A few short years ago, the Internet was a wasteland when it came to practical and effective blogs in the engineering community. Today, that vacancy has been filled with a number of entries that cover all engineering fields. Following are a few of the blogs that we feel offer the best to both the neophyte and well-seasoned engineer alike.
Machine Design Blogs
We couldn’t very well talk about Web blogs without mentioning the blogs at Machine Design. Here, MD Editors Leland Teschler, Steve Mraz, Leslie Gordon, Robert Repas, and Lindsey Frick offer commentary, opinions, and kibitzing in all matters engineering. In addition, a commentary section for each blog entry invites feedback where readers are free to agree or disagree with blog contents.
Have you found an engineering site on the Web you can’t do without? If you have, please go to machinedesign.com and leave your comments on the reader feedback for this article so readers can benefit from your discovery.
Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog
They say curiosity killed the cat, but the Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog is alive and well. Rated as one of the best engineering blogs on the Internet by several ranking groups, you can see why when you first access the site. According to its masthead, “The Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog explores: innovation, technology, research, education, economics, gadgets, health care, and scientific inquiry.”
The blog is divided into more than 30 categories from animals to technology, with an uncategorized listing to catch what’s not listed. Earlier blog entries were mostly text with graphics as needed, but many of the later blogs are now video based.
The latest science and engineering videos include an introduction to the Arduino embedded controller, how a 14-year-old New York student won the Discovery Education 3M Young scientist Challenge for a solar-powered water jug that purifies drinking water, and how Capuchin monkeys go on strike if they’re not earning equal pay.
Engineering Ethics Blog
The Engineering Ethics Blog is an interesting single-person blog that looks at the soft side of engineering rather than the hardware. Authored by an individual using the name Kaydee, all the information given about him is that he’s a professor that teaches engineering courses at Texas State University in San Marcos.
However, the topics covered in his blog are designed to stop and make you think, as all good blog commentary should. For example, his last two blog entries cover the NRC blue-ribbon panel formed to assess NASA’s strategic direction and goals and whether government support for wind power and other renewable energies will fall off the fiscal cliff.
Screaming Circuits provides online manufacturing and assembly for quick-turn prototype printed-circuit boards. While their company blog is thus dedicated to PC assembly, it goes beyond basic board construction to cover all aspects of PC creation including CAD layouts, design parameters such as those needed to minimize electrostatic discharge, and even steps to creating the right bill of material for a project.
Watch a video from Screaming Circuits
Engineering TV does just what its name states, provides videos looking at all forms of engineering topics. While not a blog, per se, it does support comments added by viewers for each video.
Currently, the site supports over 1,750 videos covering a wide range of topics such as aerospace, automotive, consumer electronics, medical, energy, robotics, and test and measurement. Most of the videos are under 5 min for easy viewing.
Ray Tools Engineering Simulators
Raymond Seymour has worked for General Electric for 37 years. He’s now brought that knowledge and experience to the Web through a series of engineering apps for the Apple iOS environment. Current apps include one for calculating 555 timer values, an ac impedance simulator, compression-spring design, gear design, and inverting and noninverting operational amplifier simulators. He promises more apps are in the works and he is soliciting requests for new app ideas. Most of the apps cost under one dollar, and are purchased from the iTunes store.
This blog covers a lot of ground relating to high-tech display technology and comes from a consumer and retail-market research company called the NPD Group.
The Auto Prophet
A blog (mostly) about the auto industry, by an engineer working in product development for an American automotive company.
The stated aim of this frequently updated blog is to help early/midcareer scientists and engineers better understand the forces that affect their careers, as well as some of the emerging opportunities that will play a bigger role in their careers in the future.
Chris Gammell’s Analog Life blog
The analog engineer who writes this blog says he wants to help others better understand electronics and the electronics industry. So his posts are dedicated to showcasing some of his work and teaching those who are new to the industry, as well as continuing the conversation with those who work in the industry.
This blog on engineering education is maintained by the Engineering Pathway, billed as a portal to high-quality teaching and learning resources in engineering, applied science and math, computer science/information technology, and engineering technology and is designed for use by K-12 and university educators and students.
Wireless Sensor Networks Blog
WSNblog.com is an independent blog about wireless-sensor networks. Not associated with any business or marketing organization, it covers new WSN products, books, conferences, papers, and job offers.