus RX350. Here are some of the sensors and features that were added:

Locks On Rivers That Stop Invading Species

Around 1900, civil engineers connected the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River Basin to let shippers access both waterways. But within the past 30 years, biologists and the Army Corp of Engineers have been trying to keep aquatic species from moving out of native habitats in the Great Lakes and into the Mississippi River Basin and vice versa.

Wolf, a New Supercomputer, Up and Running at Los Alamos National Lab
Wolf, a new supercomputer, up and running at Los Alamos National Lab.
Basics of Aerospace Materials: Aluminum and Composites 2

Two materials play major roles in modern aerospace: aluminum alloys for airframes and skin, and composites for structures. Here’s a look at both.


There are some aviation observers who predict composites and titanium will rule the roost when it comes to aerospace airframes and structures. But that seems rather unlikely. Aluminum is still lightweight, technically advanced in terms of forming and alloying, and it relatively low cost, especially when compared to titanium and composites.

The First Eight X Airplanes: From Mach 1 to Almost 7
Here’s a look at the first 13 years of X airplanes, going from 1946 through 1959.
Rolamite Linear Actuator Cuts Friction and Complexity

Engineers at NASA first developed the rolamite bearing as a way to get motion with less friction than possible with roller bearings and to eliminate cogging. It was to replace leadscrews and linear ball slides, which require lubrication. The resulting device did the trick, cutting friction by an order of magnitude and totally eliminating cogging during linear motions. An inventor then converted the bearing into a linear actuator powered by a servomotor.

NASA’s OCO-2 satellite will monitor CO2 on Earth
NASA’s OCO-2 satellite will monitor and record sources and sinks for CO2 on Earth.
NASA develops prototypes for next-generation spacesuit 1
In anticipation of one day landing astronauts on Mars, spacesuits are getting a long-in-the-works revamp.
Quantum dots make see-through solar cells a reality
Quantum dots make see-through solar cells a reality.

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